One in three British workers would prefer more holidays to a pay rise and most believe extra leave would motivate them to switch jobs, according to a report.
A survey of almost 8,000 adults in 24 countries for travel site Expedia found that those in Britain and Europe had more holiday time than workers in Asia Pacific and North America.
The highest number of days offered to staff is 30 in Denmark, France, Germany and Spain, 28 in Italy, and 26 in Britain. Words: PA
In comparison, holidays totalled 15 days in the United States and Mexico, and just 11 in Thailand, the study by consulting firm Northstar found.
The average is 28 in Europe - 12% more than the global figure, the study found, adding that the Italians only take 21 out of their entitled 28 days off, with Britons taking 25 out of 26.
Workers in South Korea took only seven of 15 available days in the past year.
Andy Washington, managing director of Expedia.co.uk, said: "While habits differ, the emotional
impact of holiday does not. Somewhere between 80% and 90% of people worldwide say that holidays make them feel happier, better rested, closer to their family, less stressed, and more relaxed."
Winter breaks with guaranteed sunshine
One in three Brits say they would prefer more holidays to a pay rise
Looking for an affordable week in the sun? The Cape Verde islands are located 500km off the coast of West Africa and share African and Portuguese influences. They're not as touristy as the Canary Islands and have gorgeous beaches in Sal and Boa Vista. Cape Verde is also a paradise for surfers, hikers and divers. Sunshine.co.uk offers holidays to Cape Verde in Sal, Boa Vista, Santiago and Sao Vicente.
Spend your festive break exploring the wonderful colonial architecture of Havana and Trinidad, wandering the famed tobacco fields in Vinales, climbing the beautiful Cuban mountain ranges and lounging on Baracoa’s laid-back Caribbean beaches. Prices for a December Cuba holiday with Intrepid start at £689 (excluding flights) for accommodation, city tours and excursions and the services of a tour leader.
Think Canaries, think bring on the Full English? Think again. Lanzarote, an island of brooding volcanoes, has managed to contain its tourist development, allowing its natural beauty to break through. Black volcanic fields, deep green cacti, whitewashed cottages: it’s a landscape to gladden the cool designer’s eye. December may be the beginning of the rainy season but don't let that put you off! The island experiences less than 20 days of rain in an entire year. Stick to the south for warm sunny days on the beach. TravelSupermarket compares cheap holidays to Lanzarote with prices starting from £166 per person in December.
This Indian Ocean island has a formidable reputation for great service wherever you go. Its white-sand beaches, sparkling in the heat in December, are hard to leave, yet there’s so much more to see. This island was an important trading post for merchants - and pirates - over the centuries and the influence of a league of nations lives on, from the bustling streets of Chinatown, in the capital Port Louis, to the serene shores of the sacred Hindu lake Grand Bassin. Turquoise Holidays is offering seven nights at Anahita Golf & Spa Resort, Mauritius from £1,650 per person.
The weather in the Cayman Islands from mid-December is hot and dry with cooling winds making it perfect for long days at the beach. An 80-minute flight from Miami, the Caymans encompass three beautiful islands in the western Caribbean. On Grand Cayman, stroll along coral-sand Seven Mile Beach and swim with yearling green sea turtles in the saltwater lagoon at Cayman Turtle Farm. For an all-in-one Cayman getaway, make family-owned Brac Reef Beach Resort your home base for beachfront lodging, diving, snorkelling, kayaking and birding.
For a Christmas family getaway in the sun, look no further than Portugal's sunny Algarve, where you can enjoy cultural festivals, sandy beaches and winter sunshine! Surrounded by the natural Costa Vicentina Park and a beach on its doorstep, the five-star Martinhal Hotel is perfect for families wanting all the Christmas trimmings as well as some sunshine. The resort will be transformed into a Christmas wonderland with fairy lights, Santa Claus, yuletide food and festive cheer. Take advantage of 27.5 per cent off seven-night half-board stays with Christmas dinner and Christmas day brunch included at just €113.50 (£90) per adult per night in a Hotel Room for a family of two adults, one child under 12 and one baby.
It's an old winter sun favourite and Barbados is the classic Caribbean island for a beach holiday. It's only eight hours away and temperatures reach up to 29 degrees in January with 10 hours of sunshine a day. The island is the culinary capital of the Caribbean and there are spectacular diving sites, as well as idyllic beaches. Virgin Holidays offers Barbados winter deals from £779 for seven nights.
Bali has been revealed as the top long-haul winter sun destination for a bargain by Post Office Travel, with 10 holiday items including an evening meal, suncream, a bottle of water and glass of wine, costing just £40. The spectacular Indonesian island of Bali boasts kilometres of powder soft sand, swathes of lush rice paddies and an engaging native culture. Travelbag offers holidays to Bali from £569 per person.
Cruise holidays are ideal for winter sun seekers who want to experience a variety of sandy beaches, characterful cities and historic harbours, and with its diverse islands, the Caribbean is perfect for a winter break. P&O Cruises offers 15-night Caribbean fly cruises starting from only £1,399 per person, including return flights, resort transfers and 14 nights in an inside cabin with full-board meals and entertainment on board. Departing from and returning to Barbados, the cruise itinerary includes visits to Grenada, St. Lucia, Dominica, St. Kitts, St. Maarten, Tortola, Curacao and Bonaire.
With temperatures nearing an unbearable 50 degrees in summer, the winter months are ideal for exploring Dubai, when you can escape the cold UK weather and enjoy sunnier climes. If you're a shopaholic, the annual Dubai Shopping Festival takes place from 5 January until 5 February. Around the city, there are great golf clubs, stunning beaches and a buzzing nightlife scene. British Airways offers seven nights in the Melia Dubai from £615 including flights.
The magnificent temples of Angkor have attracted visitors from all over the world for thousands of years. Built from the 9th to 14th centuries - when the Khmer regime was at its most creative - these sites are architectural wonders. Angkor Wat is the largest and most well-preserved monument, and the colonial-style Siem Reap is the nearest town... Stay in the capital, Phnom Penh, which has vibrant nightlife, beautiful pagodas, and the humbling Cheong Ek. Elsewhere, there's beautiful jungle, stunning beaches (try Sihanoukville) and national parks to soak up. Check out the range of holidays on offer from Kuoni, where you can choose from an array of package holidays or organise your own tailor-made trip.
February sees Cape Town in its quieter months, but still in the height of summer - so it's hot (average 27C) and crowd-free! Head to the beautiful V&A waterfront for mooching and shopping, and to get the boat over to Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela spent 27 years in prison. Take a cable car up to the top of Table Mountain, then, after dark, check out Long Street for great clubs and bars. For something a bit swish, check out the popular beach suburb of Camp's Bay - full of shi shi cocktail bars with a view. And don't leave without visiting one of the beautiful vineyards, like Stellenbosch, for a spot of wine-tasting. TripAdvisor features reviews of hotels, attractions and restaurants in Cape Town.
One in three Brits say they would prefer more holidays to a pay rise
When The Sound of Music was released in 1965 not only did it take the world by storm but its box office success saved 20th Century Fox studios from bankruptcy. The story of the former nun-turned-governess for the children of a wealthy widower only to have their happy lives changed by the Nazi invasion into Austria has now become a cultural phenomenon, with a week-long festival to be held in Salzburg in June to celebrate the film’s 50th anniversary. UTracks offers a Salzburg to Vienna Cycle trip (8 days), visiting some of the stunning locations that featured in the film, such as Mondsee, famous for being the location of the church where the wedding scene takes place. From £730 per person, including bike hire (April-October).
The adventures of Mowgli in the Indian jungle are getting a big screen makeover in 2015 as a 3D combination of live action and computer-generated animation. Bill Murray, Christopher Walken, Ben Kingsley, Scarlett Johansson, Lupita Nyong’o, Idris Elba and Giancarlo Esposito are involved in the project developed by Disney – although Warner Bros is also working on its own version of The Jungle Book, to be released a year later. Home to the endangered Bengal tiger, Ranthambore National Park is one of the best places to see these majestic predators in the jungle. World Expeditions' Tigers and the Taj Mahal trip (9 days) explores the very heart of India and takes in the imperial capital of Delhi, Agra and the 'pink city' of Jaipur (from £1,090 per person).
Teeming with historical insights and natural wonders, Colombia has made huge strides in terms of security in the past decade. The country of Gabriel García Márquez is set to become even more accessible in 2015. In addition to direct flights from Heathrow to Bogota launched by Avianca in July 2014, travellers across the UK will have even greater choice thanks to KLM, which is resuming its service to the Colombian capital after 20 years in March 2015. W Hotels makes its debut in Colombia in November 2014 and is set to bring luxury and cutting-edge design to the capital when W Bogota opens. Adventure enthusiasts yearning for an emerging, un-crowded destination can book a Colombian Cultural Adventure (15 days) with World Expeditions, which takes in Bogota and concludes two weeks later in Cartagena, on the shores of the Caribbean (from £2,190 per person).
29 July 2015 marks the 125th anniversary of Vincent van Gogh’s death, with the Netherlands leading an international programme that will see 30 European organisations honouring the Dutch artist under the theme '125 years of inspiration'. Earlier in July, the 102nd edition of the Tour de France is scheduled to start in the country for a record sixth time in the city of Utrecht, which is currently building an impressive garage with a capacity of more than 20,000 bicycles. Specially designed for kids from seven years old, UTracks' eight-day Holland Family Bike & Barge is relaxed and ensures that all members of the family are able to fully participate in each day’s cycle (from £570 per adult/£380 per child, including bike rental, departs in July and August).
Canada is synonymous with the outdoors and the country’s vast network of recreational trails is currently getting a £5million boost. Entering its second phase in 2015, the National Trails Coalition initiative aims to help build and renew multi-purpose trails for walking and biking, as well as cross-country skiing and snowmobiling. Between 150 and 200 projects are expected to be supported across Canada. Following the Niagara Escarpment, the Bruce Trail is Canada’s oldest and longest marked footpath. World Expeditions' new Bruce Trail Peninsula - Wiarton to Tobermory itinerary (10 days) extends across what many hikers describe as its most spectacular part, covering the Bruce Peninsula from end to end (from £1,190 per person, May to October).
Singapore celebrates its 50th anniversary of independence next year when huge celebrations will take place across the country to reflect on the tremendous journey the country has taken over the past 50 years. Highlights for visitors include the SEA Games (5-16 June) and the National Day Parade (9 August). Singaporeans and visitors can also go on the Jubilee Walk (November 2015), a walking trail that covers historic locations. The Patina Capitol is set to open in April 2015 as the hottest new hotel in Singapore.
The iconic Matterhorn, famous for its four steep faces rising above the surrounding glaciers, was not climbed until 1865 by British climber Edward Whymper. 150 years later, a series of festivities are planned to mark the first ascent of the last 4,000m peak in the Alps, led by Zermatt, the village at its base. Coinciding with the anniversary, the much loved Hörnlihütte, often used as the starting point for the ascent of the Matterhorn, will re-open in July 2015 after two years of renovations. Gain incomparable views of the Matterhorn on Sherpa Expeditions’ Bernese Oberland and Reichenbach Falls (8 days). A stunning region of rock and ice, it is the perfect introduction to walking in the Swiss Alps, following classic mountain trails to charming mountain refuges (from £780 per person, June to September).
2015 marks the would-be 80th birthday of Elvis Presley and the spotlight is on Memphis, with Graceland set to be a site of pilgrimage for fans looking to celebrate the King's milestone birthday. In autumn 2015, The Guest House at Graceland will open and the 450-room unique hotel will be one of the largest in the city. Spring sees the opening of the Memphis Music Hall of Fame in downtown Memphis on Beale Street and will be the only Memphis museum to focus specifically on the heroes of Memphis music. For fans of Elvis Presley, new store Lansky Brothers on Beale Street, was where Elvis Presley purchased all of his clothes when it was run by the late Bernard Lansky. The Blues Hall of Fame also opens in downtown Memphis next spring and will pay tribute to the great blues men and women including B.B. King, Robert Johnson and Muddy Waters. Insight Vacations' Rhythms & Flavours of America itinerary visits Elvis Presley's iconic Memphis home as well as discovering the musical history of the Deep South. The 14-day tour begins in the windy city of Chicago before heading in to the Midwest, taking in Louisville, Nashville, Memphis, Vicksburg Military Park and New Orleans (from £3,650 per person including return flights, 13 nights' accommodation and airport transfers).
New non-stop British Airways flights from Gatwick to Punta Cana put this Caribbean island firmly on the map for 2015. With a wave of hotels recently opening plus the largest water park in the Caribbean landing in the Dominican Republic, it's THE island to explore next year. Whether you want to practise your golf swing, go bird watching in the forest or spend your days reading by the glittering ocean, it's the place to be. The wildlife is amazing, the festivals are fascinating and the beaches are glorious!