Turn off, log off, fly out: 10.2 million Brits opt for an internet-free vacation

  • Nearly half of hard working Brits (47 per cent) completely switch off from work when on holiday
  • 34 per cent of holidaymakers switch off the web to enjoy a social media break
  • 13 per cent set aside ‘tech-free time’ while on holiday

New research from Direct Line Travel Insurance reveals nearly half (47 per cent) of British holidaymakers switch off from work while away, with 10.2 million (32 per cent) taking a welcome break from mobile devices while on holiday.

One in eight (13 per cent) carve out ‘tech-free’ time during their break, with 11 per cent of Brits choosing remote destinations that are less likely to have network coverage, to avoid potential contact with work.

According to the research, nearly half of us (47 per cent) completely switch off from work while on holiday. Despite fears of Brits being ‘always on’, almost three quarters (72 per cent) of workers say their employer doesn’t expect them to take their phone, tablet or laptop away with them to stay in touch.

It seems our mobile technology etiquette also improves when on holiday, as nearly a quarter (23 per cent) of Brits admit they are less likely to check their mobile phone in a public place abroad than they would at home.

The main reason cited for craving an internet break was to properly enjoy the holiday (57 per cent), closely followed by the desire to relax and switch off from work. Interestingly, a third of workers who switch off the internet while abroad do so to enjoy a break from social media.

Table one: Reasons for wanting to switch off the Internet while abroad

Reason Percentage
Wanting to enjoy the holiday 47%
To relax and switch off from work 47%
To avoid high bills 37%
To have a break from social media 34%
I can use the internet at home 17%

Source: Direct Line Travel Insurance 2016

Psychologist Donna Dawson said: “Although technology has made it more difficult to switch off, it's reassuring that the majority of holiday-makers understand the importance of regaining control and taking a well-earned rest.

Holidays are a time for both mental and physical relaxation, and give us the opportunity to work on face-to-face relationships with family and friends. A break from mobile technology is one of the fastest ways to de-stress, as it gives our brains a break from constant demands on our time and attention; time where we can calm down, de-clutter our thoughts, and re-prioritise what’s really important in life.”

Of those who stay connected on holiday for personal use, over half (53 per cent) use the internet to contact family or friends via messaging applications. While 42 per cent use the internet to engage with friends on Facebook, as little as 38 per cent use it for information on what to do in the local area.

Tom Bishop, head of travel insurance at Direct Line, commented: “Unsurprisingly, people are using their time out of the office to get away, relax and switch off from the pressures from everyday life. While uploading photos to Instagram and checking into Facebook are popular for some, our research shows that many holidaymakers like to enjoy their time off away from social media.

It’s important to strike the right balance between staying in touch with friends and family at home and taking the time to recharge your batteries so you feel refreshed when back at work.”

Notes to Editor

1) Research was conducted by Opinium amongst a representative sample of 1,230 UK adults who work, between 21st June and 7th July 2016.
2) 10.2 million figure based on 20 per cent of British adults switching off the Internet on portable technology whilst on holiday. 20 per cent of 51,339,000 = 10,242,131

For further information, please contact:

Antonia Green
Citigate Dewe Rogerson
Tel: 0207 282 2967
Email: Antonia.Green@citigatedr.co.uk

Claire Jarrett
PR Manager
Direct Line Group
Tel: 01651 831 715
Email: claire.jarrett@directlinegroup.co.uk

Direct Line

Started in 1985, Direct Line became the first UK insurance company to use the telephone as its main channel of communication. It provides motor, home, travel and pet insurance cover direct to customers by phone or on-line.

Direct Line general insurance policies are underwritten by U K Insurance Limited, Registered office: The Wharf, Neville Street, Leeds LS1 4AZ. Registered in England No 1179980. U K Insurance Limited is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority.

Direct Line and UK Insurance limited are both part of Direct Line Insurance Group plc.

Customers can find out more about Direct Line products or get a quote by calling 0345 300 7838 or visiting www.directline.com.

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