A poll of 2,000 UK and Irish travellers discovered the modern family is quite literally growing further apart, with one in 10 having family living more than 10,000 miles away – similar to the distance between the UK and New Zealand.
But this means the average adult has relatives they’ve not seen in person for an average of five years. And one in 10 have loved ones they’ve not seen face-to-face for more than a decade.
Karan Khanna, managing director UK and Ireland of InterContinental Hotels Group, which commissioned the research, said: “With international job and studying opportunities becoming increasingly abundant, and it being much easier to travel and settle somewhere else, it’s likely families will continue to grow physically further apart.
“Emotional bonds may remain strong, but it can be hard to find the time to see loved ones who live far away.”
The study also found the nation’s immediate family members are living across two countries, with siblings and cousins the relatives most likely to be living abroad.
Nearly three in four Brits reckon families are spread further apart now than they were 30 years ago, but 51 per cent think this means many don’t make an effort to get together.
More than a fifth of these said it’s too expensive to travel to see family, with one in four in agreement it’s simply ‘too far’.
Furthermore, more than one in 10 won’t travel to see loved ones because they keep in touch in other ways such as video calls or instant messages instead.
But a third of those polled enjoy having a far-spread family as it gives them an excuse to travel, with one in four treating their reunion as a special occasion.
As a result, the festive period is an important time of the year for bringing people together, with 44 per cent traveling an average of 885 miles to get quality time with loved ones over Christmas.
For many, this festive time with loved ones is seen as more important than receiving expensive gifts, with 52 per cent opting for ‘presence’ over presents.
And three in four think spending time with family is the most important part of Christmas, according to the OnePoll research.
It also emerged that despite 16 per cent loving the opportunity to show relatives who live far away around their hometowns, it can be a stressful experience.
More than one in four worry about putting-up family members during visits, with 52 per cent of those fearing their home is too small.
A third dislike the pressure to have a clean house while 37 per cent stress about cooking for them.