Holidays: It’s five days, not a fortnight

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New research reveals that increasing workplace pressures are taking their toll on the traditional British holiday, as almost a third (29 per cent) of holidaymakers head abroad for breaks lasting just five days.

Nearly half (45 per cent) of those surveyed said they had not been fortunate enough to enjoy a foreign holiday in the past year.

However, of those lucky enough to have taken a vacation abroad in the last year, 7.2 million (29 per cent) stayed for just five days – an increasing holiday trend dubbed the ‘cinq-jour break’.

According to the research, the popularity of last minute city breaks and spontaneous long weekends in the sun may be more the result of our chaotic British working culture than personal preference, as only one in three (36 per cent) of those taking a cinq-jour break were happy with the length of their trip.

While the effects of increased pressure in the workplace may have shortened the traditional British holiday, people are still prepared to go the distance to enjoy their five days of respite, with 42 per cent (20 million) of people prepared to endure a long-haul flight of thirteen hours for a break of just five days. This includes 8.2 million (17 per cent) who have already done so.

Nick Brabham, head of Select from Direct Line, said: “Traditional British family holidays, which were previously a once-a-year custom, seem to be taking a back-seat as a result of work pressures.

“Thankfully, the increasing popularity of last-minute and short-stay holidays still ensures that many of us are able to get away each year, but the duration of the average trip does appear to be reducing.

“The fact that so many people are still prepared to sit through a long-haul flight for such a brief trip abroad just shows that exploring exotic destinations still a top priority, but our increasingly time-poor and over stretched lifestyles mean that the typical British fortnight away is becoming more of a long weekend.”

Andrew Booth, group marketing director for Time Out, added: “Holidaymakers’ appetites for exploring foreign countries are increasing rapidly, but unfortunately lifestyles don’t always allow people to take as much time as they’d like to do this.

“Britons love to travel and explore, and the cinq-jour trend just shows that people are willing to adapt their travel plans to suit their lifestyle commitments if it means that they can still enjoy a holiday.”