Revealed: Here's how much free time Brits have

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The average Brit has just 17 days of free time a year, including weekends, according to a new study from Virgin Trains. That’s just over two weeks across the entire year to spend doing the things we really want to do.

A third of us (32 per cent) feel we have less time than we did five years ago, and nearly half of us (46 per cent) wish we had more free time. In fact, Brits actually value free time more than money, material possessions and even career success.

More than half of Brits (51 per cent) would go travelling if they had more time, over a third (34 per cent) would catch up with friends and family and 16 per cent of us would like to learn a new language. Interestingly, the top things people think they miss out on because they don’t have enough free time, are socialising (35 per cent), weekend and day trips (35 per cent), sleep (33 per cent) and sex (20 per cent).

If we’re not doing the things we really want to do, then what is taking up all of our precious time? 

  • 103 days a year sleeping
  • 9 days a year on social media
  • 11 days of the year cooking and eating
  • 8 days a year doing housework
  • 7 days a year doing exercise
  • 5 days a year in the bathroom

Virgin Trains Free Me

With just 17 days to play with, there’s no time to waste. That’s why Virgin Trains has launched Free Me, an inspiring campaign to encourage people to make the most of their free time this Summer, whether that’s visiting a new city, taking up a new hobby, or watching that film you’ve always wanted to watch. 

The research reveals the top 10 things we’d love to do with our free time are:

  1. Travelling (51%)
  2. Visiting friends and family (34%)
  3. Walking (32%)
  4. Going to the cinema and theatre (24%)
  5. Visiting museums (20%)
  6. Cooking (20%)
  7. Gardening (20%)
  8. Sleeping (19%)
  9. Learning a new language (16%)
  10. Volunteering at charities (14%)

With the majority of Brits longing to travel more, almost 70 per cent of us would explore more of Great Britain if we had the time. The top destinations we’d visit if we had the chance include Edinburgh (51 per cent); York (48 per cent); Oxford (43 per cent); Bath (40 per cent) and London (37 per cent). 

Almost half of Brits (47 per cent) agree it’s relaxing to travel by train, and a third (33 per cent) agree it gives them extra time for themselves. Apart from the time you physically save while travelling on a train, Brits use the journey itself to admire the view outside (60 per cent), listen to music (25 per cent) and get lost in a day dream (17 per cent).

Patrick McCall, Co-Chairman, Virgin Trains, said of the new Free Me campaign: “When we look back at our lives, it’s the time spent with the people we love that we’ll remember and the experiences we’ve had along the way. It won’t be about the stuff we buy, or the next stage in our career. Whether you’re on a journey to pursue a dream you’ve always had or you simply want to use the time on your train to unwind and relax. Free Me is about inspiring people to get out there, see more of Great Britain and make the most of those 17 days of precious free time.”

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