With Easter approaching, many of us are contemplating where to go to get away from it all - but think carefully about your destination, 87% of Brits say that they judge people by their holiday choice!Research revealed today by pan-European online travel company Opodo.co.uk, reveals that in 2005 it is not only your career and lifestyle that give hints about your character and wealth, but also your holiday - with 35% of people claiming they can determine your worth by simply asking what holidays you’ve been on.
This new ‘holiday status seeking phenomenon’ seems to be sweeping the nation with 64% of people believing that there is a certain kudos attached to having a number of different stamps in your passport.Ê The phenomenon may have been triggered by the reduction in passport stamping with more countries joining the EU. Indeed nearly 40% of Brits are unhappy that they no longer get stamped in most of Europe (this rises to 62% amongst 16-24 year olds) leading to ‘passport stamp envy’ of the much travelled!Ê
Amazingly 5% of people actually admit choosing their holiday destination specifically to add another stamp to their passport and a further 10% proudly show off their ‘stamp collection’ to friends.Ê
Dr Aric Sigman, Psychology expert, claims “Status anxiety is taking a new form. Keeping up with the Jones’s used to mean the Jones’s house, job, or car but a new more affluent generation is using a new form of social coding to compare themselves with one another - the holiday.Ê This goes hand in hand with people wanting to live now and the ‘there’s more to life’ phenomenon that’s consuming the nation, particularly with younger generations - whereby jobs are increasingly seen as simply a means to earn money. As careers are becoming less of an indicator of status, more emphasis is placed on life experiences, particularly those higher status ones overseas. Perhaps passport stamps are the new labels.”
This is backed up by the research which shows 74% of people believe they can determine whether you are cultured by where you’ve been on holiday and the same number claim it reveals how adventurous you are. Nearly 50% say it shows your level of maturity and life-stage (‘young and carefree’ or ‘grown-up and responsible’) and a further 18% of respondents would even identify you as a potential friend, believing your holidays reveal how exciting or boring you are.
The Maldives came out as No1 in destination status terms with Nepal, Hawaii and Rio all close behind (see top ten below).
Neil Mott, UK Country Manager at Opodo, says: “Our advice to all those seeking holiday status is to be as adventurous as possible within your own resources. The most popular destination for Opodo customers this Easter is the US. So, if you’re restricted by budget, either go for the good value of the US or go for a cheaper short-haul option and explore to find that hidden gem that will impress your friends. Also, sign up to email newsletters which often contain great fares to exotic destinations.”
Top ten destinations for status:
1. The Maldives
2. Kathmandu, Nepal
5. Rio de Janeiro
7. St Tropez
9. Hong Kong
10. St Petersburg