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Research finds holiday time more valued than pay rise

People value holidays over money, despite the rejuvenating effects lasting only 11 days in the UK, a new study has revealed. 

A study has found workers value time off more than pay rises. Picture: Pan Xiaozhen
A study has found workers value time off more than pay rises. Picture: Pan Xiaozhen

The Four Seasons research – conducted with adults from the US, UK and China – found more than half of Millennials, Generation X, and Baby Boomers would opt for more time off work rather than a higher salary.


Only Generation Z bucked the trend, with 62% of those in their teens and early twenties opting for a raise over holiday time.


Four Seasons attributed this outlier result to a thirst for financial independence in young people.


However, all respondents craved meaningful and fulfilling experiences, and around half of participants reported feeling better at work after time off – including 51% who were more motivated, 46% who were more optimistic, and 42% who were more patient.


In the UK specifically, 45% of people who returned from holiday with a new perspective said they appreciated their loved ones better and 38% said they managed stress more easily.

However, these benefits reportedly only lasted for 11 days on average in the UK, the shortest amount of time compared to the US and China.


The study also found nearly 95% of respondents agreed they are most likely to step outside their comfort zone on a holiday and more than a third of travellers did something unexpected while away, like trying a new sport.


The most popular takeaway is cooking or eating new foods, which stands at 56% across age groups and regions.


“As we continue to innovate the Four Seasons guest experience, our global market research provides insight into how travellers prioritise and value time, both generationally and across regions,” said Christian Clerc, Four Seasons’ president of global operations.


“Today’s travellers are seeking purpose through authentic experiences, and returning home with a different understanding of the world around them.”

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