How Holidays Have Caught ‘The Ick’ from Dating

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Psychology expert explains how to navigate your way around Travel ‘Icks’ as 32.8 million Brits are afflicted

In the ever-evolving realm of modern dating, we’ve all heard about ‘The Ick’ – that inexplicable feeling when someone you’re seeing suddenly does something so trivial and inane, and all of a sudden you just can’t look at them the same way.

The number of people sharing their ‘Ick’ on TikTok has surged and continues to do so, with the hashtag #ick alone amassing over 4 billion views.

But here’s the twist – ‘The ‘Ick’ isn’t limited to the dating scene anymore. It has stealthily started to infiltrate our holiday experiences.

But what exactly is ‘The Ick’ in the context of travel?

A travel ‘Ick’ by definition, is a deep, visceral reaction to a travel scenario that is likely very normal to everyone else – but for some inexplicable reason causes you a sense of internal cringe.

Whilst normally small and insignificant moments to others, these travel experiences have the power to disturb our inner-holiday-peace.

However, as the old adage goes: ‘different strokes for different folks’ – travel ‘Icks’ are hugely personal things. What unsettles one traveller might be a personal highlight for another.

In fact, according to new research from holiday company First Choice, over 32.8 million Britons¹ [60%] have stumbled upon what they believe to be a travel ‘Ick’ in the past year, while a similar amount [63%] reaffirm that no one size fits all. One person’s ‘Ick’ can be another’s ‘pick’.

As a third of Brits are now starting to plan and think about booking a winter getaway [33%] – which rises to 57% of 16-24 year old’s – First Choice is hoping to help people unpack their own travel ‘Icks’, getting under the skin of what makes or breaks their ideal holiday, so they can pick the trip that’s right for them.

In a candid revelation of travel truths, the new study has unveiled the quirks, pet peeves, and ‘Icky’ anecdotes that many Brits have experienced while on holiday.

From printed itineraries to the eternal debate around footwear, the survey shines a light on the top 10 ‘Icks’ with their polar opposite ‘picky’ holiday:

1. Shot-gunning Sun Loungers
One of the most divisive holiday habits according to the study: reserving poolside sun loungers at the crack of dawn. Nearly a quarter [21%] of 25-34 year old’s find the morning ritual ruins their holiday lay-in peace, yet, over 8.3 million² Britons aged 16-24 see it as essential for securing prime seating.

2. Clapping When the Airplane Lands
Clapping when the plane lands divided travellers. While 5.9 million³ Britons find it fun and heart-warming, over 15.5 million⁴ say it’s “unnecessary and awkward”.

3. Sandy Dichotomy
Sand on holiday can either be a coveted pick or a dreaded ‘Ick’. Of those First Choice spoke to, over a third [36%] declared that the feeling of soft sand under foot is the “epitome of beach relaxation”. However, one in five [20%] 16-24 year olds’ voiced their exasperation about sand’s relentless intrusion into everything from snacks, bed sheets and the shower.

4. The Boardie’s v Budgies Conundrum
The choice between board shorts and budgie smugglers can be a real Holiday ‘Ick’ or ‘pick’ conundrum. Over 14.5 million⁵ people aged 16-24 prefer board shorts for their comfort and versatility. However, as a fashion favourite with sports fans and rugby players, a surprising 8.5 million⁶ of the same age demographic embrace the budgie smuggler for the tradition and camaraderie!

5. Children and Playtime by the Pool
Going on holiday is one of the most exciting times of the year, especially for kids who love playing in the pool – from calling out ‘cannonball!’ before bombing in or shouting for parents to watch their underwater handstand. The study from First Choice found that over a quarter [25%] of travellers love seeing kids having a blast by the pool, reminiscing about their own childhood holidays. Whereas over 9.7 million⁷ of 16-24 year old’s’ prefer the peace and quiet.

6. Accent Adventures
When it comes to holiday personas, 19% of 16-24 year old’s believe putting on an accent whilst speaking English abroad is a sign you’re trying to replicate the language (even if you know very few words). However, travellers rocking accents can be quite the holi-‘Ick’ for some – over 6.6 million⁸, in fact. Remember, wherever you travel, it’s about having fun and immersing yourself in the culture, accent or not.

7. Mixing and Matching at the Buffet
One in three women [30%] love to embrace the variety of cuisines available at the all inclusive buffet, proudly presenting a plate that blends different foods and flavours from around the world, in comparison to less than a quarter of men [24%]. Whereas almost one in five [18%] of travellers prefer to keep their courses separate and distinct, finding the idea of mixing and matching different cuisines at the holiday buffet a foodie faux pas.

8. Footwear Phobia or Fashionista
The Crocs vs. flip-flops debate is a travel ‘Ick’ or ‘pick’ dilemma. Where over a quarter [28%] of 16-24 year old’s favour flip-flops for their timeless look, one in five [20%] will “proudly” sport Crocs on the beach.

9. Namaste or Nightclubs
Holiday experiences can make or break a trip. Over a quarter of 25-34 year old’s [26%] say a wellbeing retreat is their “ultimate holiday pick”, whereas the nation’s 16-24 year old’s crave wild nights with glitter and margaritas more than any other age demographic.

10. Printed Itineraries – The Perils of Being Unprepared
In the digital age, over 8.1 million⁹ 25-34 year old travellers prefer to skip printouts, while almost half of those aged 55+ [46%] – the ‘Print Crusaders’ – prefer to carry printed documents to avoid digital disruptions.

First Choice is encouraging travellers to get under the skin of what makes or breaks their perfect holiday so they can get picky with their travel choices.

With a relaunched booking platform that offers close to 200 destinations in over 60 countries, accommodation types spanning hostels to 5* resorts and the ability to travel by plane or train (courtesy of new partner Byway), First Choice brings together all the travel choices you could want in a holiday, so you can pick the trip you really want.

Find out more at

The post How Holidays Have Caught ‘The Ick’ from Dating appeared first on Wellbeing Magazine.

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