JET2 holidays reveals NI holidaymakers go into ‘hibernation’ as winter sets in!

JET2 holidays reveals NI holidaymakers go into ‘hibernation’ as winter sets in!

  • Over 50% of NI people admit to ‘hibernating’ during the winter
  • Happiness expertMiriam Akhtar says Brits should avoid ‘FOGO’ – Fear of Going Out
  • 74% agree that holidays could help revitalise them from the winter blues
  • Jet2holidays competition offers the chance to win six holidays by taking part in a quiz

New research commissioned by the UK’s second largest tour operator, Jet2holidays has revealed that more than half (51%) of us admit to going into ‘hibernation’ as the days draw in, the nights get longer and temperatures fall with rain, wind and even snow making the warmth of the summer sun no more than a distant memory.

As we start to cocoon ourselves, research by Jet2holidays highlights that almost one in five (19%) say they spend less time with family and friends during the colder months while 32% admit they make fewer plans for the weekend. When winter comes around, Northern Irish people will even ditch going out for meals and drinks (25%), put off exercising (23%) and visit the shops less (36%) as our spirits plummet. 

Humans aren’t built for hibernation, yet 45% say that the dark nights and shorter days make them sleepier while 29% are bedeviled by the winter blues, and 75% blame the cold and wet weather for their dormant state. Furthermore, 17% admitted that they are more likely to “pull a sickie” at work during the winter than the summer.

So, how do people in Northern Ireland fight this feeling amid the cold, dull and grey conditions? Well, 74% believe that taking a winter holiday is the best way to revitalise and energise themselves.

Miriam Akhtar, Psychologist and Happiness expert, comments: “As the days become shorter, our sleep and waking cycles become disrupted. The lack of sunlight produces more melatonin, the hormone which makes you sleepy – that coupled with the fact that the cold and dreary weather makes us more lethargic, leaves us desperately trying to conserve our energy levels.

“Getting out and travelling in the winter period is great for our well-being – rather than ‘hibernating’ we should be getting out there, being active and spending time with loved ones, but this research shows that some people may be experiencing FOGO, aka Fear of Going Out.”

Miriam’s Top Tips for Combating Winter Blues:

  • Stimulate your mind – stay mentally active, rather than turning into a couch potato. Do a puzzle, take up a new hobby and get into travel to broaden your mind and feed your wellbeing.
  • Go for regular exercise – it doesn’t have to be a HIIT class, just a little light exercise everyday will do the trick. Or get into winter sports like skiing or ice-skating. Winter is a great time to experiment with new activities. The thrill of the new is good for the soul and releases dopamine – one of the feel-good neurochemicals. 
  • Take a winter break – travel not only gives you a break from work and the everyday routine, it gives you something to get through the colder months, releasing happy hormones and building positive emotions like optimism and hope.
  • “Bien dans sa peau” means “to feel good in your skin” – the French were really onto something when they coined the term. Exposure to sunlight increases the release of serotonin, another one of the happy hormones which helps boost the mood, so try to go outside in daylight or sit near a window with bright light, where possible.

The research has been commissioned as part of Jet2holidays Winter Your Way competition, which invites people to complete a personality quiz to find out which type of winter getaway suits them best and be automatically entered into a prize draw to win one of six holidays matched with each of the themes. Plus, one lucky winner will receive the ultimate Winter Your Way package, which includes six amazing getaways. Upon entering the competition, people will also receive a discount code for Winter holidays booked within a certain period.

Zoe Towers, Head of Product at Jet2holidays, said: “We commissioned this survey to celebrate the launch of our Winter Your Way campaign, as well as see how the onset of winter impacts the nations’ mood and the different types of holidays we like to take during the cooler months.

“As the UK’s second largest tour operator, we offer fantastic choice and flexibility when it comes to winter holidays, whether you like winter sun, prefer to beat the summer crowds, get into the festive spirit, visit one of the top cities in the world, hit the ski slopes or tick something off your bucket list. Our competition offers people the chance to take a winter holiday matched with their personality and we hope it goes someway to helping beat the winter blues!”

To enter the competition, just visit The deadline for entering is 31st October 2019.