An online flight comparison company has discovered that as many as one in seven Britons have seen someone they know on their holidays, whether in the airport or as far away as at the resort or the beach.
According to the poll, the most common destinations to bump into someone you know include the Canary Islands, Turkey and mainland Spain.
Holidaymakers often plan to escape from everyday life, to relax and enjoy some quality time with your loved ones; which is exactly why one in five Britons who see someone they know while abroad make every effort to avoid them.
The team at www.Jetcost.co.uk undertook the survey as part of an ongoing study into British attitudes and experiences of travelling. 2,196 Britons were quizzed about their travel experiences, all of whom were aged 18 and over and stated that they had flown abroad at least once in the past two years.
Initially, all respondents were asked ‘Have you ever bumped into someone that you know when travelling?’ To which a fifth of respondents, 19 per cent, stated that they have. When asked in which situations they’d seen them, ‘at the resort’ (34 per cent), ‘at the airport’ (30 per cent) and ‘at the beach’ (22 per cent) were revealed as the top places.
All relevant respondents were then asked which countries they had visited where they had bumped into someone that they knew. When provided with a list of possible responses and told to select all that applied, the top five results were as follows: 1. The Canary Islands - 14 per cent; 2. Turkey - 12 per cent; 3. Mainland Spain - 11 per cent; 4. Greece - 6 per cent; 5. Egypt - 6 per cent
According to the poll, when asked how they’d reacted when they saw someone that they know whilst on their holidays, a two fifths said that they ‘greeted them and made conversation’ (47 per cent), whilst the remaining respondents either ‘waved and carried on’ (33 per cent) or ‘avoided them’ (20 per cent).
When asked why they’d tried to avoid those they knew, respondents stated it was because they ‘want to enjoy their holidays, as a break from everyday life’ (51 per cent) and ‘didn’t want to risk having to spend time together’ (49 per cent).
Wanting to determine if this was something that many Europeans experienced, not just those in the UK, the poll surveyed an additional 1,000 people (an even 25 per cent split across Spain, Germany, Italy and France). When asked if they’d ever ran into someone that they knew whilst on their holidays, the responses were as follows: Germany – 26 per cent (yes, they have seen someone they know abroad); France – 17 per cent. Italy – 15 per cent and Spain – nine per cent.
A spokesperson for Jetcost.co.uk said: “When you book a holiday, you typically do it to get away from real life; work, friends, family, everything. You want a bit of time away, in the sun, where you can relax and enjoy yourselves with no stress or care in the world. Whilst usually surprising, it can be nice to see people you know abroad, you can share experiences and give each other tips on what to do and where to go, but many people don’t want to run the risk of coupling up and spending the holiday together – if you wanted to do that, you’d have booked the holiday together, after all.”