• New research from Virgin Media O2 reveals two in five Brits suffer from ‘tripophobia’; the fear of not having any trips abroad booked. 
  • Ahead of ‘Sunshine Saturday’, the UK’s most popular time to book a vacation, Dr William Van Gordon, an Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of Derby, has provided tips on how to cope with the phobia when costs are tight. 
  • Virgin Media O2 customers can plan their next 2024 adventure and save up to £200 on holiday packages with lastminute.com on Priority. 
  • British tourists are expected to flock to Spain, Italy, Greece, France and the United States in 2024. 
  • O2 customers can enjoy up to 25GB of their inclusive mobile data abroad when they visit 49 destinations across the EU as standard for no extra. Non-O2 customers looking to switch can sign up here. 

According to new research from Virgin Media O2, two in five Britons suffer from ‘tripophobia’; the fear of not having any trips abroad booked.  

Londoners are most likely to worry about not having a holiday locked in, with more than a quarter (28%) admitting they dread not having a trip to look forward to.  

Across the generations, Gen Z are most fearful of not having a holiday abroad planned, with over one in three (34%) admitting they identify with the phobia compared to 31% of millennials. And it seems Gen Z can never quite escape this feeling – even if they are on holiday – as nearly half (45%) admit to thinking about their next vacation whilst they’re still abroad.    

To try and overcome their tripophobia, over half of Britons (51%) book holidays more than three months in advance so they’ve got something to look forward to. However, once holidaymakers book their trip, one in three Millennials worry about the expense of the holiday (35%) compared to less than one in five (18%) for Traditionalists who can sit back, relax and enjoy their flight.   

Trying to catch a break from holiday snaps may prove difficult for tripophobia sufferers, as ‘#travel’ was one of Instagram’s most popular hashtags of 2023*; shared on more than 720 million posts. In response to this, some Britons have taken matters into their own hands, with 37% of Gen Z admitting to blocking friends or family members on social media to avoid the #travelgram.   

Forking out for a trip abroad can come with a hefty price tag, but Britons are so keen to get their holiday fix that one in four (25%) Gen Z admit they would get into debt to escape the UK, with one in five also likely to either use their pension pot (10%) or ask a family (10%) to provide the funds. For those Virgin Media O2 customers that are worried about the expense of a holiday, they can save up to £200 on holiday packages with lastminute.com* on Priority.   

Ahead of ‘Sunshine Saturday’, the most popular time to book a foreign holiday, Dr William Van Gordon, an Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of Derby, has provided some tips on how to manage tripophobia during a cost-of-living climate. 

  1. Book early: The unease that some people experience due to not having an overseas holiday booked can lead to negative feelings of uncertainty and boredom, also known as ‘tripophobia’. Planning a trip in advance not only provides a cheaper deal (most of the time) but research shows that the anticipation it creates can foster psychological wellbeing and satisfaction with life. 
  2. Manage your budget: Don’t give into your impulsive urges. First set out a clear budget that you can afford. You might experience a psychological boost after booking a trip, but make sure these feelings aren’t quickly overridden by unrealistic costs of the holiday. Try to set a realistic monthly saving goal before you book so you have the means to pay without feeling overwhelmed.  
  3. Be careful of the holiday bandwagon: It’s easy to get sucked into booking a holiday, as the thought of going away is often linked with expectation and positive feelings. Booking a spontaneous trip with a group of friends may help to avoid FOMO and seem like a good idea at the time, however, you might not realistically be in a position to go on the trip whether due to financial or other reasons. Therefore, before committing to a trip, sleep on it to make sure you’re not purchasing impulsively and booking something you might later regret. 
  4. Allow preparation time: To avoid the stress and anxiety that can come from being unprepared for a trip abroad, give yourself plenty of time to make sure the necessary arrangements are in place. Before you go away, think about purchasing holiday essentials, checking whether you need a visa or vaccination (which usually cost money), making arrangements for pets or family members left behind, working out transport logistics, making sure you have mobile data abroad, arranging appropriate holiday insurance and ensuring your passport is in date, etc.
  5. Limit your spending money: Overspending while on holiday can cause financial anxiety which may lead to stress and poor-quality sleep. To prevent this, try to scope out how much you’re likely to spend when abroad and what you can realistically afford. It’s a good idea to do some research before you go away to avoid unexpected costs cropping up, such as checking if you can use your mobile data abroad at no extra cost as well as if there are safe and inexpensive public transport options from the airport to your accommodation, rather than booking a private transfer. 
  6. Sit back and relax: Some of the best holiday moments involve little to no spending, who doesn’t love a picnic on the beach? Research shows in order to feel properly refreshed and relaxed after the holiday has finished, it’s a good idea to slow things down and take time to reconnect with yourself when away. 
  7. Manage expectations: Since Covid, lots of holiday destinations have become more expensive, so it’s important to recognise that sometimes prices might have gone up between the time you researched the holiday and arrived at your destination. If this does happen, try not to let this have a negative impact on your holiday. Living in the present and taking each experience as they come is an effective strategy for cultivating lasting wellness, personal growth and life satisfaction according to research. 

The most popular holiday destinations of 2024 are revealed as:  

Ranking  Country 
1st  Spain 
2nd  Italy 
3rd  Greece 
United States 
4th  France 
5th  Canada 
6th  Cyprus 
7th   Turkey 
8th   Germany 

It’s not just the price of the holiday Brits worry about, 19% of holidaymakers also think about the cost of their roaming bill before they’ve even got to their destination. Luckily for O2 customers, they can enjoy using their phone as they would at home in 49 European destinations (up to 25GB), giving them one less cost to worry about while on holiday.    

And for customers with both Virgin Media and O2 services, the world is their oyster, as they can access O2 Travel Inclusive Zone when they Volt their bundle, allowing them to roam at no extra cost in 75 international destinations.  



Notes to Editors: 

*The 30 most popular hashtags on Instagram in 2023 (loyoly.io) 

O2 customers get up to 25GB in 49 EU countries   

‘Sunshine Saturday’: UK travel firms gear up for busiest bookings day in years | Travel & leisure | The Guardian 

*Customers save up to £200 on holiday packages when they spend £2200 Offer Details – Priority (o2.co.uk) 


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