New study finds what triggers the 'holiday feeling'

Research conducted by University College London?s Affective Brain Lab (ABL), in collaboration with TUI UK, has revealed what triggers the ?holiday feeling? and unlocked how holidaymakers can make the positive effects of a holiday last longer. 

With the research finding that 22% of us book our next holiday less than a month after returning home from a trip, and 33% of us researching our next getaway less than three weeks after getting back, it is in the interests of agents to ensure the ?holiday feeling? lasts as long as possible. 

With more than 30 million Brits expected to take a beach holiday this summer, TUI revealed that they will hit their peak ?holiday feeling? just 43 hours into their trip and the positive feeling experienced while away is short-lived, with the average traveller losing the holiday feeling 3.7 days after unpacking their bags.

?We all know, and have felt, the holiday feeling ? that feeling of utter joy, excitement, anticipation and relaxation ? and this research provides fascinating insights that will help us ensure our guests enjoy theirs to the max,? said Katie McAlister, chief marketing officer for TUI UK & Ireland. ?For example, understanding its life cycle will inform our pre- and after-travel communications and we will be creating something new soon that will quite literally ?bottle the holiday feeling? in a bid to make it last for even longer.?

Dr Tali Sharot, director of the ABL, commented: ?Planning a trip can spark the feeling of anticipation and joy which activate the brain?s ?reward centre? ? the striatum. This part of our brain receives input from dopamine neurons, providing us with a feeling of intense pleasure. In other words, just thinking about going on holiday ? or planning your next holiday when you return home ? will activate the reward system in your brain.? 

TUI UK has released a short film starring John Barrowman, which demonstrates the holiday feeling. 

To watch the film and find out more about the research, including the top 30 ?holiday feeling? triggers, go to