Holiday triggers – the Top 20 reasons we shoot off abroad

Welcome to Cheapflights

The simple way to find cheap flights and hotels from all your favourite travel companies

Watching another colleague get promoted, missing out on a pay rise and sheer exhaustion are some of the top motivations for booking a trip away

Watching another colleague get promoted, missing out on a pay rise and sheer exhaustion are some of the top motivations for booking a trip away, as a study of 2,000 Brits discovered the top 20 factors which prompt a sudden interest in jetting off abroad at the drop of a hat.

The results suggest people will start reaching for their passports to escape a failed relationship, get far away from their boss or because they feel they aren’t going anywhere in their job.

Others have been struck with a new lease of life and set off in search of something new – 40 per cent said a major life event had introduced them to a “live for the now” approach to life.

The research, which was commissioned by STA Travel, found a fifth of Brits have booked an overseas trip after just coming out of a relationship.

Seeing other people’s holiday snaps online, watching the same TV week in week out and being fed up with traffic were further reasons to have people re-thinking their daily routine.

STA Travel UK marketing director, Natalie Placko, said: “We are creatures of habit and revolve around our routines, but what’s clear is the need to be able to break from that.

“Whether it’s a short-term escape, a life-changing adventure or a whole new approach to the way we live, the results show there are certain things that can push us too far in our day to day lives.

“Feeling under-appreciated at work, suffering as a result of rows or simply becoming run-down fuels a natural need to get away, but it’s important to identify whether these triggers will be solved by a restful holiday or if they require a fresh start and a change to the daily grind.”

That daily commute ...
That daily commute … Photo by DesheBoard

A frazzled half of the study felt life in England is particularly stressful compared to the way of life in other countries, and that’s led 44 per cent who have visited another country to aspire to live there someday.

A bored two thirds of the study feel they are stuck in a routine they don’t enjoy and were simply enduring the daily grind, while 70 per cent said they don’t feel they learn anything new in their day to day lives.

Two thirds suffer “Facebook envy” at seeing a constant stream of travel or holiday pictures on their homepage (seeing other people posing in foreign climes has pushed four in ten Brits to book a trip there and then. See our piece on Smoasting).

A broken heart
A broken heart … Photo by Kate Ter Haar

Another key reason was the need to escape:

  • Over a third of the study said they’ve longed to pack their bags and hop overseas to escape after coming out of a relationship;
  • 57 per cent of Brits admitted they have booked a trip in the past because they were trying to get away from something;
  • Of those, most people were running from relationship issues while over a third said something at work drove them to put some distance between them and their problems.

Four in ten Brits have actually had one single experience in their life that acted as a wake-up call and prompted them to want to make the most of life.

The death of a loved one was the most common reason to bring fresh perspective to a daily routine, while being involved in an accident prompted a tenth of people to explore their options in life.

Half of the study also claim that their experiences abroad have actively shaped the person they are today – two thirds went on to say they learned to embrace differences and new ways of doing things.

But, for many of us, those options remain in the background – six in ten Brits have a dream trip or place they want to visit, but with money issues and work commitments have never got beyond the daydream.

Natalie Placko continued: “Of course, while there are definitely certain triggers that make us feel we just need to get away, it’s about working out what can be healed by some time away and what problems won’t go away by simply leaving them behind.

Autumn means Back to School and conkers
Autumn means Back to School, conkers and thoughts of escape! Photo by ali graney

“We’ve seen that the end of August and beginning of September is a key time for people to book big trips away. It’s as if we’ve all taken stock of our lives over the summer and with Autumn on the horizon and a ‘back to school’ feeling throughout the country, many decide to take action and shake things up.

“Taking a few months, or even a year, to travel, learn new skills such as a language or take part in an overseas volunteering project seems to be on most people’s lifelong wish-list. The question for most is ‘when’ they will go, not ‘if’ it seems.”


  1. Miserable weather
  2. I’m exhausted
  3. I need a sun tan
  4. Jealous of other peoples’ pictures
  5. Want to learn a new culture
  6. I’m not going anywhere in my job
  7. Watching the same TV week in week out
  8. Had a row with family
  9. Ill health
  10. Boss driving me mad
  11. A relationship ended
  12. Want a reason to lose weight
  13. Wanted to do something meaningful
  14. Fed up of bad traffic
  15. Rows with a partner
  16. Argued with a colleague
  17. Missed out on a promotion
  18. Failed an exam/assessment
  19. Colleague promoted above me
  20. Stressed out
Failing an exam - reason number 18
Exam failure – reason number 18. Photo by D. Sinclair Terrasidius

(Our great, featured image is by

Holiday triggers – the Top 20 reasons we shoot off abroad was last modified: June 26th, 2019 by Oonagh Shiel
Author: Oonagh Shiel (3252 posts)

Content Manager at Cheapflights whose travel life can be best summed up as BC (before children) and PC (post children). We only travel during the school holidays so short-haul trips and staycations are our specialities!