Four in 10 Brits said the past year is the longest they have ever gone without a holiday – taking a toll on their overall mood and wellbeing.
A study of 2,000 adults found that prior to the pandemic, they would have enjoyed a holiday or mini break from their daily routine every four months.
But in the past year, 58 per cent have had to cancel three or more planned breaks.
This has affected people’s wellbeing though with 49 per cent believing that trips away positively impact their physical and mental health.
The research, commissioned by IHG Hotels & Resorts, also found 38 per cent of those who travel for work feel business trips improve their working mood and make them more motivated.
An optimistic 57 per cent plan to or have already rebooked trips, with family holidays and visiting loved ones topping travel wish lists for 2021.
And 47 per cent believe it’s important to have something to look forward to.
Psychologist Dr Linda Papadopoulos, said: “Having a sense of balance in terms of how much we work and how much we rest is key.
“The term vacation means to vacate – to stop worrying about to do lists, and switch that ‘should’ or ‘have to’ mode off – allowing you time to rekindle meaningful connections, relax/de-stress and come back feeling more energised.
“The impact of the pandemic on our mental health and our daily lives has been something that many of us have never experienced – having to cancel breaks where we would normally recharge, rest and nurture relationships has meant that many of us have not had that much needed downtime.
“It is important for our mental health to gain balance – to recharge and to make time to connect with things other than the ‘have-to’s and to do lists that dominate our minds.
“Planning things to look forward to, whether it be a novel activity a short weekend away with friends or a far flung holiday in the future – it can bring some focus and positivity into a time that currently still feels challenging and a bit unknown.”
The research also found more than a third of adults believe a break isn’t only important for themselves, but also for their relationships with family, friends and partners.
And four in 10 claim spending quality time with others has the greatest positive impact on their mood and wellbeing when on holiday.
Which may suggest why the trip 36 per cent are most looking forward to going on post-pandemic is a family holiday, while only eight per cent plan to solo travel.
But when it comes to safety, 43 per cent intend to hold off travelling until a Covid vaccine is widely and easily available.
And nearly a fifth said clean and safe surroundings have a positive impact on their mood and wellbeing while travelling.
Karin Sheppard, SVP, managing director for Europe at IHG Hotels & Resorts said: “With so many looking forward to rebooking missed experiences, whether it’s travelling to spend time with family, a trip away with friends, or travelling for work – it’s evident that there’s a hunger for human connection again.
“We know travel may still look a little different this year, but we are committed to continue innovating and finding new ways to help people connect and experience our own backyard and beyond. So, when the world is ready to travel again, they can feel confident doing so.”