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The Happy Campaign

by Travelbag on 22 January 2018, 16:01PM

Joy. Pleasure. Satisfaction. Feelings that we always strive for as a nation, but what truly makes us happy?

Happiness is a unique thing, a sense of euphoria that we spend our lives pursuing, an emotion we crave on a daily basis, and yet something we struggle to define in absolute terms. Happiness is an emotion that leaves you joyful and positive, whatever this means for you.

A state of well-being that encompasses far more than simply being in a good mood, happiness is about living a good life and finding true contentment, whatever your situation.

For the most part, perceptions of what makes a person happy are pretty universal. But it seems that whilst we say we know what makes us happy, contentment eludes us, with a large proportion of us beaten down by day-to-day stress.

To better understand the significance of wellness and the role it plays in the hearts and minds of you, the British nation, we decided to assess some of the key themes of happiness.

We wanted to explore Brits’ attitudes to happiness, their hopes and dreams, and their views on improving wellness. So, we conducted a survey, with questions delving into respondents' feelings, seeking to discover what defines happiness and perhaps challenge how we find happiness in the everyday.

At the beginning of the year, when we're still recovering from post-Christmas deflation, money strains and poor weather, there are some of us that are looking to make improvements to our lifestyles and set new goals. So, we thought it was the ideal time to try and shift perceptions and change mindsets.

Our survey yielded some eye-opening data. Although 43% of those surveyed classed their home as their happy place, 57% said packing up and heading off on a long-haul holiday was the best way to make them feel instantly happy, giving them that elusive balance of mental and physical wellness.

Relaxing in a peaceful spot topped the list of activities that made respondents happy (33.5%), which explains why 48.1% look for relaxing getaways when booking long-haul trips.

Outside of travel and holidays, our UK audience also placed a high value on good relationships (38.1%), a healthy work-life balance (11.7%) and reduced stress levels (9.6%). But long-haul travel holidays were a serious happiness booster (57%), with 33% looking for culture, 40.5% hoping for improved weather and 23.6% naming the beach their happy place.

Other participants cited spending time with family, eliminating the pressures of day-to-day life, and activities such as swimming, walking and cycling as key to their happiness on a long-haul destination holiday.

Our sample was taken from 2,000 UK-based participants, aged 25+. See below for a more detailed breakdown.




High up on the list of how we most want to spend our holiday time and cultivate happiness was relaxation (48.1%), and 33.5% considered relaxing in a peaceful spot to be their number one.

And it seems we Brits have traded in nights out for lazy days by the pool, with 18.8% opting for a poolside retreat, and just 3.1% preferring a night on the tiles.



In contrast, 23.7% are adrenaline junkies, with adventure high on the list of things that make them happy on holiday. Exploring came in at the top, with 51.3% of respondents naming this as a favoured activity, and 6.4% of respondents enjoy hiking mountains when discovering new cultures.



Stress has a substantial impact on happiness, with 28% looking to escape day-to-day life. More than 11% of those surveyed said their work-life balance affected their happiness, and 7.2% said money worries were impeding it. 9.6% thought that reducing their stress levels would make them happier overall.


Of the destinations listed in our survey, the Caribbean was considered the happiest holiday destination for Brits (33.3%), with Australia and New Zealand coming in second (30.30%), and the USA third (26.6%)

Interestingly, Dubai and Africa were deemed the destinations least likely to have the right balance of what participants defined as happiness, with just 7.3% and 6.4% respectively.

Gender Split

Both genders said good relationships were the most significant drivers of happiness, with almost 40% of women and 36.30% of men giving it the top spot.

A healthy work-life balance came second, with 12.5% of men considering this to be vital for their happiness, and 10.9% of women in agreement.

Neither male nor female participants rated the weather as a significant driver of their day-to-day happiness (1% and 1.5%).

More than 55% of men and 58.6% women agreed, completely or somewhat, that visiting a long-haul travel destination impacted their level of happiness in a positive way. Male and female participants both ranked the USA as the third most likely destination to have the right balance of what they defined as happiness; whilst men ranked the Caribbean first and Australia second, and women put Australia first and the Caribbean second.

When on holiday, both men and women cited relaxation as the activity they most enjoyed (46.8% and 49.4%), with 33.5% naming a peaceful spot as their happy place. 43.30% of women find spending quality time with their loved ones to be their second most favoured activity, compared with just 33.1% of male participants.

On a long-haul holiday, you’re most likely to find Brits out and about, with almost 51% of men naming exploring as their most enjoyed holiday activity, and almost 52% of women in agreement. Coming in second for men (40.1%) and women (43.9%) was eating and drinking; and in third was escaping day-to-day life (27.7% M; 28.2% F).

Age Split

Our results indicated that all participants considered good relationships to be the key to happiness, though our oldest contributors, aged 65+, placed a greater weight on this than did the 25-34 age group (47.2% vs 37.7%).

Those aged 45-54 valued a healthy work-life balance (15.6%) more than did the 25-34 group (12.2%).

Those in the 55-64 bracket named psychological balance as the most significant driver of happiness (11.5%), with just 8.7% of those aged 25-34 saying the same. Reducing stress levels was more important to those aged 35-44. Each age group chose a peaceful spot as their happy place, including 44.2% of those aged 65+.

The youngest participants acknowledged that money couldn't buy them happiness, and thus placed it below other drivers on their list, but they still ranked it higher than any other age group did, with 11.3%.

Citing travelling as a priority, 76.2% of 25-34-year-olds completely or somewhat agreed that visiting a long-haul travel destination impacted a person’s happiness, compared to 41% of the 65+ group, who said travelling was unlikely to have an impact.

Relaxation was important to all age groups, and those aged 35-44 gave it the highest ranking (52.1%). This age group enjoyed spending quality time with loved ones whilst on long-haul holidays (39.6%), albeit not as much as those aged 25-34, 42.90% of whom chose this over culture and food.

There were differences between the age groups in terms of what they most enjoyed doing on holiday. 62.3% of those aged 65+ chose exploring and sightseeing, compared to 46.4% of the 25-34s. 37.5% of those 65+ want to learn about cultures, compared to just 20.9% of their younger peers, and the elder group is more likely to enjoy holiday reading (19.6% vs. 17.6%). 15% of those aged 25-34 want to swim and play water sports, compared to just 4% of the 65+ group.

The age groups also had different views on the destinations with the best happiness balance. Those aged 25-54 named the Caribbean the best for this balance, whilst those aged 55-65+ chose Australia. The 25-34s named the South Pacific as the place with the worst happiness balance, with just 7.4% giving it a positive rating; whilst the 35-44 group gave Africa the bottom spot (6%), and those aged 45-65+ named Dubai and the Middle East.

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