Despite the annual holiday being as popular as ever, the average Brit has only ever visited seven countries. So why do people like to holiday in the same place time and again?
The majority of Brits do most of their worldly exploring before the age of 24, according to a survey by London City airport.
Adults under 25 have visited five countries on average, but by the time they reach 55 the typical person has only been to eight.
Looking across all age groups, the average Brit has visited seven countries, the research shows.
Top 7 most visited countries
The seven most visited countries by holidaying Brits are:
- France (66%)
- Spain (58%)
- USA (41%)
- Germany (36%)
- Greece (34%)
- Italy (33%)
- Belgium (33%)
Only a third - 31% - of people have visited 10 or more countries, according to the airport.
Highlighting how large parts of the planet remain untouched by the nation’s tourists, the research also points out that more than three quarters of the worlds’ countries have been visited by less than 5% of Brits.
So why have do our horizons appear to be so limited?
Cost can’t be entirely to blame
Money is certainly a factor as "country collecting" is not a cheap hobby.
And of course not everyone has the time to travel often.
However, for a nation where the yearly summer holiday is still seen as a necessity – research shows 21% say they cannot do without an annual overseas break – seven is surprisingly low.
The European Union has 28 member countries alone – all within reasonable distance of the UK by air.
Budget carrier EasyJet, which has been going almost 20 years since it was founded in 1995, operates across more than 30 countries.
On average the airline says it flies passengers 1,100km for less than £60.
So cost can’t be entirely to blame for the nation’s lack of willingness to seek out new places.
Knowing what you’ll get
Personally I can’t imagine going to the same place year after year and have been fortunate enough to have travelled to 25 countries across the globe, so far, during 30 years.
However, my grandparents visited the same hotel in Crete, often staying in the same room, for about 25 years and loved it.
And it seems it’s not just older generations that enjoy knowing what you’ll get from a holiday destination.
Mairead Coughlan, 35, a statistician from Cork in Ireland has been holidaying in Barleycove in West Cork for more than 30 years.
'A home away from home'
She first visited with her parents when she was a child and now takes her own children.
"It's a home away from home," she says.
"Our parents and siblings all still visit there for some part of the summer.
"It's lovely to see my daughter enjoy her holiday time with her cousins, grandparents, aunts and uncles.
"There is no feeling of having to visit every tourist site. This makes it a very relaxing holiday."
'It’s been a major part of our life'
Sophia Glennon is 23 and works in marketing in Cardiff.
She has been visiting the Greek island of Santorini (pictured right) for the past 12 years, often staying in the same hotel.
"My mum went she was younger," she says, "and my family has a friendship group out there and I have good family memories growing up.
"It’s been a major part of our life."
Sophia does admit that there are some negative points to visiting the same destination time and again.
"I’ve not been out of Europe and have probably missed out on seeing other places," she adds.
But Sophia talks fondly about her time in Santorini, describing the beaches, food, fine weather and memories and I don’t think she really feels she’s missed out at all.
What do you think?
Do you like to return to the same place on holiday? Or are you set on seeing as much of the world as possible?
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