Hit the road! Brits reliving their best memories on long car journeys

Now travel is back on the cards, Brits are raring to go, with more people than ever reliving their happiest holiday memories.

New research from Zipcar UK, the nation’s largest car-sharing club, has found that 91% of people in Britain had their best memories from car journeys, with road trips creating nostalgic recollections we’re itching to recreate. Reliving happy memories is good for the soul, and helps to boost mental health and wellbeing.

Listed below are the UK’s top 10 most nostalgic memories:

Going to the seaside


Playing with childhood friends


Going away (not just a road trip) with your family in the UK or abroad


Going to your grandparents’ house


Going to the countryside


Spending pocket money in the sweet shop


Playing in the park


Going on a school trip


Going on a road trip with your family


Learning to ride a bike/skateboard/roller-skates


Many things that triggered nostalgic memories included finding old family photos (52%), visiting old places you used to go (47%) and hearing a certain song (35%). Bringing back these memories is a great way to relive happy experiences, and Zipcar are urging people in the UK to take a trip down memory lane in order to get that feel-good boost.

Hilda Burke, psychotherapist, explains why reliving these magical memories is good for the soul and our overall well-being:

“With most of us unable to travel abroad due to the pandemic, many of us are revisiting places we holidayed at as children. Visiting these childhood haunts can be very cathartic, helping us to re-connect to the feelings and love we hold for the old friends and family members we associate with them.

“Travelling by car, rather than plane, produces even stronger memories, giving us time to reflect on these memories as we take in all the sights and smells of the road trip.”

Certain smells and sounds are definitely linked to happy memories, and songs we heard on road trips had a huge impact on our experiences. Nearly half (40%) of Brits said that certain songs coming on the radio triggers memories of loved ones, and songs such as ‘Summer of ‘69’ by Bryan Adams, ‘American Pie’ by Don Mclean and ‘Go Your Own Way’ by Fleetwood Mac came out as the best songs to listen to on road trips.

Missing a loved one was another point brought up regularly in the research. 67% of those surveyed would like to recreate a journey with a grandparent or similar, and 65% say they often think about nostalgic memories with loved ones.

As we’re coming out of a long period of isolation, many of us will be thinking about reconnecting with family members, and 65% of us would like to go on a road trip to relive these happy memories with parents and grandparents alike. We have missed our loved ones over this time, and there’s nothing like a long car journey to give you time to really catch up!

James Taylor, UK General Manager at Zipcar says: “The pandemic has been many things, but one of them is an opportunity to relive classic British holidays. We’ve actually seen an increased demand for longer distance trips, as two thirds of Brits want to go on road trips with their friends and family this summer to reconnect with those loved ones after a long year of lockdown. So, why not get out there and make new, happy memories with Zipcar this year?”

Zipcar UK is asking Brits to look back and go forth to relive some of their most-loved nostalgic moments on the road. Follow @ZipcarUK on Instagram, share a photo of your favourite road trip, and tag the friend you holidayed with for a chance to win £250 worth of FREE Zipcar credits.

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