Don’t Stress, Travel By Coach – It’s Official

Passengers’ Pulse Rates Monitored To Test Four Modes of Transport

[inspic=17,left,,thumb]In what is believed to be the first experiment of its type in the UK, Leger Holidays, in conjunction with leading travel trade publication TTG, has used digital monitors to test passengers travelling on four modes of transport to find out which offers the most and least stress-free travel.

Participants in the experiment, four female travel agents and their families, used digital blood pressure monitors to record their pulse rates in a diary every 30 minutes while travelling to Disneyland Resort Paris from the UK.

Findings show that, comparing the initial pre-journey reading, and then looking at each subsequent 30-minute reading, the mode of transport which showed the pulse rate decreasing most consistently hour-by-hour was coach. The indication being that the coach passenger was becoming more relaxed and less stressed than the other three passengers.

Bottom of the list – seemingly the most stressed – was the travel agent travelling by Eurostar; her readings showed a greater consistency of increasing pulse rate readings as her journey from the UK to France unfolded.
The second most stressed passenger, was the agent travelling by air, leaving the self-drive passenger runner-up to coaching as the least stressed participant.

Huw Williams, Marketing Director at Leger Holidays, said:

“A holiday should be an enjoyable experience from the moment you leave home to arriving back, and of course everything in between.

“Part of our plan in starting this experiment was to isolate some of the trigger points which cause stress, and then try to eliminate them from our passengers’ journeys.

“We appreciate that to make this absolutely scientific, we need to add in more factors, such as testing a much larger sample size over more holiday experiences. However, what this does for us is provide a good indication of some of the more general factors.

[inspic=22,left,,thumb]“For example, the results indicate that for the participant travelling by coach the most stressful point was just prior to the journey – perhaps finding travel documents and waiting for the coach to arrive – but once on-board the traveller became consistently more relaxed.

“For the self-drive participant, the most stressful points were packing the car and adjusting the headlight reflectors in France – simple pre-advance advice about preparation might be all that’s needed here.

“For the Eurostar participant, pulse seemed to rise during the queue to get onto the train and then during the mid-part of the journey itself – perhaps going through the tunnel was an anxious moment for this particular agent.

“The air passenger’s pulse rate rose during a flight delay and again transferring to the hotel shuttle bus – unfortunately delays can affect all kinds of transport, but perhaps there is something we can look into for transfers.

“At Leger we are constantly looking for ways to make it even easier for our customers to experience the best of Europe in the most comfortable and enjoyable way, and this experiment is just one of the ways in which we are working to achieve this.

“It has been a valuable exercise and now we must look to see what changes we can bring to benefit our customers.”


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  • Wendy McLellan Wed, 13th Feb, 2008 at 11:43 am Reply

    I must agree about coach travel. I have been on 3 coach trips to Europe in the last 7 weeks and they have all been very comfortable and relaxing. The most recent was to Zakarpone in Poland, and despite 29 hours travel in each direction which was a bit of a marathon, it was a great holiday!

  • Clare Phillips Wed, 20th Feb, 2008 at 12:44 pm Reply

    Hi Wendy,

    I’m the Commercial Director at

    It’s good to hear that you’ve had relaxing and enjoyable experiences on your coach holidays. I don’t think that people realise the standard of coach travel nowadays and the vast choice of destinations offered.

    In terms of our website, we aim to offer the best choice of coach holidays with the widest choice of operators. And we will be celebrating 60 years of business this year, so if you’re not already signed up to receive our email updates please do so – there will be some exciting offers and competitions coming up.

    Many thanks for you kind words about our website. We aim to make buying your holiday a pleasurable experience. If there are ever any suggestions or comments we are always willing to listen to them.

    And remember to watch the blog for further news on and any relevant news from the coach or holiday industry.



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