New research finds self-employed people take twice the amount of holiday

New research from freelance job listing site PeoplePerHour has revealed that the average self-employed person takes double the amount of holiday of an employed person.

The news comes as holiday season begins to peter out for many of us, with memories of beaches and buckets fading as autumn approaches.

Twice the distance and double the time away

The study shows that it’s not unusual for freelancers to spend up to 21 nights away from home in the average year, while an employed person spends an average of ten.

Self-employed people also travel twice the distance of their salaried counterparts, racking up an average of 2,200 miles per holiday. That’s roughly the distance between London and Egypt’s capital Cairo.

Study reveals most well-travelled workers

The study finds that writers are the biggest jet-setters amongst self-employed folks, with 22 per cent of them taking long-distance trips and going away more than three times a year.

Other freelance careers worth considering if you fancy more holidays include social media expert, designer, translator or photographer.

And younger people are also more likely to take holidays abroad, perhaps in part because they have fewer commitments like mortgages, kids and pets. Only 34 per cent of 18 to 24 year-olds haven’t been on holiday outside the UK in the last 12 months, while the national average is close to 50 per cent. In the 45 to 54 age bracket, 54 per cent haven’t been abroad in the last year.

The flexible life of freelancers

There are pros and cons to freelancing, but one of the big pros is obviously flexibility: you can take as much time off as you want and you don’t have to book holidays in with your boss.

PeoplePerHour CEO Xenios Thrasyvoulou says that this explains the higher holiday figures for the self-employed: “Freelancers, quite rightly, enjoy more the flexibility that their lifestyle choice brings, travelling further afield and staying away longer.”

But there are also downsides to taking holiday as a freelancer. You don’t receive any holiday pay, so taking time off effectively means unpaid leave. And neglecting email for a few days could also mean missing out on important commissions, plus work piling up because you don’t have teammates to pick up the slack.

If you’re a freelancer struggling to juggle everything, check out our work-life balance microsite, which is packed full of tips for living a more balanced freelance life.

Do these holiday findings ring true, or are you a freelancer barely able to take a day off? Tell us in the comments.

Looking for freelancer insurance?

As the UK’s biggest business insurance provider, we protect the self-employed workers who’re building Britain. Why not take a look now and build a quick, tailored freelancers insurance quote?

Start your quote