All work and no play…

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We're an industrious lot, us Brits, but some have too good a work ethic as more than a third of us don't use up all of our annual holiday allowance from their job.

Travel advice site Gogobot found that 35 per cent of us have time off left over at the end of each year, despite half of the companies we work for having a 'use it or lose it' philosophy, meaning that holidays can't be carried over to the next year.

Whilst one-in-ten of us don't use up holidays because we can't think of where to go – which seems fair enough – many more feel afraid to leave our desks in case the workload mounts up when we're away.

Do you make the most of your holiday time or are you one of those who's too worried to leave the office?

Let us know your stories on Facebook at ColumbusDirectUK or drop us a tweet @columbus_direct.

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Commenting on his website's results, Gogobot's CEO Travis Katz mused that "it's really surprising just how many people aren’t taking the leave they’re entitled to simply because they’ve got too much work on or don’t know where to go. With work and family obligations demanding our attention and money tight, finding the time to plan a decent holiday can seem pretty impossible".

Not totally impossible though, otherwise the holiday industry would collapse. That said, those of us who do manage to get away generally take our work with us and – annoyingly – that's easier than ever to do now that you can store all of your projects, spreadsheets and other job-based doings in the cloud to be accessed anywhere. 

And according to, a lot of us are – 77 per cent regularly check work emails when we're meant to be relaxing and 65 per cent of us even responded to them, just as we would in the office. As a result, it's pretty easy to understand why 89 per cent of adults reckon that they never fully switch off on holiday because of work and why – according to a Go Airport Shuttle survey – that 69 per cent of people they spoke to reckon their number one 'must pack' item is a charger for their mobile device.

However, there are ways to help you switch off and de-stress from work – as part of the Late Deals research, psychologist Jane Sullivan had a few hints and tips. Aside from simply switching off your phone – which may not appeal to nomophobes – she reckons that you should tell your colleagues that you're going abroad, even if your plan is just to lounge around the house in your pants for a week, as people are much less likely to bother you if they think you're on a 'proper' holiday rather than, well, lounging around the house in your pants.

You can stop your nose from growing by actually going abroad, of course, and for the one-in-ten that Gogobot found to be devoid of ideas, Trip Advisor has potentially come to the rescue by revealing the locations that fared best in its 2012 Travellers' Choice awards.

Unfortunately, the main list is a bit boring – London tops the poll, followed by New York, Rome, Paris and San Francisco. Don't get us wrong, they're all fine destinations and you can have fabulous – if somewhat expensive – holidays there, but the chances are you'll already have considered those locations because they are a bit on the obvious side.

However, there's some canny folk at Trip Advisor and they anticipated that some people won't want to head to mainstream places, so they've also asked their contributors to help them make up a list of the top destinations that are on the rise. In the worldwide list, the Americas have fared well, with Mar del Plata in Argentina, Sao Paulo in Brazil and Uruguay's capital all coming in the top five, with Mexico City and Guadalajara a little further down the list.

For those who want to stay in Europe, Kiev's the number one choice, partially as a result of it being one of the host cities for the summer's European Championships. Moscow and St Petersburg also ranked highly, with Italian pair Turin and Naples, and Spain's Valencia also featuring in the top ten.

Of course, there are bound to be people who can't or don't want to leave the country and they're catered for by Trip Advisor's list too, with Manchester, Belfast, Liverpool and Glasgow – home of 2014's Commonwealth Games – also making an appearance in the European list for up-and-coming destinations.

The world's largest travel site isn't above blowing its own trumpet too and has done some research into that fact – it's discovered that 53 per cent of us won't book a hotel if it doesn't have a Trip Advisor review, with 87 per cent of users saying that they help them feel more confident about taking a room there.

The poll also found that we're more likely to leave reviews that discuss positive elements of our holiday, rather than muck-slinging, whilst hoteliers who can take criticism and respond well will improve users' impressions of their establishment.

If you're heading on holiday, make sure you're covered by Columbus Direct travel insurance.

Date Posted: 16 November 2012
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