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By Neil Shaw

New research has revealed holidays are not just for relaxing, but also for making new friends, with people making valuable connections for life while abroad. In fact, almost two thirds of people polled said they have stayed in touch with a holiday pal once returning home. More than 1 in 10 are still best friends to this day.

The poll by Princess Cruises found that meeting new people ranks almost as highly as relaxing, sightseeing and sampling new foods, when it comes to top holiday activities. It also showed that people across the UK make an average of four new friends on every holiday they go on, with these just as likely to be made on a domestic holiday as well as an international trip.

The best place to make friends on holiday is at the bar, on a tour, sitting by the pool or while doing group activities, but when it comes to the kinds of people we’re meeting, over half of us make friends with fellow tourists and 2 in 5 said they also like to get to know the hotel or restaurant staff. And the best trips to meet new people? Beach holidays, group tours and cruises all rank highly for those questioned.

And while meeting everyday tourists is great, there are, of course, a few big names people would love to travel with, with Michael Palin ranked the top companion to go on a cruise with.

Top Celebrity Cruising Companions:

  1. Michael Palin
  2. Joanna Lumley
  3. Jane McDonald
  4. Graham Norton
  5. Kate Middleton
  6. George Clooney
  7. Dara O’Briain
  8. Adele
  9. Meryl Streep
  10. Harrison Ford

It seems that Brits love to get their holiday plans in the diary with plenty of notice and it’s cruises which are booked the most in advance according to the research – 25 weeks on average to be exact. On the other hand, city breaks tend to be the most last minute and booked around 12 weeks ahead of time.

When it comes to sharing their amazing experiences, around half (45%) of 18–34-year-olds post social media updates at least once a day while on holiday – a figure that declines with age according to the research. The most popular kind of content shared is of tourist attractions (46%), followed by photos with family (40%) and even pictures of friends made on holiday (17%). Two fifths (41%) of holidaymakers prefer to post their snaps on Facebook, with Instagram a popular alternative for 15% of Brits.

And being able to connect with the outside world is important – over a tenth (11%) of people find poor internet connection to be the most stressful part of the holiday because of its impact on their ability to contact people (23%) or look up directions (13%).

We all know Brits love a good cuppa, and they want to make sure this is available whether they are at home or away, with over a third (35%) admitting to packing their own teabags whenever they go on holiday.1 in 5 bring instant coffee from home and 1 in 10 even bring their own kettle.

And it’s not just our own hot drinks we want - 15% bring their own biscuits and 5% even insist on bringing ketchup from home!

Suzanne Korff, Princess Cruises’ Marketing Director said: “Holidays and connection go hand in hand. Whether it’s with your own family and friends, other holidaymakers or even staff, connection is what makes a holiday special. On a Princess cruise, we go the extra mile to make our guests feel connected to loved ones and new friends with unique experiences from dinner for two on your own private balcony, to group meetups with fellow like minded guests."

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Dive Deeper:
Loch Ness and Isle of Skye named among 'dream' UK camping places
A poll quizzed 2,000 adventure-loving campers on where they want to reconnect with nature.
Spain travel warning for Brits as party-goers hit with £85,000 fines
The Foreign Office has updated its Spain travel advice after partying Brits in Majorca and Ibiza have been hit by…
Brits warned as Brexit rule means you can't take popular snacks into Spain
The Foreign Office travel advice for Spain warns holidaymakers of EU rules which mean you won't be able to take…
Spain warning to British travellers as £85,000 fines being handed out by police
The British Embassy in Spain issued a warning to holidaymakers travelling to holiday islands
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Sandals Bahamas resort where 3 guests found dead branded 'disgusting' by visitors
Previous holidaymakers have spoken about their recent experiences at the luxury Sandals Bahamas resort after three mystery deaths were reported…
Loch Ness and Sherwood Forest named among 'dream' camping places - see full list
A poll quizzed 2,000 adventure-loving campers on where they want to reconnect with nature, with Durdle Door in Dorset and…
Get all your news in one place