Revealed! The formula for the perfect holiday

Revealed! The formula for the perfect holiday, answer for ideal holiday, best holiday solutionPA

It looks like a mathematical code and nothing like your answer to the ideal holiday but the formula for the perfect getaway has been revealed to the Daily Mail as: ((N(d)μ(d)-40)(r))/(σ(b)((C(d)-μ(d) )N(d)-41/40 c) ) (41c.a)/〖40〗^2

Mind-boggling? This mixture of letters and numbers was identified by Dr David Lewis, a psychologist at research consultancy Mindlab International based at the University of Sussex.

The study, commissioned by Holiday Inn, found that the perfect holiday is formed by a combinations of factors including the duration, cost of the break and issues like boredom, relaxation and anxiety playing a role.

The formula suggests that the holiday that gives us maximum relaxation with minimum stress is a three-day escape that's no further than four hours away from home.

'Research shows that many people find breaks abroad so stressful that they return home more worn out than perked up,' Dr Lewis explained.

'This helps to explain the growing popularity of shorter breaks in the UK, with many holidaymakers finding that taking several long weekend breaks is more rewarding.'

The elements assessed as part of the formula include N(d), the number of possible holidays of length 'd' that can be taken in a year, and C(d), the cost of the holiday depending on the number of days taken.

a(d) relates to the anxiety levels you might feel about a certain break, such as worrying about taking time off work and tasks piling up while you're away, with 'd' the duration of the escape.

r(d) refers to the level of relaxation you're likely to achieve while away from home against the length of the holiday.

Dr Lewis added: 'The traditional post-holiday slump can cause even more stress for people returning to the workplace to a backlog of work requiring their urgent attention.'

'Holidays are intended to recharge our batteries and help us come back refreshed and reinvigorated.

'But given the over-indulgences that can be made on holiday – from too much sun to too much food and drink – the longer the holiday lasts the greater the potential risk to one's health.'

A survey of 1000 adults by Holiday Inn revealed that Edinburgh was the most popular British city for a long weekend, followed by London and York.

Looking for a short break to take your 'perfect holiday'? Try these top beach cities...

Ten wonderful cities by the sea
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Revealed! The formula for the perfect holiday

Enjoy the French Riviera at this seaside city that attracts everyone from families to super-stylish locals. There are 15 private and 20 public beaches to choose from over seven kilometres of coastline in Nice. Be sure to bring your flip flops and something harder than a towel though as the beaches are covered in pebbles. The Promenade des Anglais is Nice's famous promenade and perfect for an evening's stroll next to the beach.

It seems this city has everything you could want from one - superb food, architectural masterpieces, rich and varied nightlife, a colourful history AND sandy beaches! The ones in the north, like Llevant and The Nova Mar Bella are quieter and attract mostly families, locals and those looking for cleaner and tranquil beaches. In the south, beaches like Sant Sebastia and Barceloneta are popular with tourists and locals and are closer to the city centre.

White sand, dramatic views and varied beaches make Cape Town a paradise for sand and sea lovers. The trendy set head to Clifton Beach for sunbathing and volleyball. Camps Bay attracts large crowds and has chic restaurants, Llandudno is one for surfers and Sandy Bay is a nudist beach. False Bay has some good beaches for swimming, including Muizenberg, Fish Hoek and Boulders Beach, which is a must-see for its colony of African penguins that live here.

Not many people know this, but Venice isn't just about the canals - there's are beaches too. Venice Lido is an island of 11 kilometres that attracts families and summer tourists to its sandy beaches and warm Adriatic waters. The Gran Viale Santa Maria Elisabetta is the island's main street and houses many hotels, shops and cafes. Every year the Venice Film Festival takes place at Venice Lido at the Palazzo del Cinema.

Life's a beach in LA where you can choose from eight coastal hotspots in the city. The most famous is Venice Beach (pictured) and a stroll along its boardwalk will give you the chance to marvel at the entertainers, roller-bladers and weird and wonderful characters it attracts. Manhattan Beach attracts sporty types with its miles of volleyball courts, Malibu's Surfrider Beach is, as its name suggests, a surfer's paradise and El Matador Beach is perfect for romantic couples looking for a secluded spot!

Santa Monica State Beach attracts the crowds, Hermosa Beach is frequented by trendy sunbathers, Cabrillo is popular with families and nature enthusiasts will love exploring the sea caves and tide pools of the beach at Leo Carrillo State Park - LA definitely has it covered for beach lovers!

Just a 30-minute drive away from Riga's city centre, you'll find the resort town of Jurmala, which was once known by the Germans as the beach of Riga. Its white sand and shallow water makes the 33km coastline popular with local families and tourists.

The beaches are clean too with the Majori and Bulduri parts of the shoreline flying Blue Flags. Here you can rent pedal boats and at Pumpuri Beach there's kite surfing and windsurfing. Dubulti (pictured) attracts beach football and volleyball fans to its annual competitions.

As one of the most famous beach cities in the world, Sydney has a wealth of beaches for you to experience Australia's laid-back lifestyle and take in the city's sights. Bondi Beach is one of the world's greatest and is a haven for surfers, cafe lovers and Sydney's beautiful crowd. Other top Ocean beaches include Coogee and Manly. You'll find some harbour beaches in Sydney too, like Balmoral and Washaway.

With over 300 days of sunshine, it would be odd for this city not to have beaches. Thankfully Antalya does and they're pretty good too with turquoise waters and mountain views. Konyaalti is a clean pebble beach with chairs and umbrellas for visitors to rent. Lara Beach on the east of the city offers dark sand and calm seas. Kaleici's harbour (pictured) is the city's old port and has the small Mermeli Beach on its west side.

Beach life in Biarritz is as luxurious and glamorous as it gets in a city. It has nice beaches, majestic hotels and architectural marvels that attract rich and famous visitors. It's also home to the Biarritz Surf Festival and one of the surfing hotspots of Europe. The largest beach is La Grande Plage, which is great for bathing and surfing and located close to Biarritz's centre. Port Vieux beach is popular with families and Miramar Beach is a beautiful beach with its iconic Le Rocher de la Fregate rock.

This urban centre in Canada may not spring to mind for a beach break, but surrounding the metropolis is a cluster of ten clean, sandy beaches with spectacular views of the city's skyline. They're ideal for walkers in the winter and swimmers in the summer when the cool waters provide a refreshing escape from the heat. The beaches - English Bay, Sunset, Kitsilano, Jericho, Locarno, Spanish Banks, Second and Third - attract various visitors from families to sport fans and sunbathers to those who bare all!


Check out the best beach spots in Europe for a short break...

Europe's best beach destinations 2012
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Revealed! The formula for the perfect holiday

Corralejo,the largest of Fuerteventura's resorts, is a beach lover's dream. Town Beach is singled out by Tripadvisor reviewers as a perfect spot for families because of its calm waters, while breezier Flag Beach and Glass Beach are a 'paradise' for windsurfers and kitesurfers.

The largest resort on Gran Canaria was developed in the Sixties specifically as a tourist area and it's remained popular ever since. There's something for everyone, from families to honeymooners, nude sunbathers, to hippies... and it gets the thumbs up from all.

This is the fastest growing city in Turkey, not least because of its booming tourism industry. Tourists from around the world are drawn here for the fab beaches as well as the traditional Turkish culture. Konyaalti Beach is described as 'heaven on earth' by one reviewer. The only complaint seems to be that the sea is a "little bit salty". Hmm...

With 20 different beaches to choose from, Albufeira is praised as a "charming" holiday destination. The cliffs are magnificent, the outlook wonderful and Falesia Beach is singled out in particular: "straight out of a film" says one reviewer.

Yes, it's still up there as one of the favourites for Brits. The beaches surrounding this holiday mecca are bustling with activities including waterskiing and scuba diving. Levante Beach is praised for its cleanliness, while reviewers recommend Poniente Beach for a calmer alternative to the buzzing Benidorm atmosphere.

Seven miles of beach and its own warm microclimate make Bournemouth the UK's favourite beach destination, according to Tripadvisor reviewers, who praise it for its stunning cleanliness and "amazing views", although one complained that it was "too far away from the shops". 

With velvety white stretches of sand along five miles of gentle waters, Puerto Alcudia is the longest beach on the island. Reviewers say the gem of the beach at Aucanada is great for families, and one of the most beautiful parts of the resort, although it can get crowded: "Bring your own sunbed" says one. 

The lack of a booming nightclub scene is a huge plus for the travellers who've discovered this beach resort. Boat trips, great seafood cafes and "quiet and relaxing" atmosphere are among the reasons they return here, but one reviewer advises getting to the beach early in peak season in order to get a bed by the sea - and they recommend bartering for the price.

The waters surrounding the small village of Olu Deniz, including the famous Blue Lagoon, are a beautiful gradient of sapphire blue, and the beach is described by Tripadvisor reviewers as "simply stunning", with a spectacular setting. Reviewers say it gets overcrowded in peak season and can also be pricey: many recommend the local beaches nearer the town for more space.

Lanzarote's largest resort area offers some of the island's best beaches, with calm waters all year round. The coast is a succession of lovely sandy stretches interspersed with small rocky outcroppings, including the little cove of Pena Grande, with fine white sand.


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