New research has revealed that it takes two or more days for almost half (47%) of Brits to relax and unwind when they arrive on holiday.
This will be a familiar feeling for many people. Still being distracted by everyday life (39%), worrying about work they’ve left behind (30%), work they’ll be heading back to post-holiday (29%) and even pet separation anxiety (11%) were revealed as the top barriers to winding down in the early days of a holiday.
And with a staggering 69% of Brits saying that the prime reason for taking a break is to rest and relax, Hilton, which has over 7,000 hotels worldwide, has teamed up with psychologist and ASMR expert, Dr Giulia Poerio, to offer a solution.
‘Sounds of the Stay’ is a brand new ASMR track designed to help holidaymakers rest and relax and make the most out of their stay. Hilton researched what sounds transport travellers instantly into holiday mode, with gentle, crashing waves (41%), the hum of an aeroplane pre take-off (24%), the crunch of sand underfoot (24%) and a friendly greeting when arriving at their hotel (21%) coming in at the top of the list.
These sounds inspired the unique ASMR track which also includes other aural cues that people say transport them instantly to their favourite holiday place, such as the splash of that first dive into the pool (20%) and unzipping a suitcase (20%).
ASMR researcher, Dr Giulia Poerio, who advised on the track, commented, “The impact of everyday sounds on our levels of relaxation and wellbeing is something of increasing research interest, especially over the past few years. It makes sense then that sounds we commonly associate with holidays might help bring people closer to those sought after feelings of rest and relaxation even before people arrive at their getaway destinations. . Working with Hilton on this ASMR-inspired track has highlighted the techniques we might use to help mentally transport us in preparation for that well-deserved holiday respite, allowing us to unplug before fully switching off .”
Whilst many do struggle to switch off straight away, almost a third of travellers (30%) feel they’ve officially started their trip whilst travelling to their destination. Putting on an email ‘out of office’ notification (16%), finishing their packing (12%) and arriving at the hotel (9%) were also markers of a trip beginning. Hilton’s research suggests that listening to these tracks whilst achieving pre-holiday milestones could help holidaymakers get into the mood that bit earlier, too.
Patricia Page-Champion, senior vice president and global commercial director, Hilton commented, “Having spent most of my career in and around hotels, I’ve always loved the look on people’s faces when they walk through the door – the happy feeling of a holiday about to begin. A great stay offers the opportunity to pause, reflect and reconnect, and through this track we wanted to help people get that holiday feeling even before their holiday begins.”
The ‘Sounds of the Stay’ ASMR track has been produced at the optimal length, pitch and frequency scientifically proven to help people relax. The steady three-minute track features a wealth of soft, slow, repetitive noises – such as footsteps across crunchy sand and suitcase wheels rolling over marbled hotel floors – sounds which are ideal for helping listeners relax and unwind.
Realistic sounds, including the friendly hotel greeting upon arrival or the closeness of crisp hotel sheets when climbing into bed, help listeners to create a sense of immersion and allow them to fully absorb sensory experiences to simulate the location they’re listening to.
To encourage optimal relaxation, Dr. Poerio also recommends listening to the ASMR-inspired track whilst lying down, feeling the sun on your skin, and to help facilitate those holiday daydreams.
When on holiday, the activities that help Brits switch off include feeling the sun on their skin (48%), enjoying leisurely meal times (44%), spending the day by the sea (43%), being looked after by hotel staff (22%) and listening to music whilst relaxing (21%).
Research findings revealed that a digital detox could also be key in aiding relaxation as reading a book (37%), not setting an alarm (32%) and reducing social media usage (15%) also ranked highly in the list of ‘switching off’ activities.
Whilst it may take a few days for some Brits to settle into their holiday, the post-holiday ‘glow’ begins to fade after an average of 3.2 days, disappearing completely a week (7.4 days) after we return. However, Hilton’s findings reveal that looking back at holiday photos (36%), eating food from your holiday destination (23%) or finishing a holiday read (22%) could be the key to postponing the post-holiday blues. Listening to Hilton’s ‘Sounds of the Stay’ track is another way to extend the holiday feels too, as a fifth (21%) of Brits reveal listening to music that reminds them of their stay also helps.
Listen to the track on YouTube here.