A survey from Opodo has highlighted the importance of travel to people’s mental health, with one third of Brits citing beach holidays as the most restorative. Jenny Southan reports

In July 2021, online travel agent Opodo polled 2,000 customers in the UK, as well as 8,000 in the US and Europe (Germany, France, Spain, Portugal, Italy and Sweden) to find out how consumers feel about travelling abroad.

The data revealed that 53 per cent of British people consider travelling the world as the most therapeutic pastime – ahead of going out to bars and restaurants (15 per cent) or shopping (15 per cent). Across all locations surveyed, 63 per cent of respondents agreed that travelling the world is therapeutic.

What kind of holiday do they find most restorative? 33 per cent of UK travellers said beach holidays, while 22 per cent said relaxation and wellness breaks. 16 per cent said trips to remote locations, 14 per cent said holidays in nature and just 10 per cent said time in cities.

Although one third (33 per cent) of respondents also reported a preference for places where there are few – or even no – other people, 40 per cent of Brits said the pandemic has not changed the kinds of environments that they feel most relaxed in.

More than half (58 per cent) of British people with savings of £1,000 would choose to spend it on travel (when safe), versus 36 per cent who would spend it on home renovation and 25 per cent who would spend it on eating in restaurants.

The majority (63 per cent) of British people over the age of 65 ranked travel as their number-one priority, in contrast to the US and Europe where seniors are the least likely to prioritise travel. In these locations, 71 per cent of young people aged 25-34 prioritise it.

This suggests that travel companies would be wise to focus on their efforts on winning the “silver pound”, as well as the Gen Z demographic, as they are most willing to spend.

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