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Is There a New Breed of Holidaymaker More Inclined to ‘Fly and Flourish’ Than ‘Fly and Flop?’

Is There a New Breed of Holidaymaker More Inclined to ‘Fly and Flourish’ Than ‘Fly and Flop?’

Whilst many of us just want a ‘fly and flop’ holiday, research suggests the emergence of a new kind of traveller who wants to ‘fly and flourish’, using holiday time for cultural discovery and to become their ‘best selves’.
New research conducted by global hotel brand TUI BLUE* reveals nearly half of us (45%) don’t go on holiday just to relax and unwind, but to become the best versions of ourselves.

Trying new foods is a popular way to challenge ourselves (49%), whilst 38% of us choose to start reading a new novel. 27% of us want to push ourselves outside of our comfort zone and a third of us decide to go to the gym to get in our best shape before we head overseas.

The research also identified 5 types of holidaymaker - and whilst relaxers came out as the most common (35%), 1 in 5 (17%) identified as ‘historians’ wanting to see as many historical sites as possible and learn about new cultures. Another 16% would label themselves as optimists, confident everything will go to plan as they step away from their routine. Meanwhile, some of us embrace spontaneity, happy to go with the flow (12%) and 14% of us want structure and create itineraries for their holidays.

Louise Bates, MD of TUI BLUE, isn’t surprised by the research findings commenting: “Our guests have ample opportunity to get away from daily routines and totally unwind.  And whilst some do choose to do absolutely nothing but laze in beautiful surroundings, many more choose to create personal itineraries to suit the type of holiday maker they are. More than 100,000 people signed up a BLUEf!t class last year, with Aqua Fit by far and away the most popular session. We’ve seen an uplift in interest in the cultural experiences we offer, like cooking and language classes, and whilst parents do take full advantage of our kids clubs, with more than 170,000 children attending last year, there’s also been an uplift in family wellness activities, like mindfulness classes.”

To test the benefits of a ‘fly and flourish’ holiday, TUI BLUE ambassador, TV presenter Davina McCall embraced island life in The Maldives creating personal itineraries for some fellow guests.  She sent one couple snorkelling to discover the spectacular marine life of the Indian Ocean, joined a pair of sisters to learn how to prepare Maldivian delicacies in a cooking class and teamed up with an adult family for an exercise session over the Indian Ocean.


On her experience as holiday curator, said: “When I go on holiday, I love trying something new and challenging, as well as taking time to unwind. So, I was really pleased to go behind the scenes and make holiday dreams come true. Seeing the joy my mates got from the activities we recommended was even better than going along with them to sample some incredible experiences. And that’s saying something as I got to swim with turtles in the warm clear Indian Ocean, see dolphins up close, create and sample some sensational food and work out on a fitness platform suspended overwater.”

However, when we go home, over half of us (56%) admit to slipping back into more boring, sedentary routines and that our “best holidays selves” quickly disappear.  And although we start really unwinding less than 48 hours into our holidays, it takes just 3.7 days after our return for our positive holiday feelings start to fade away**.

Davina recommends a few easy ways to bring maintain your best self when you get back from holiday: “Holidays are so special because we get to unwind, relax, sometimes learn something new like a new dish and sometimes try a new type of exercise or just remember to take time out for yourself and really unwind. Sadly, somehow within five minutes of getting home we’ve forgotten all those feelings and on the second day I’m home I’m usually saying I could go on another holiday again! So I got to thinking how can I bring my holiday into my daily life? I tried to re-create the meal I learnt to make in my cooking class, and for me I think the most important thing that I try to remember is at least once a day, create a moment of peace for me. Because it feels like such a luxury, when I’m away because I don’t do it enough at home. But, the best thing to do, I think, is to just get booking the next holiday so you’ve got something to look forward to”.

Davina was a guest at the 5star TUI BLUE Olhuveli Romance Resort, South Male Atoll in The Maldives in November 2023.  TUI offers seven night holidays from £2606 per person on an all inclusive basis, based on two people sharing a beachfront villa with private pool and terrace, departing London Heathrow on March 21st.  Transfers and 25kg luggage per person included.

And has previously tested out ‘fly and flourish’ itineraries including aqua fit classes, paddleboarding and kayaking at The TUI BLUE Grand Azur in Turkey and The TUI BLUE Atlantic Aeneas Dreams in Cyprus.  TUI offers seven night stays at the 4.5star TUI BLUE Grand Azur in Marmaris from £727 per person on an all inclusive basis, based on two people sharing a double room with balcony, departing Manchester Airport on May 8th.  Transfers and 25kg luggage per person included.

TUI offers seven night stays at the 5 star TUI BLUE Atlantica Aeneas Resort in Nissi Beach, Cyprus from £952 per person on an all inclusive basis, based on two people sharing a double room with balcony, departing East Midlands Airport on May 1st.  Transfers and 25kg luggage per person included.

Find out more about all of these holidays at All prices correct at time of sending.

Fans can check out Davina’s Maldivian adventures on her Instagram and TikTok channels.