Burnt-out Brits to splurge on annual leave this Christmas, taking time to reconnect

Christmas holidays
Anna Brech
by Anna Brech
22 October 2021

UK employees have built up a huge amount of unused annual leave this year, with most planning to spend it on an extended Christmas break – according to new data released by Virgin Red, the new rewards club from Virgin, this month.

The study of 2,000 people found that the nation’s working population has on average 13.5 days’ holiday allowance left to take by the end of the year. A third of workers polled are saving this annual leave to use between Christmas and New Year and nearly half plan to reconnect with friends and family following the fallout from Covid-19. 

The ongoing stress caused by the pandemic may be why 58% of respondents in the study want to use their remaining annual leave to recharge. Virgin Red has plenty of experience to help its members unwind, to luxury scented candles and one-night inn breaks: all available via Virgin Points. Equally, Virgin Red members can also earn points with a relaxing activity: be that a National Trust membership for long, rousing walks or beach time aplenty via flights to Barbados


Speaking of which – with travel restrictions easing, the study also found that wanderlust is high on the agenda for holiday-minded Brits. Nearly half (42%) plan to use their leftover annual leave on local and European breaks, while a quarter will use it to break up the months and have longer weekends between now and the end of the year.

It comes as Virgin Trains Ticketing reports a 20% surge in bookings this autumn – as members take advantage of earning Virgin Points on their train travel within the UK. 

The trend, along with the study findings, means that Virgin Red is forecasting a seasonal surge of short local trips and experiences this Christmas, with Brits carving out space for long overdue quality time together. Again Virgin Red can help the dream happen here, with points to earn on everything from Booking.com accommodation to Virgin Atlantic flights.


“Taking a break has never been more important – it’s a time to recharge and step away from the pressures of everyday life. And with so many days of leave left to use this year, people need to get planning!” says Virgin Red spokesperson Charlotte Sjoberg, responding to the survey. 

“Whether that’s a short staycation, a cheeky weekend getaway, a foreign trip next year, or using the train to travel the UK, Virgin Red members can earn Virgin Points. And, they can spend the points with Virgin Wines too if the family is coming over for a much needed reunion.”

So, whatever your plans for a break, make it an extra-long one this Christmas. And don’t forget Virgin Red can help you celebrate in style, with super-easy ways to earn points and rewards of all shapes and sizes. We’ll cheer to that.

Become a Virgin Red member here, or download the Virgin Red app on your smartphone.