It looks like the sort of mathematical code that might hold the secrets to life itself – or, at very least, an equation that might have appeared in the movie A Beautiful Mind.
But this seemingly impenetrable mixture of letters and numbers may be a formula for something we are all searching for – the perfect holiday.
A study commissioned by Holiday Inn found that an ideal getaway comes together as a combination of factors, with the amount of time off, the cost of the break and issues such as boredom, relaxation and anxiety all playing a role.
The formula was identified by Dr David Lewis, a psychologist at research consultancy Mindlab International, which is based at the University of Sussex.
And it suggests that the holiday that provides maximum relaxation with minimum worry is a three-day escape that ventures no further than four hours from the subject’s home.
‘Research shows that many people find breaks abroad so stressful that they return home more worn out than perked up,’ Dr Lewis explains.
‘This helps to explain the growing popularity of shorter breaks in the UK, with many holidaymakers finding that taking several long weekend breaks is more rewarding.’
Elements assessed as part of the formula include N(d) – the number of possible holidays of length ‘d’ that can be taken in a year – and C(d), the cost of that holiday dependent on the number of days taken.
a(d) refers to the anxiety levels a holidaymaker might feel about a certain break – concern about taking time off work and tasks piling up while away – related to ‘d’, the duration of the getaway.
r(d) relates to the level of relaxation a holidaymaker is likely to achieve while away from home, as placed against the length of the holiday.
‘The traditional post-holiday slump can cause even more stress for people returning to the workplace to a backlog of work requiring their urgent attention,’ Dr Lewis continues.
‘Holidays are intended to recharge our batteries and help us come back refreshed and reinvigorated.
‘But given the over-indulgences that can be made on holiday – from too much sun to too much food and drink – the longer the holiday lasts the greater the potential risk to one’s health.’
An additional survey of 1000 adults, carried out by Holiday Inn, revealed Edinburgh to be the most popular British city for a long weekend, with London second and York third.
Tour and Travel you can trust – 1st Choice Concierge www.1stchoiceconcierge.co.uk