Nearly half of adults take two or more days to truly relax into ‘holiday mode’

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    One in four holidaymakers struggle to “switch off” from everyday life while they’re away, according to research.

    A poll, of 2,000 adults who travel, found nearly half (47%) take two or more days to truly relax and enter “holiday mode”.

    Worrying about “everyday life” (39%) is the top distraction, followed by the work they’ve left behind (30%) and work they’ll be heading back to post-holiday (29%).

    While more than one in 10 (11%) even experience pet separation anxiety.

    When it comes to reaching “relax mode” once reaching their destination, a fifth (21%) say listening to music helps.

    To give holidaymakers the chance to unwind, hotel chain, Hilton, has partnered with psychologist and ASMR expert, Dr Giulia Poerio, to create ‘Sounds of the Stay’ – a brand new ASMR track designed to help people unwind whilst travelling to their destination and make the most of their trip.

    Dr Giulia Poerio said: “The impact of everyday sounds on our levels of relaxation and wellbeing is something of increasing research interest, especially over the past few years.

    “It makes sense then that sounds we commonly associate with holidays might help bring people closer to those sought after feelings of rest and relaxation even before people arrive at their getaway destinations.”

    Gentle, crashing waves (41%), the hum of an aeroplane pre take-off (24%) and the crunch of sand underfoot (24%) topped the list of relaxing aids.

    And a friendly greeting when arriving at their hotel generally works wonders for 21%.

    While many do struggle to switch off straight away, 30% feel they’ve officially started their trip whilst travelling to their destination.

    Putting on an email “out of office” notification (16%), finishing their packing (12%) and arriving at the hotel (9%) were also markers of a trip beginning.

    When on holiday, the activities that help travellers switch off include feeling the sun on their skin (48%), enjoying leisurely mealtimes (44%), spending the day by the sea (43%) and being looked after by hotel staff (22%).

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    A digital detox could also be key in aiding relaxation as reading a book (37%), not setting an alarm (32%t) and reducing social media usage (15%) also ranked highly in the list of “switching off” activities.

    While it may take a few days for some people to settle into their holiday, the post-holiday “glow” begins to fade after an average of three days – disappearing completely a week (seven days) after returning home.

    But looking back at holiday photos (36%), eating food from your holiday destination (23%) and finishing a holiday read (22%) could be the key to postponing the post-holiday blues, according to the OnePoll research.

    And a fifth (21%) reveal listening to music which reminds them of their stay also helps.

    Patricia Page-Champion, senior vice president and global commercial director, Hilton, added: “Having spent most of my career in and around hotels, I’ve always loved the look on people’s faces when they walk through the door – the happy feeling of a holiday about to begin.

    “A great stay offers the opportunity to pause, reflect and reconnect, and through this track we wanted to help people get that holiday feeling even before their holiday begins.”

    “Sounds of the Stay” has been produced at the optimal length, pitch and frequency scientifically proven to help people relax – featuring noises such as footsteps across crunchy sand, the rolling wheels of suitcases and crisp hotel sheets when climbing into bed.

    To encourage optimal relaxation, Dr. Poeriol also recommends listening to the track while lying down, feeling the sun on your skin, and to help facilitate those holiday daydreams.


    1. Waves crashing gently
    2. The hum of an aeroplane getting ready to take off
    3. The crunch of sand beneath your feet
    4. A friendly greeting at your hotel
    5. The splash of a pool being jumped into
    6. Unzipping a suitcase
    7. Suncream being applied
    8. Suitcase wheels along a hotel floor
    9. Slow buzz of crickets
    10. Ice cubes clinking in a glass
    • Holidays
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