A CLEVER calculator has been devised to help far-flung family and friends meet up – bang in the middle.
With research revealing that two-thirds of UK adults have missed out on events with loved ones and pals due to lockdowns, people have a lot of catching up to do now Covid restrictions are lifted.
Now, this new tool has been created to show you where you should meet to avoid one of you having to travel further than the other.
You can type up to three locations into the calculator – based on where your family and friends live – and the tool, created by Premier Inn, will show you the perfect half-way location for a catch-up for up to four groups.
The tool is also populated with nearby attractions, lots of which are free, along with locations for nearby hotels for overnight stays.
It comes after a survey revealed 65 per cent of UK adults who have friends and family living more than 100 miles away struggle to decide where to meet each other.
Meanwhile, almost half of the respondents – 46 per cent – have put off organising a get-together because it was too difficult, with almost a quarter of people, 24 per cent, saying that it often takes several days to plan an overnight get together.
However, as restrictions have been eased, 38 per cent have spent a night away seeing loved ones – with 91 per cent enjoying the catch-up knowing they were staying overnight and didn’t have to rush home.
Two thirds of respondents – 65 per cent – stated finding a location that is affordable for everyone is one of the most important factors planning a meet up.
Simon Ewins, Managing Director for Premier Inn said: “Only recently have we once again been able to catch up with our loved ones in person.
"But our research shows despite people wanting to get together with friends and loved ones more often, many still find that barriers such as a meeting spot which is convenient and affordable for everyone can be off-putting.
“We hope our new ‘Meet Inn the Middle’ tool, which is simple to use and shows the half-way journey point for up to four groups as well as inspiration for days out, offers the perfect solution so people can rest easy whoever they are meeting.”
The survey of 2,000 UK adults revealed 61 per cent felt lockdown made them realise they didn't see friends and family as often as they should have.
And almost two thirds (63 per cent) are going to make more effort catching up as the country nears a return to normality.
But when it comes to logistics, things need to change with more than a third (36 per cent) disappointed when planning a meet up as they had to travel much further than the other people attending.
MEET IN THE MIDDLE
Almost half (46 per cent) of those surveyed via OnePoll have been put off organising a get together because it was too difficult, and 24 per cent saying it takes days to plan.
However, reducing the travelling distance will increase attendance, with 58 per cent more likely to visit loved ones if the venue wasn’t as far away.
More than half of respondents (56 per cent) also admitted they’d be more likely to organise the get together if they didn’t have to travel so far.
The study also found 44 per cent had forgotten that the UK is a great place for a city break, but 61 per cent said the pandemic has made them appreciate the UK's towns, cities and countryside more.
Simon added: “The UK has so many wonderful cities to visit, full of attractions which makes it perfect for catching up with friends and family.
“And it's far better to slash a journey time in half, so instead of pondering whether to meet at yours or theirs, why not meet in the middle?"
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