Yesterday was statistically the busiest holiday-booking day of the year, with Brits the length and breadth of the country scrabbling to book themselves a break to look forward to. But a new study has revealed that as opposed to immersing themselves in differing culinary cultures, more than 50% of the North West's holidaymakers take 'British' food too keep them going when they're abroad.
With Christmas firmly in the rear-view mirror and the family packed off back home, the first Monday after New Year's Day is classically the most popular for people to start looking ahead to their summer jollies and get something booked and in the diary so that those dreary early morning January commutes become that little bit more bearable.
A new study by travel agency Oliver’s Travels shows that as soon as the confirmation email comes through for that sunny jaunt to Saint-Tropez or beach-front trip to Barcelona, Brits turn to the crucial matter of making sure that amongst the sun cream and paperbacks are a few dietary essentials.
The absolute favourites for the good folk from the North West include tea (37%), custard creams or digestives (16%), and baked beans (7%), with 40% of people saying that they're forced into packing Tetley's and Hobnobs because they just can't be sure to find them abroad, while a further 34% believe that foreign imitations just don't bare consideration - 48% assert that tea just doesn’t taste like tea when it's from outside the UK.
"Travel is as much ingrained in the British psyche as tea is, but the extent to which the two seem to go together is surprising," said psychologist Honey Langcaster-James. "Many Britons appear to want to take a piece of home with them on holiday as a creature comfort and the Great British institution that is our beloved cup of tea has made it to the top of the list."
Other popular supplies include coffee (23%), people's favourite breakfast cereal (9%), Marmite (8%), and good old fashioned British cheese (8%), but despite plenty of people seemingly set on tacking a veritable Tesco's-worth of goods when jet-setting off for some sunshine, 68% say they don't know in which countries - notably Australia, New Zealand, and America - they would be breaking customs laws should they whip out a PG Tips after landing on the runway.
Astoundingly, Brits' trust in foreign countries' abilities to provide even some of the most basic amenities seems woefully absent, with the study also revealing that one in 20 travellers will pack their own toilet roll and one in 10 will bring their own pillow (perhaps with a snooze on the plane in mind).
"The UK has long been a nation of explorers who love the idea of visiting far-flung lands and being introduced to diverse cultures," said Oliver Bell from Oliver’s Travels. "But having that explorer's nature doesn’t mean we don’t long for home occasionally.
"Sometimes that can mean being close to loved ones or in familiar surroundings and other times, as this research points out, it’s as simple as having our favourite tea, baked beans or toilet roll!" he added.