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Hampton by Hilton reveals new “seekender” traveller trend

New Research Finds That “Seekenders” – Those Who Take Regular Short-Breaks and Choose Experiences Over Material Wealth – Hold the Key to Happy Holidaying


Research out today by Hampton by Hilton has revealed a trend among Brits to forgo the big, annual holiday in favour of regular short breaks, to seek value for money and to covet travel experiences over material possessions. These so-called “Seekenders”, have discovered the exemplar way to holiday, according to leading health expert Dr. Dawn Harper and psychotherapist, Robert Stewart.


The survey of 3,000 adults across the UK revealed that travel ranks top (63 per cent) in the list of treats that people will spend their money on, ahead of gadgets (26 per cent), designer clothes (11 per cent), handbags & jewellery (20 per cent), dining out (16 per cent) and days out with the family (41 per cent).

The research showed that taking several short trips and being clever with costs (42 per cent) rather than one blow-out getaway a year (17 per cent) is the most common way of taking holidays, with staycations (19 per cent) proving as popular as foreign escapes (20 per cent).

When questioned about how they feel on return from a holiday, the data demonstrated that travellers feel just as “refreshed and raring to go” following a short-break (32 per cent) as they do after an extended getaway (33 per cent).

Speaking about the findings, Dr. Dawn Harper (Embarrassing Bodies, This Morning, LBC Radio) said, “We are leading increasingly hectic lives and a getaway allows people to physically and mentally recharge. We react to stress with an adrenalin surge, which was useful in caveman days where stress came in the form of a mammoth on the horizon, but today’s stresses come from work, home and modern life hassles. Taking the foot off the pedal and getting away from it all can make a big difference. Sometimes it can be easier to fit in a mini-break into busy schedules, and this can be just as beneficial as a longer holiday.”

Other key findings that Hampton by Hilton discovered as part of the research include:

  Brits place far more importance on experiences than wealth or possessions, with 71 per cent rating travel and new experiences as “essential” and “significant” to their lives

   Visiting a dream destination was the most popular bucket list item (47 per cent), ahead of buying a fancy car, second home, jewellery, designer watch or meeting their favourite celebrity

  People in Bournemouth find holidays significantly less of a priority, possibly due to the town’s holiday resort aesthetic. 46 per cent of people from Bournemouth use some of their annual leave to holiday at home compared to the national average (20 per cent)

   Citizens of Chelmsford are the most likely in the UK to spend on travel, with over 80 per cent opting for holidays over materialistic goods

   11 per cent of Brits will not use all of their annual leave this year

   69 per cent of Brits prioritise value for money when choosing a hotel, closely followed by cleanliness, a comfy bed, a decent shower, central location and friendly service.


Psychotherapist Robert Stewart (BBC3) added, “Our working life involves a considerable amount of running on auto-pilot, whereas holidays elicit our conscious mind as we pay attention to all the details and absorb new experiences. A well-planned short-break can refresh the mind and body just as much as an extended getaway can. When we take a mini-break, there’s also less stress around spending money and workload or chores building up while we’re away. The dopamine kick of a new toy is very short-lived, whereas the feel-good oxytocin and serotonin factors gained from a holiday will last long into the return to daily life.”