Britons spend up to 72 HOURS a year planning holidays, with many left mentally exhausted


Britons spend more than two days – an average of 53 hours – per year planning their holidays, according to new research.

The findings suggest millions of would-be holidaymakers from Britain are hesitating to press the ‘book’ button due to the sea of choice on offer.

Gen Z (aged 16 to 26) appear to suffer the most from indecision, dedicating three days (72 hours) per year to crafting trips.

Baby boomers (aged 59 to 77) chart their courses in almost half the time but still spend close to two days a year (37 hours) planning trips.

This procrastination, the study says, is due to ‘Travel FOBO’ – ‘fear of better options’.

Instead of feeling excited in anticipation of a holiday, Britons are commonly left feeling mentally exhausted by the process

Instead of feeling excited in anticipation of a holiday, Britons are commonly left feeling mentally exhausted by the process 

A study by First Choice suggests millions of would-be holidaymakers from Britain are hesitating to press the 'book' button due to FOBO - 'fear of better options'

A study by First Choice suggests millions of would-be holidaymakers from Britain are hesitating to press the ‘book’ button due to FOBO – ‘fear of better options’

A close relative of FOMO, ‘fear of missing out’, FOBO is caused by information and choice overload, partly fuelled by inspiration from social media, and it’s crippling Britons when it comes to booking their getaways, the study by First Choice holidays says.

Instead of feeling excited in anticipation of a holiday, Britons are commonly left feeling mentally exhausted by the process, are often hit by ‘reservation remorse’ – and two in five (41 per cent) said they consider holiday planning to be one of ‘life’s most stressful decisions’.  

The new study, of over 3,000 Britons, found 40 per cent feel overwhelmed by travel choice anxiety when it comes to booking, with 50 per cent of Gen Z and 52 per cent of millennials (aged 27 to 42) feeling the heat.   

More than a third (39 per cent) of travellers get overwhelmed by the chaos of keeping track of multiple tabs open on devices and nearly a quarter (23 per cent) consider over 16 destinations before deciding what to book.

The study found 40 per cent feel overwhelmed by travel choice anxiety when it comes to booking

The study found 40 per cent feel overwhelmed by travel choice anxiety when it comes to booking 

Almost half (42 per cent), meanwhile, get tired from an unending cycle of evaluating and re-evaluating alternative options.

And in total, 42 per cent admitted to being beaten by the ‘procrastination paradox’ – delaying booking until the last minute to find better deals, only to find that prices have increased. 

The wide range of choices and information overload has left nearly two in five (37 per cent) with reservation remorse, feeling they had made a mistake after booking, with indecision and apprehension kicking in after just two hours and seven minutes.

Despite the stress of FOBO, more than half of Brits (51 per cent) love taking control of their own travel arrangements and discovering the world on their own terms, the findings reveal. 

More than half (55 per cent) said that reviews and recommendations play an ‘important role’ when it comes to booking a break.

But more than a third (37 per cent) feel their trust in online reviews has dwindled, preferring to consult holiday company websites and apps (34 per cent).

Gen Z (aged 16 to 26) appear to suffer the most from indecision, dedicating three days (72 hours) per year to crafting trips

Gen Z (aged 16 to 26) appear to suffer the most from indecision, dedicating three days (72 hours) per year to crafting trips

More than half of Brits (51 per cent) love taking control of their own travel arrangements and discovering the world on their own terms, the findings reveal

More than half of Brits (51 per cent) love taking control of their own travel arrangements and discovering the world on their own terms, the findings reveal 

First Choice has released a new holiday booking platform to combat Travel FOBO and ‘help travel lovers pick the trip they really want’.

The newly renovated platform combines options for different tastes, budgets and values, the holiday company explains – there are even options for trips by train.

Travellers can also choose between familiar and far-flung destinations and different activities, from cooking classes in Crete to stand-up paddleboarding in Majorca, it adds.

Bart Quinton Smith, managing director of First Choice, said: ‘Our research shows that many of us get a thrill from piecing our perfect trip together. But, in a world of endless choices, FOBO can take all the fun out of planning a holiday.’

The company has seen a change in holiday behaviours in recent years, driven by ‘a new mindset’ among travellers, the MD said.

‘For those who love to travel, holidays are up there with the most important choices we make and you don’t want to settle for anything less than the best,’ he added.



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