Sun, sea and sand is the holiday formula that most travellers are familiar with. But now it seems that the art of the perfect break lies in a series of letters and numbers that would be mind-boggling enough to bring your average holidaymaker crashing back down to earth.
((N(d)μ(d)-40)(r))/(σ(b)((C(d)-μ(d) )N(d)-41/40 c) ) (41c.a)/  ^2
This lengthy sum won’t appear in the pages of a travel brochure or tourism campaign, but what it lacks in charm it more than makes up for in scientific credentials.
Broken down into more manageable chunks the formula reads in the following way: N(d) – the number of holidays of length “d” that can be taken in a year – and C(d), the cost of that holiday in relation to the length of the holiday.
Then we have “a(d)”, which relates to holidaymakers’ anxiety levels in relation to a break while “d” points to the duration of the getaway.
Finally, “r(d)” stands for the potential for relaxation on holiday, again in relation to the number of days away.
Identified by Dr David Lewis, a psychologist at research consultancy Mindlab International, the formula in essence means that the perfect holiday needs to be no more than four hours away from home and no more than three days long.
If travellers ever needed an excuse for a weekend break, the formula certainly provides one. As Dr Lewis explains:
“Research shows that many people find breaks abroad so stressful that they return home more worn out than perked up,” he said.
“This helps to explain the growing popularity of shorter breaks in the UK, with many holidaymakers finding that taking several long weekend breaks is more rewarding.”
Research commissioned by Holiday Inn also identified the factors which affect our enjoyment of a holiday. This includes anxiety, relaxation, boredom and the length of time away.
Confirming what may holidaymakers already know, Dr Lewis argues that a holiday is “intended to recharge our batteries and help us come back refreshed and reinvigorated”. Thanks for the revelation Doc!