Surprise Getaways May Backfire According To Research

2012-10-23 — / — Men beware, springing a surprise getaway for a partner might backfire, it emerged yesterday.

A study of 2,000 of the nation’s women found that planning makes perfect when it comes to couples jet-setting away for a few days with six in ten hating surprises.

And while romantic city breaks or a spot of culture are welcome treats, the average woman would like almost eight days’ notice in order to prepare properly, from planning her outfits and packing to sorting out work and cancelling prior arrangements.

Results showed that having at least nine outfits is deemed essential for any short break, and one in four said forgetting a key item had dampened their time away.

The research, which was commissioned by British Airways, found women require over 12 hours of crucial preparation to buy everything they need, clear their social diary and gear up to enjoy the perfect break away.

Unfortunately, a disillusioned four in ten said that a romantic trip away ’just wouldn’t cross their partner’s minds’ while many said that, to their partner, ‘being spontaneous meant deciding to have a takeaway’.

Yesterday, Abigail Comber, head of brands at British Airways, said:  “The results emphasise the level of importance women place on getting the preparation before a trip exactly right.

“The element of surprise is clearly a dividing issue amongst British women but what has emerged is that the enjoyment of going away is enhanced if they feel they’ve been given enough time to get excited and can leave knowing things will be ok while they’re gone.

“There are a number of things people feel they have to achieve in order to fully enjoy a trip away and eight days’ notice is deemed just about right.”

The average relationship sees women treated to surprise gestures by their partner just twice.

A fifth of women who had been whisked away by their partner felt they weren’t given enough notice before going away.

And that low figure might be because a quarter of British women have had a particular surprise their partner planned go completely wrong.

In fact, three in ten would be a little annoyed if a partner sprung a short break away on them without giving them enough notice.

The study found that the average woman needs at least three shopping trips ahead of even the smallest short-haul trip and dedicates over 12 hours to preparing.

And seven days and 11 hours was stated as the minimum amount of notice a woman needs in order to make the necessary arrangements.

Half of the 2,000 women studied feel baggage restrictions on some airlines mean they are forced to leave key items at home.

More than a third actually re-pack a bag several times before their departure date for peace of mind.

Comber added: “Even if it’s only a short-haul trip, a partner may not be aware how much preparation their girlfriend or wife puts in ahead of a break away.

“From researching places to eat and things to do as well as last minute beauty appointments and shopping trips, women have lots to do before they go on holiday. With our 23kg checked baggage allowance and two pieces of hand luggage per passenger, they can save time by avoiding the need to constantly re-pack their luggage and enjoy the flight confident that they have all their favourite holiday outfits for any occasion.”


  • Plan her outfits
  • Sort out work handover
  • Research places to visit/ eat at while away
  • Clear the fridge of anything that will go off
  • Shop for holiday outfits and accessories
  • Clear her social diary/ make cancellations
  • Get her hair cut
  • Get excited about the trip by catching up with friends
  • Have beauty appointments
  • Eat a lighter diet to feel better in bikini/swimwear