Healthy Happy Villas

Do you let your hair down on holiday or do you prefer to pace yourself? Villa Plus looks at how wild we go when we get away from it all.

What do you look for in a holiday? Some of us are seeking sun-filled days and nights of bar hopping, while others prefer a quiet break soaking up the local culture. Perhaps you love adrenaline-fuelled activities or just enjoy exploring a new country.

Holidays give us the opportunity to relax, unwind and let our hair down for a few days. But just how much do you over-indulge and let loose while you’re away from home?

Here at Villa Plus, we wanted to find out what we’re getting up to during our trips abroad. To get the full story, 1,000 British tourists revealed their holiday habits. Here’s what they told us…

Every Penny Counts

Our survey revealed that we tend to overindulge during an all-inclusive holiday. When everything’s paid for upfront, we want to make sure we’re getting the best value for our money, with three-quarters of us eating more than we usually would on this type of getaway. This is because items aren’t paid for individually.

Overall, we found that men are most likely to go all-out at an all-inclusive resort. A whopping 80% admitted they make the most of the food and drink on offer because they’ve already paid for it. Only 71% of women are likely to do this.

Also, we found that, in general, women like to have more control over their meals while they’re away. Just 29% say they eat more than usual during a self-catering holiday – they put this down to having total control over the food they prepared, so these tourists are making the most of being able to choose exactly what they’re eating.

Those in the 25 to 34 age bracket are the biggest fans of self-catering breaks, with 31% saying they would eat more during this type of holiday. Interestingly, the 35 to 44-year-olds in the next age group up are most likely to want their money’s worth. Here, 80% admitted to overindulging on the food and drink on offer at an all-inclusive resort.

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Take Your Time

Although there are plenty of us who love to enjoy our pre-paid holiday to the max, many of us slow things down once the plane touches down. In fact, over half (58%) eat less.

When it comes to who eats more, in general, men are more likely than women to enjoy tucking into meals on holiday. There isn’t a huge difference in numbers, however, with 44% of men compared with 41% of women stating they will probably eat more.

We found that food plays less of a role in our holiday as we get older. Those in the 18 to 24 age group are most likely to gain some weight during their stay, and over half (53%) said they tend to eat more on holiday. In contrast, most over-55s (65%) are eating less when they go away.

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Holidaymakers from Leeds are most likely to need to get back into good eating habits after a trip abroad. Over half (57%) revealed they overindulge while they’re taking a few days off.

Cardiff residents weren’t far behind, with 55% eating more on holiday. Londoners came in at number three (47%).

Follow Your Gut

Over three million Brits book their holiday based on the destination’s local cuisine. We found that over one in 10 (12%) 18 to 24-year-olds follow this pattern, while Bristolians are the biggest foodie tourists in the UK, with 17% basing their chosen destination around the food on offer.

Some are choosing their holidays because food tastes better in the country from which they originate. For example, one respondent said they go to the Greek Islands because the ingredients ‘just don’t taste the same if you buy them at home.’ Similarly, another survey respondent said they’d opted to book a trip to Italy because there are food options for the whole family.

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Go for It!

While many of us are booking our breaks with food in mind, there are still plenty of us who are a little less adventurous during mealtime on holiday. In fact, almost three-quarters (70%) are sticking to what we know while we’re away.

Over a quarter (28%) are changing their eating habits, however. This can range from small things, such as having candyfloss as a treat, to larger dietary rule-breaking like tucking into pizza despite being gluten-free back home.

Some of us are doing healthier things, however. One respondent said they don’t eat salad at home. When it comes to alcohol, we’re a little less well-behaved. Some admitted to drinking three and even four-times as much as they do at home, and many said this is largely because there’s no work or other responsibilities to worry about.

Whether you’re off on an all-inclusive or you’ve opted for a self-catering stay, you’re sure to kick back and relax. But will you follow the trend by indulging in tasty treats while you’re away or will you pace yourself to avoid having to hit the gym when you get back?

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