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Press_office

Here you can find latest press releases, contact details for journalists and information about lastminute.com.

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The following press contact is for journalists. If you are not a member of the press but need to contact lastminute.com please click here where you will find the right contact details for your request (please note that the press office team are a nice bunch of people, but they simply can’t help with booking inquiries or questions regarding bookings).

Journalists please contact: communications_team(at)lastminute.com


About lastminute.com

About lastminute.com

We’re champions of last minute travel and leisure. Giving people five-star experiences at three-star price tags is what lastminute.com lives for. We’ve been doing it since 1998 and we reckon we’re the best at it. When we asked independent researchers to ask people which European brand they associated with ‘last minute’ travel and leisure, 94 per cent of them mentioned us. To us, that makes us Number One. Hotels, spa days, city breaks, meals out, theatre tickets… we provide customers with great last minute deals which enable and inspire spontaneity.

last minute insights in one minute
  • 56% of Brits say the best decisions they had ever made were spontaneous*
  • Six million Brits use mobiles to book getaway breaks on the day**
  • One in five (19%) super-spontaneous Brits book mobile on the same day for that very night**
  • At lastminute.com, more and more customers book hotels between 6pm and midnight for stays that very night, taking last minute living to a whole new level.
  • 17 million Brits are spontaneous – that’s one third of the nation***
  • Spontaneous breaks recharge work batteries: going away could almost double how productive we are at work when we get back***
  • Brits book more than 50% of short breaks at the last minute – and 30% want to do more of these***
  • Brits think about just quickly getting away spontaneously almost five times per week****
  • Almost a third of Brits (32%) say they totally rely on their gut feeling when making a decision*
  • 44% of Brits have booked a holiday or break completely on a whim*

* OnePoll survey commissioned by lastminute.com, with 2,000 adults in July 2014

** OnePoll survey commissioned by lastminute.com, with 2,000 adults in April 2014

*** OnePoll survey commissioned by lastminute.com, with 2,200 adults in September 2013

**** Yougov survey commissioned by lastminute.com, with 2,200 adults in April 2013

The top 10 most common decisions made on a whim by Brits
  1. Booked a holiday / break
  2. Bought a television or big gadget
  3. Dyed my hair
  4. Went out one night which turned out to be the most amazing night ever
  5. Quit my job
  6. Started a whole new hobby / passion
  7. Just packed the bags and went to a place I always wanted to go to
  8. Asked someone out on a date
  9. Got a tattoo
  10. Been unfaithful

* OnePoll survey commissioned by lastminute.com, with 2,000 British adults in July 2014

Need a bed tonight?

Smartphones are making the nation more spontaneous, according to lastminute.com research. Six million Brits[1] are using their mobiles to book getaway breaks on the day and over half (59%)[2] are booking getaway breaks in the same week they depart.

lastminute.com’s hotel app allows customers to book a hotel wherever they are – available for free on the App Store and on Android. The new lastminute.com app finds hotels nearby at the best prices – everything one would expect from the champion of last minute travel and leisure.

Key features of the lastminute.com hotel app:

Find hotels fast

  • Search by date with the calendar feature
  • Search by location – find hotels using GPS

Get the very best last minute deals

  • Get the very best deals on a range of hotels – from crash pads to four and five star hotels
  • Includes lastminute.com’s range of Top Secret® Hotels with savings of up to 35% off
  • Price Match Guarantee – find a better deal on any other UK website and lastminute.com will refund the difference

Choose the right hotel that suits your needs

  • Sort by the categories most important – price, distance
  • Estimated walking distance provided
  • See photos and a description of hotels (or clues for Top Secret® Hotels)
  • See if breakfast is included and what other facilities are provided – Wi-Fi, parking etc.

[1] 19% of population aged 25 – 39 according to  data

[2] OnePoll survey commissioned by lastminute.com, with 2,000 Brfitish adults in April 2014.

PRESS RELEASE 22/07/2014: On the Beach... with the Boss

ON THE BEACH… WITH THE BOSS

  • 68% of Brits have been contacted by work when on holiday
  • Scientific study reveals stress levels of being contacted by work when off
  • Being asked how to turn a computer on and where the air con unit is among reasons for being disturbed
  • Single work phone call when away more stressful than a bungee jump
  • lastminute.com to petition UK government to prevent workers from being contacted whilst on holiday

 London, 22 August 2014. Finally on the beach, sand between the toes, basking in the sun. Paradise. Until the phone rings. Surprise. It’s a colleague. Being contacted by work while away is something that happened to a vast majority of Brits (68 percent). But receiving just one such work related phone call or email while on holiday is more stressful than doing a bungee jump, according to a new study released today by lastminute.com, a champion of last minute travel and leisure.

The study – a combination of lab research and representative surveys with 6,500 Europeans, 2,000 of them in the UK – was commissioned by lastminute.com in order to explore the impact of not switching off when off. It was carried out in conjunction with the acclaimed neuro-psychologist Dr David Lewis. By measuring the human body’s response to stress triggers in a laboratory environment, the results scientifically prove for the first time the extraordinary levels of stress that are felt by Brits receiving work phone calls, voicemails, emails and text messages when they actually should relax during their well-deserved breaks.

”Hope you have a great holiday… uhm, just a quick question, where again is this document?”

With over 30 million[1] Brits expected to have their summer holidays interrupted because they’re being contacted by their boss (which happened to 45 percent), colleagues (42 percent), somebody else from work (13 percent) or their employees (5 percent) – on average this results in two hours on average spent with work during a one week break. The causes of interruptions were routinely deemed as completely unimportant by three in five holidaymakers. And this is no surprise looking at the list of reasons for a ‘pool call’: Being asked where a document was saved (22 percent) or for computer log in details (15 percent) were among the most common reasons. How to turn a computer on, checking how to file expenses or whether an invoice has been processed (each 7 percent), how regularly the office plants needed watering and where the air conditioning unit was located were also cited as reasons. 5 per cent revealed they were called to be asked when they were coming back to the office. And one in ten (10 percent) were even begged to work on something.

According to the lastminute.com research the holiday disrupter’s most common method to reach out to vacationers is a phone call, closely followed by text messages and emails. Instant messenger services like WhatsApp were also revealed as increasingly common ways to be contacted. 11 per cent said they had been FaceTimed or contacted over Skype – bringing work visually to the beach.

A colleague getting in touch is as stressful as a traffic jam

The lastminute.com lab research, conducted by psychologists, brought to light that receiving a single phone call, email or text message from a work colleague whilst lying on a beach generated a greater level of stress than getting into a verbal fight with a loved one, being stood up on date or being stuck in a traffic jam. Stress levels were only narrowly surpassed by the experience of lost luggage, ranked the highest of all the scenarios measured.

The study revealed that it took Brits more than 4 hours to wind down and get back into holiday mode after being interrupted. For more than one in five (20 percent) it wiped out an entire day or even more of their holiday while 2/3 (66 percent) couldn’t switch off for up to 12 hours.

Commenting on the results Dr David Lewis says: “By assessing responses in our nervous systems such as subtle skin moisture levels as well as heart rates we are able to scientifically measure stress. Despite it being a situation that all too many of us have experienced in the past, there is no denying the effect even just a quick text message from the boss can have when we are on holiday. It may not seem like a big deal to the sender but to the recipient the results are dramatic and significantly compounded by being in the relaxed state of mind induced by a good holiday.”

Mid-morning and mid-afternoon – the times the phones buzz on the beach

Those thinking of going into a career in retail, finance and marketing might want to think again, with people from these sectors identified as most likely to have their holiday time interrupted. They were closely followed by people working in IT, law and sales.

Over a quarter (27 percent) stated that they have answered work calls because they feel obliged to, only slightly fewer (23 percent) because they feel responsible even when away, while over one in ten (14 percent) did it to prove they were committed and almost as many (8 percent) admit to simply being workaholics.

If the profession can’t be changed anymore, it’s not too late to enjoy relaxed holidays – there is a last minute solution: Anyone wishing to avoid a disturbance is being advised to turn their phones off between mid-morning and mid-afternoon – revealed as the most likely time to get an office interruption. Laptops and tablets are also advised as being avoided after being cited as common technology devices holiday makers are getting reached on.

Commenting on the research, Matthew Crummack, CEO of lastminute.com, says:  “We might leave our phones on but that doesn’t mean we aren’t trying to switch off and all too often bosses and colleagues are taking advantage of that by interrupting our hard earned holidays. We’re calling on people all across the UK to take a stance by supporting our campaign and ensuring that switching off really does mean just that. It will certainly be cheaper and less stressful than throwing your phone in the pool – one of the more extreme measures some Brits have taken to avoid being interrupted on holiday.”

In response to the study, lastminute.com is campaigning for a motion to be brought into parliament, preventing Brits from being contacted by work whilst on holiday. Called “bosses back off” it is hoped the campaign will generate enough online signatures in the UK to lobby the government to help people switch off again in the future.

Matthew Crummack added: “Mobile technologies help us to be connected constantly and this really changes how we plan our leisure time – in fact, at lastminute.com across Europe this summer we’ve seen 44 percent of our visitors using smartphones and tablets when looking for their holiday. But we not only want to help our customers find great holiday deals at the last minute, we also want to help them make the most of this valuable time. That’s why we believe Brits, once away, should use their phones for fun, not for work so colleagues or the boss can’t reach out to them for petty matters.”

 

Brits wishing to show their support can do so by signing the petition to government here

 

Stressful situations in descending order

1. Boss calling on holiday

2. Bungee jump

3. Fight with partner

4. Car breaking down

5. Stuck in a traffic jam

 

Top 10 reasons why Brits where contacted by work when away on holiday

1. To ask where a document was saved/ if I could send it through (22 percent)

2. To ask for some log in details (15 percent)

3. To ask about the status of a project (13 percent)

4. To ask if I could work on something (10 percent)

5. To share work updates with me (10 percent)

6. To ask if I would be able to attend a meeting when I’m back (8 percent)

7. To ask something about my handover (8 percent)

8. To ask if I could read over a document (7 percent)

9. To ask whether an invoice has been processed (7 percent)

10. To ask how to turn your computer on (7 percent)

-ENDS -

 

About the research:

2,000 British working adults were polled from 7 August 2014 to 11 August 2014.

 MindLab experimental work was carried out on 4 August and 5 August with 16 participants with an average age of 36.

 

For further information and assets, please contact the lastminute.com press office:

e: Communications_team@lastminute.com

About lastminute.com

We’re champions of last minute travel and leisure. Giving people five-star experiences at three-star price tags is what lastminute.com lives for. We’ve been doing it since 1998 and we reckon we’re the best at it. When we asked independent researchers to ask people which European brand they associated with ‘last minute’ travel and leisure, 93 per cent of them mentioned us. To us, that makes us Number One. Hotels, spa days, city breaks, meals out, theatre tickets…we provide customers with great last minute deals which enable and inspire spontaneity. Headquartered in Farringdon, London, lastminute.com also operates in Ireland, France, Germany, Italy and Spain.


[1] Of the 64.1 million Brits 70% will go on holiday (source: http://www.tnsglobal.com/sites/default/files/TNS_HolidayAttitudes2013.pdf), and according to the lastminute.com research of those who go on holiday 68% are contacted by their work, that’s 30,511,600 who are being contacted.

PRESS RELEASE 14/07/14 lastminute.com lifts the curtain on the most hilarious anecdotes from London’s theatre scene

Canoodling, musical loving parrots and pink ghosts banging doors: lastminute.com lifts the curtain on the most hilarious anecdotes from London’s theatre scene

London, 14th August 2014: Locked out actors, a cat on stage and marriage proposals galore are revealed today as just some of the more curious incidences taking place in London’s West End theatre world.

As over 14 million[1] people flock to the capital’s theatres every year, lastminute.com, a champion of last minute travel and leisure, took a peek behind the scenes and asked London theatre people for their best behind the scenes anecdotes. It coincides with lastminute.com’s  London Theatre Fortnight, which sees thousands of discounted tickets available to over 20 West End shows including Evita, Billy Elliot and Stomp from 18th August to 1st September.

In a case of curtains up or curtains down, catching couples getting frisky in the boxes was identified as a common occurrence by theatre staff. Other behaviours less likely to get theatre goers prematurely evicted included regular marriage proposals taking place in the stalls, while in a more bizarre incident, theatre staff admitted to having to de-hypnotise an audience member a full two days after a hypnosis show.

With pink lady ghosts floating around and banging doors, ghost hunters seeking out the supernatural after the theatre was featured by a magazine as a gateway to another world and people trying to buy tickets for their musical loving bird to join the family on the night out, it seems some of the best stories take place behind the scenes.

Adam Stott-Everett, Head of Lifestyle Trading at lastminute.com says: “The anecdotes our theatre partners shared with us show just how amazing the London theatre world is – on and off the stage. With so many people visiting London’s West End every single night, it’s no surprise that a few people start acting up. But when it comes to pets, it literally is a curious incident of the dog in the night-time!”

And out of the ordinary behaviour isn’t just limited to members of the audience, with actors insisting on someone washing their feet before every performance, Starlight Express stars falling off stage and skating out by the wrong stage door finding themselves out on the street in full costumer are among the confessions.  One member of staff admitted to flooding an entire theatre after leaving the tap on over the weekend nearly leading to the cancellation of the opening night. And in other news, some theatre folks admitted to regularly wearing items of audience lost property including rhinestone cat’s eye glasses, but probably not the false teeth often found!

lastminute.com’s London Theatre Fortnight kicks off from Monday 18th August to 1st September. It sees cut price tickets discounted to up to 50% across over 20 of the top West End Shows. Tickets are available in 3 prices brackets: £15, £25 and £35. For more information visit www.lastminute.com

TOP TEN MOST CURIOUS OCCURENCES FROM THE LONDON THEATRE WORLD

1. Actors insisting on someone washing their feet before every performance

2. Chasing out supernatural enthusiasts ghost hunting in the theatre

3. Misty, the theatre cat, hitting the stage mid performance

4. Actors going to the loo during the show, with the microphone on

5. An actor leaving by the wrong exit door, finding himself locked out on the street in full costume

6. False teeth left behind

7. Catching lascivious couples in theatre boxes

8. Having to de-hypnotise audience members two days after a hypnosis show

9. Trying to get in with a musical loving parrot

10. The Pink Lady floating around the theatre, banging doors (captured on CCTV!)

Ends –

For further information and assets, please contact the lastminute.com press office:

e: Communications_team@lastminute.com

 

About lastminute.com

We’re champions of last minute travel and leisure. Giving people five-star experiences at three-star price tags is what lastminute.com lives for. We’ve been doing it since 1998 and we reckon we’re the best at it. When we asked independent researchers to ask people which European brand they associated with ‘last minute’ travel and leisure, 94 per cent of them mentioned us. To us, that makes us Number One. Hotels, spa days, city breaks, meals out, theatre tickets…we provide customers with great last minute deals which enable and inspire spontaneity. Headquartered in Farringdon, London, lastminute.com also operates in Ireland, France, Germany, Italy and Spain.


[1] According to the Society of London Theatre 2013 Box Office figures, 14,587,276 attendances were reported in 2013

PRESS RELEASE 31/7/2014: Awkward holiday encounters – ‘Hola-Days’

Awkward holiday encounters – ‘Hola-Days’

London, 31st July 2014: Despite trying to get away from it all on holiday this summer, the majority of Brits will bump into someone they know, with almost three in four (73%) confirming a surprising holiday encounter has happened to them in the past.

Spotting your boss in the middle of a game reserve, seeing a friend from school on the karaoke machine, cosying up to someone in a sauna that turned out to be an old friend or coming face to face with your husband’s ex-wife were just some of the incidences reported by Brits.

Colleagues (28%) and long lost friends (33%) were among the most likely targets, although there’s a good chance it will be a next door neighbour (14%) or old school friends (28%), according to a study carried out by lastminute.com, a champion of last minute travel and leisure.

Ex-lovers and secret lovers (each 2%), the boss (5%) and relatives (9%) were also on the list of the Brits’ surprising holiday encounters.

Almost one in five (19%) met someone they knew on the beach, whilst nearly a quarter (21%) revealed they have had a surprise encounter with a mate in a pub while abroad. Hotels (16%), airports (15%) and sightseeing experiences (27%) were also identified as popular meeting spots.

Those who want to dodge awkward holiday encounters should avoid certain travel destinations: Spain (37%), France (11%), the USA (10%), Greece (9%) and Portugal (7%) are the most likely places abroad where Brits may see a familiar face over the summer holidays.

But the study showed that it’s not just limited to the most popular holiday destinations, walking along the beach in Fiji, picking up baggage in Los Angeles airport and having a drink in a bar in the Australian outback  were also locations where Brits met someone they know. Other long haul holiday destinations included USA and Thailand.

Psychologist Dr Ben Voyer:  “We often believe that we have choices when it comes to holiday destinations, but the people we spend time around unconsciously shape our preferences – a phenomenon psychologists call social influence. We thus tend to form holiday preferences based on the people we like, the ones we are close to, and the ones we would like to resemble. From bankers in the City, to advertising managers in Shoreditch, every professional group tend to have its own stereotypical holiday destination, from the bling-bling holiday spot like St Tropez, to the more bohemian one. People love to self-stereotype, so it is not uncommon to find that they end up choosing a holiday destination that corresponds to the typical destination from their industry or work place.”

When questioned a third of us admit (36%) to ‘checking in’ on social media at our hotel and almost as many (35%) of us post pictures of ourselves when away for all to see. Over one in ten Brits have realised they are on holiday with someone they know through the social media updates that have been shared from the sun lounger.

Dr Ben Voyer: “Social media has made us more aware of the fact that our holiday destinations have much in common with the people we spend time with. This can also be explained by the fact that our social circles are not as big as we might think – it is estimated to be around 150 people. Given that we are, on average, 6 connections away from any complete stranger on earth, it makes sense that we would easily bump into people that we are directly connected to.”

Despite over half admitting to finding out that we are holidaying at the exact same spot as someone we know, just under two in five (38%) of us actually met up when away or staying in touch when we get back. And some people actively avoid someone after spotting them on holiday, with almost a quarter (23%) of people going out of their way to not meeting them. Deliberately hiding, changing restaurants, relocating to another beach and getting an early flight home were cited as some of the extreme measures Brits go to, to avoid seeing someone they know while on holiday.

Top 10 spots abroad where Brits bumped into someone they knew while on holiday

  1. Spain (37%)
  2. France (11%)
  3. USA (10%)
  4. Greece (9%)
  5. Portugal (7%)
  6. Turkey (5%)
  7. Italy (4%)
  8. Germany (4%)
  9. Egypt (3%)
  10. Australia (3%)

ENDS

Notes to editors

About the survey

The survey was carried out on behalf of lastminute.com by OnePoll. All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from this survey. Total sample size was 2,000 adults in the UK. Fieldwork was undertaken in July 2014. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all adults in their respective country (aged 18+).

For further information and assets, please contact the lastminute.com press office:

e: Communications_team@lastminute.com

 

About lastminute.com

We’re champions of last minute travel and leisure. Giving people five-star experiences at three-star price tags is what lastminute.com lives for. We’ve been doing it since 1998 and we reckon we’re the best at it. When we asked independent researchers to ask people which European brand they associated with ‘last minute’ travel and leisure, 94 per cent of them mentioned us. To us, that makes us Number One. Hotels, spa days, city breaks, meals out, theatre tickets…we provide customers with great last minute deals which enable and inspire spontaneity. Headquartered in Farringdon, London, lastminute.com also operates in Ireland, France, Germany, Italy and Spain.

PRESS RELEASE 15/7/2014: Daring to date and demanding more pay: lastminute.com reveals the things brits most do on a whim

DARING TO DATE AND DEMANDING MORE PAY:

LASTMINUTE.COM REVEALS THE THINGS BRITS MOST DO ON A WHIM

  • Go with the gut – research reveals Brits make their best decisions spontaneously  
  • Wild away – 60% of us throw caution to the wind when we are abroad
  • It’s the guys over the girls when it comes to love on a whim
  • Brits are four times more spontaneous in the summer months

London, 15th July, 2014: Quitting a job, asking the future love of your life on a date and getting a tattoo are among the things Brits are most likely to do when they act on a whim, it emerged yesterday.

It comes as a study of 2,000 people looked at how spontaneous the average person is and found over half (56%) said the best decisions they had ever made were done without thinking too much.

Booking a last minute getaway (36%), splashing the cash on an expensive gadget (26%) or dancing the night away on an impromptu night out (20%) were all revealed as common decisions made by Brits when they throw caution to the wind in the research commissioned by lastminute.com.

Belting out a classic karaoke tune (11%) or asking for a pay rise (9%) also appeared on the list of decisions Brits have done without dwelling on the pros and cons.

Yesterday Matthew Crummack, CEO for lastminute.com, which commissioned the research, said: ‘’It’s amazing to see how unconstrained Brits can be when doing or deciding on things that significantly impact their lifestyle  – like asking for a pay rise or getting hitched. Breaking away from the normal behaviours clearly has its benefits with results showing many of the decisions people are most proud of came about because they trusted an instinct and just went for it. In fact nearly 1/3 (32 %) of Brits said they always preferred to go on gut instinct when making a decision.”

And research revealed that when it comes to love it’s the guys that are more inclined to act on a whim than the girls, with 15% of men saying they would ask someone out on a date on the spot, compared to just 9% of women. And nearly one in ten (8 %) revealed they had proposed to their current partner in the spur of the moment, compared to just 3% of women.

The study also found that Brits are more likely to throw caution to the wind when on holiday, with three in ten (30%) respondents revealing they acted more spontaneously when away from home.  In fact six in ten feel far wilder on holiday – mainly because of a feeling of ‘being free’ of everyday commitments and the day to day worries at home.

Warm weather was also cited as inspiring our decision making processes, with Brits at least four times more likely to be spontaneous in June, July or August than in the colder months. It is mirrored by analysis of lastminute.com data, which reveals that bookings for departures on the same day are on the rise this summer.

But it’s not just the weather that can lead us to live a bit predictably – 45 per cent of those in relationships said their partner was never spontaneous. In fact, a third of couples said they were completely set in their ways and never do anything fun or adventurous at short notice.

The lastminute.com spokesman added: ‘’Whether we consider ourselves as spontaneous or have a habit of doing things on a whim clearly divides people.  Some of the spontaneous decisions in the list are more extreme than others but what’s important is trusting your gut and embracing different things or ways of thinking which can lead to good things. Many people said thinking this way led them to some of the best decisions they’ve ever made.”

The top 10 most common decisions made on a whim by Brits are:

  1. Booked a holiday / break
  2. Bought a television or big gadget
  3. Dyed my hair
  4. Went out one night which turned out to be the most amazing night ever
  5. Quit my job
  6. Started a whole new hobby / passion
  7. Just packed the bags and went to a place I always wanted to go to
  8. Asked someone out on a date
  9. Got a tattoo
  10. Been unfaithful

 -ENDS -

2000 British adults were polled from 30th June 2014 to 2nd July 2014.

For further information and assets, please contact the lastminute.com press office:

e: Communications_team@lastminute.com

 

About lastminute.com

We’re champions of last minute travel and leisure. Giving people five-star experiences at three-star price tags is what lastminute.com lives for. We’ve been doing it since 1998 and we reckon we’re the best at it. When we asked independent researchers to ask people which European brand they associated with ‘last minute’ travel and leisure, 94 per cent of them mentioned us. To us, that makes us Number One. Hotels, spa days, city breaks, meals out, theatre tickets…we provide customers with great last minute deals which enable and inspire spontaneity. Headquartered in Farringdon, London, lastminute.com also operates in Ireland, France, Germany, Italy and Spain.

PRESS RELEASE 16/6/2014: Frisky business - ditching the diary boosts sex by 33%

Frisky business: ditching the diary boosts sex by 33%

‘PLANNED SPONTANEITY’ IS THE KEY TO AVOIDING SUMMER BREAKUPS ACCORDING TO FINDINGS FROM COUPLES STUDY[1] BY PSYCHOLOGIST JO HEMMINGS AND LASTMINUTE.COM

  1. Spontaneous gestures of love boosts sex by 33%[2]
  2. Seizing the moment romantically makes you 20% happier overall –a full day-and-a-half per week[3]
  3. Men are more impulsive than women and when allowed to take control, women feel more loved

LONDON, 16th June 2014: TODAY, an in-depth psychological study by Jo Hemmings and lastminute.com has revealed that ditching the routine and introducing regular ‘planned spontaneity’ boosts sexual activity, increases happiness by a full day and a half per week and helps relationships stay out of the ‘dating danger zone’ – the months of June and July, when Facebook sees the most relationships statuses break down[4].

The study, which tested the effect that swapping predictability for spontaneity had on 30 British couples, found that unexpected gestures of love led to twice as much intimacy[5] such as kissing and cuddling and a 33% increase in bedroom action, with the number of couples having sex on a daily basis quadrupling and the number not having sex at all reducing by half[6].

Each couple was analysed throughout their usual daily routines and again during a controlled week specially devised by Jo Hemmings to include specific unplanned activities and impromptu gestures of love. According to the findings, it’s not only ‘bedroom bustle’ that benefits from a life less linear; injecting more impulsive behaviour into one’s usual lifestyle increases confidence and communication within a relationship[7], directly impacting on happiness levels and boosting them by 20%.

Supporting the cliché that modern wives and girlfriends wear the trousers in relationships, women were found to not only be the driving force behind most plans[8], but thriving in this role, with anxiety levels dropping by a fifth when in ‘organiser mode’ (20%). In contrast, men’s stress levels increase by a fifth (21%) if they have to do the planning.

Being impulsive, however, can be both a frisky and risky business for men, as taking the reins from women and putting them on the receiving end of spontaneous gestures raises women’s anxiety levels by 15%. On the flipside though, it will almost certainly increase feelings of affection, with one hundred per cent of the women in the study stating they felt more loved when their partner surprised them, leading to more lovemaking.

Where couples are willing to be totally surprised with off-the-cuff activity, half of men have a better time than expected (50%), while only a third of women report the same (31%). But, when a small amount of information is made available and the spontaneity is slightly more planned, this number increases for women by almost half[9], suggesting the key to a mutually happy couple is ‘planned spontaneity’.

Jo Hemmings, psychologist, said: “The lastminute.com study was particularly interesting as it found that women are, in essence, less spontaneous than men, and indicates that they take a quiet yet dominant role in organising their social lives. Clearly there are benefits to women relaxing more and embracing impulsiveness. The excitement and anxiety they feel when surprised by their other half increases libido and heightens sexual attraction, leading to quicker and easier seduction, which is great for their partners. One piece of advice for men – give your partner an inkling of the surprise so she has time to prepare, then reap the rewards!

A considerable 80 per cent of the couples in the study (24 of the 30 involved,) agreed the experience had a positive effect on their relationship, and plan to maintain a similar level of unexpected activity in the future. Of all the positive benefits, it was the increase in communication between couples that a third (34%) of women hailed as the best take home from the study. For men, having more opportunities to kiss and cuddle their girlfriends came top (30%).

Tyana, 25, study participant and salsa teacher from Leytonstone, said: “Dating in London is pretty fast paced – when your priority is to get a bit of sleep, romance goes out the window! The lastminute.com study was perfect timing as we had stopped making an effort. It was the little things that had the most impact, the date night and planning activities together. Now we are happier and more loved up – definitely leading to more bedroom action. It was interesting to learn that women are happier in the driving seat too. As a salsa teacher I do notice that when my female pupils first start out, they all try to lead the man!”

Like all good things, it is possible to have too many spur-of-the-moment surprises. Jo Hemming’s analysis also revealed that with too much surprise excitement in a relationship, couples can get tired, irritable and bicker more – especially after a few consecutive days of breaking their normal routine. The learning from the lastminute.com study is to keep things simple and sporadic. (See Jo Hemming’s top tips for ‘planned spontaneity’ below).

JO HEMMING’S TOP TIPS FOR PLANNED SPONTANEITY:

  • A little hint goes a long way… While men enjoy the excitement a truly spontaneous gesture brings, women prefer a few hints dropped along the way to prepare themselves for the moment. Take heed gents, and build up to your surprise with a little hint email or text to show you have something special in mind.
  • Twice is nice… Don’t just break your routine as a one-off; building it in once or possibly twice a week can work wonders. Don’t go overboard though, any more than that and the excitement level can turn into anxiety and fatigue.
  • Shake it up… Balance big gestures, like a weekend away or a meal out, with smaller ones which are appreciated by both genders – such as leaving love notes for your partner.
  • Don’t forget the basics… Routine is an important anchor and stabilising force in your relationship so don’t rush headlong into all your ideas for routine-busting surprises too quickly. The success lies in ‘planned spontaneity’ and managing perceived anxiety levels – even if you know these will be overcome by the activity itself.
  • Let the mood take you… Technology is an amazing thing so use it to your advantage, booking a romantic hotel after a meal or simply sending a romantic text will show you’re thinking of your special someone.

 

- END -

Notes to editors

About the survey

Thirty British couples were tested to see whether living spontaneously can improve their relationships. Each individual was asked to record their thoughts and feelings over a course of a fortnight – living the first week normally and the second week spontaneously. lastminute.com, an authority on enabling a life more spontaneous, aided the couples supplying them with last minute activities such as dinners, trips to the theatres and hotel stays. The couples were also encouraged to perform little spontaneous gestures, including breakfast in bed, whispering sweet nothings and hiding notes of appreciation for their partner to find. The study was conducted with leading psychologist, Jo Hemmings.

For further information and assets, please contact the lastminute.com press office:

e: Communications_team@lastminute.com

 

About lastminute.com

We’re champions of last minute travel and leisure. Giving people five-star experiences at three-star price tags is what lastminute.com lives for. We’ve been doing it since 1998 and we reckon we’re the best at it. When we asked independent researchers to ask people which European brand they associated with ‘last minute’ travel and leisure, 94 per cent of them mentioned us. To us, that makes us Number One. Hotels, spa days, city breaks, meals out, theatre tickets…we provide customers with great last minute deals which enable and inspire spontaneity. Headquartered in Farringdon, London, lastminute.com also operates in Ireland, France, Germany, Italy and Spain.



[1] lastminute.com couples study conducted with leading psychologist, Jo Hemmings. . All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from this psychological study. See notes to editor for more information.

[2] Sexual activity increased – by the end of the study 54% were having sex a few times a week (compared to 21% at the start) – a rise of 33%

[3] During the study couples reported happiness levels increase by 20% on the second week – 20% of one week equates to 1.4 days

[4] Using data from 2010 to 2011, Facebook researchers noted changes in users’ relationship statuses. Within each age range (under 25, 25-44 and 45 and up), June was the month that spelled trouble for love. But the summer months overall—May to August, specifically—showed a serious decline in the amount of “Facebook official” relationships.: https://www.facebook.com/notes/facebook-data-team/the-right-time-for-love-tracking-the-seasonality-of-relationship-formation/10150643989093859

[5] Couples reported kissing and cuddling increased by 50%

[6] Couples who had sex once a week increased from 2% to 9% and those who didn’t have sex at all reduced from 15% to 7%

[7] 80 of the couples reported a significant improvement in levels of confidence, communication and intimacy in their relationships

[8] 88% of women in the study claimed to be the driving force behind their plans (and 63% of men agreed)

[9] Where there was some information available, and the spontaneity was more planned and less of a surprise, 45% of women reported a better time than expected, an increase of 45%

PRESS RELEASE 28/5/2014: Spontaneity on the rise as lastminute.com reveals smartphones are creating a nation of impulsive planners

Spontaneity on the rise as lastminute.com reveals smartphones are creating a nation of impulsive planners  

  • Six million Brits[1] use mobiles to book getaway breaks on the day
  • City dwellers are using mobiles to ‘date their city’
  • Post-date mobile hotel bookings trending, as singles hope to get lucky

London, 28th May 2014: TODAY, research[2] commissioned by lastminute.com, champion of last minute travel and leisure, reveals that mobile technology is unleashing Britain’s spontaneous side by offering palm-of-the-hand access to travel inspiration and great deals. Using smartphones, the nation is planning getaways, booking cheeky date-night hotel rooms and ‘dating their city’ in the spur of the moment.

The study of 2,000 Brits showed that 59% of those questioned book hotel and flights on a mobile app or mobile website less than a week before their departure date. One in five (19%) super-spontaneous Brits book on the same day for that very night without having to break the bank; the average price for same day hotel bookings comes in at just £65 a night.

With ever-changeable social calendars, and the best deals available at the tap of a touchscreen, Brits are using technology to capture the moment while it lasts, with almost a third (29%) of same-night hotel bookings being made following a great night out with friends. The research also reveals that 16% of Brits have booked a hotel after getting so caught up in the moment that they missed the last public transport home.

Backing up the research, lastminute.com data reveals bookings on mobile devices for hotels on the same night are on the rise, with a third of bookings for Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights being made between the hours of 6pm and midnight that day[3]. The increase in spontaneous purchasing habits is in line with changes to social behaviour, as mobile technology makes us ever more flighty towards commitments; of those questioned, 3 in 5 stated they were willing to change plans on a night out to stick with the group, with 13% admitting they always do, out of fear that they’ll miss out on a fantastic night elsewhere.

Matthew Crummack, CEO of lastminute.com said; “Mobile technology is having an extraordinary impact on our lives. This is only the start, but mobile is already completely changing the way we plan our leisure time – I believe more than the internet did before. Our latest research demonstrates the UK’s phenomenally rapid immersion into the mobile world and the fun which comes with it. In fact, at lastminute.com, we see every day how more and more customers book hotels between 6pm and midnight for stays that very night, taking last minute living to a whole new level.”

Using mobile to ‘date my city’

lastminute.com’s research also uncovered a ‘date my city’ trend as Brits make snap decisions on hotels in their hometown to lap up life’s luxuries and enjoy a little ‘me’ time, with a quarter (23%) of same night bookings taking place at a luxurious hotel in home cities.

A quarter (23%) admitted the reason behind this was to escape the mess at home and with over a third (36%) of lastminute.com’s same day mobile bookings being made for its Top Secret® Hotels[4],commonly used for affordable luxury, a spot of last minute pampering is also driving close-to-home stays.

Booking on our phones to get lucky

When it comes to dating, it seems mobile’s influence is enabling the nation to become a lot more frivolous, starting romances with an app and ending in a hotel room. Almost a fifth of those surveyed were not ashamed to use their mobile to take them further on a hot date, admitting they had booked a hotel for the night when they felt they might get lucky.

Interestingly, the research also suggests it’s the older generations that were most likely to book a hotel when a date is going well, with a quarter (25%) of 41-50 year olds admitting to splashing the cash to impress their date, as opposed to 5% of 18-24 year olds. Men were also by far the most likely to book a hotel on their mobiles (26%) if a date is going well. While women on the other hand would much rather spend the money on a hotel room following a great night out with friends (33%), with only 9% having booked spontaneously on a good date.

To help the nation love living last minute through mobile technology, lastminute.com has launched its first mobile app so customers can book a hotel on the go – available for free on the App Store. Perfect for a night on the town, or after missing the last train home, the GPS–enabled lastminute.com hotels booking app finds hotels nearby at the best price

ENDS

Notes to editors

About the survey

The survey was carried out on behalf of lastminute.com by OnePoll. All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from this survey. Total sample size of adults across the UK was 2,000 from 30 cities across the UK. Fieldwork was undertaken at the beginning of April 2014. The survey was carried out online.

For further information and assets, please contact the lastminute.com press office:

e: Communications_team@lastminute.com

 

About lastminute.com

We’re champions of last minute travel and leisure. Giving people five-star experiences at three-star price tags is what lastminute.com lives for. We’ve been doing it since 1998 and we reckon we’re the best at it. When we asked independent researchers to ask people which European brand they associated with ‘last minute’ travel and leisure, 94 per cent of them mentioned us. To us, that makes us Number One. Hotels, spa days, city breaks, meals out, theatre tickets…we provide customers with great last minute deals which enable and inspire spontaneity. Headquartered in Farringdon, London, lastminute.com also operates in Ireland, France, Germany, Italy and Spain.


[1] 19% of population aged 25 – 39 according to ONS data

[2] lastminute.com conducted research among 2,000 British adults online by OnePoll at the beginning of April 2014. All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from this survey. Total sample is of adults across the UK from 30 cities. The survey was carried out online.

[3] Hotel bookings made on lastminute.com using a mobile device over the last 18 months

[4] Hotel bookings made on lastminute.com using a mobile device over the last 18 months