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Fifth of holidaymakers return to burgled home, poll says

Almost a fifth of travellers have returned from holiday to find their house has been burgled, a new poll suggests.

A quarter of holidaymakers have come home to a disaster such as a flooded home, rotting food or stolen deliveries, according to a survey of 2,000 adults.

Showing the importance of home insurance, 18 percent of respondents had been burgled while away, and 15 percent had their garage broken into.

The top home horror was forgetting to clear out the fridge, returning to mouldy food. This was followed by plants dying and returning to disgusting rubbish bins after forgetting to put them out before leaving, the OnePoll.com survey said.

More than a fifth (21 percent) feel nervous about leaving their home empty while away, and by the time a holiday hits five and a half days, the average person polled begins to worry about the contents in their home.

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Of those polled, 38 percent have a smart security device with a camera at home, and 15 percent of these check it frequently.

Dave Ward, managing director of UK, EU and International at Ring, which commissioned the research, said: “Having an extra layer of security at home when you go away on holiday can help give worried or anxious travellers added peace of mind.

“Investing in smart home security allows holidaymakers to check in on their home while away.”

Hypnotist Paul McKenna gave advice for nervous travellers. He said: “Travel anxiety is a common fear that people have – often relating to being away from your home. “There are several behavioural techniques people can use on themselves, or even loved ones, to manage anxiety – either ahead of travelling, or whilst travelling.”

How to stop travel anxiety, by hypnotist Paul McKenna:

1. Recalibrate emotional intelligence by focusing on positive and negative feelings.

Place your hands in front of you with palms facing up, focus on the anger that’s bothering you and ask yourself what that feeling would wish to say to you. Hold that feeling in your left hand and get in touch with it.

Once you have that feeling, think of the opposite feeling; notice how it feels and place it your right hand.

Move your attention a few inches above your head and experience both feelings at the same time, your emotional system will work to re-calibrate to experience the difficult emotion at a lower level as it re-integrates into your emotional intelligence.

2. Relax your system and tune into your body.

Read thoroughly before attempting; not to be tried when driving or operating machinery.

To relax the body and the mind and rid oneself of pre-travel anxiety, repeat the below to yourself in a drowsy, tired but comfortable voice; pause to notice your feelings.

Close your eyes and take a deep breath, feel as though you are letting go of pre-travel stress you exhale and tell yourself: “Now I relax my eyes”, “Now I relax my jaw”, “Now I relax my tongue”, “Now I relax my shoulders”, “Now I relax my arms”, “Now I relax my hands”, “Now I relax my chest”, “Now I relax my stomach”, “Now I relax my thighs”, “Now I relax my calves”, “Now I relax my feet”, “Now I relax my mind”.

Repeat if necessary.

3. Float into being more relaxed.

Imagine how you would look if you were twice as relaxed as you are feeling now, imagine floating into that relaxed ‘you’ - see yourself through your relaxed self, hear how it sounds, feel how it feels.

From this place, imagine how you would look if you were twice as relaxed again; imagine floating into that relaxed ‘you’ - see yourself through your relaxed self, hear how it sounds, feel how it feels.

From this place, imagine how you would look if you were twice as relaxed once again; imagine floating into that relaxed ‘you’ - see yourself through your relaxed self, hear how it sounds, feel how it feels.

4. Tune into your body from your head to your heart.

Become aware you’re experiencing a stressful feeling; put your hand on your heart and focus in on this area and take three gentle breaths.

Think of a time when you felt good and return to how that memory made you feel and the senses you were aware of.

Imagine your heart speaking to you, asking how you can take better care of yourself; listen to your heart’s answer and act on it when you can.

5. Soothe yourself using a combination of imagination and physical touch.

Pay attention to the stress or anxiety you are feeling and wish to reduce and notice how stressful it is on a scale of one (least powerful) to 10 (most powerful).

Clear your mind or think of something nice. Stroke your forehead and your face cheeks repeatedly.

Then using your hands stroke from the top of your shoulder down to your elbows; as you are doing this imagine walking on a beautiful beach, with each footstep in the sand could out loud from one to 20.

Continuing to stroke your arms, imagine you are walking outside in a beautiful garden with each footstep you take on the grass count out loud from one to 20.

Tune into your body and ask yourself how you are feeling on the scale of one to 10.

Top holiday mishaps: 1. Forgot to clear out the fridge and food went mouldy

  1. All your plants died

  2. Forgot to put bins out and they went all horrible

  3. Accidentally left food out and it rotted

  4. Packages/deliveries got stolen

  5. Left a light on

  6. House was burgled

  7. House was flooded

  8. Garage was broken into

  9. Forgot to cancel a subscription delivery

Average Cost of Cheap Home Insurance^ (£200k rebuild)Average cost home insurance per yearAverage cost home insurance per month
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^Average of cheapest 5 quotes

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Helen Barnett

Helen is a journalist, editor and copywriter with 15 years' experience writing across print and digital publications. She previously edited the Daily Express website and has won awards as a reporter. Read more here.