As Christmas approaches, a surprising number of us are secretly thinking about getting away to escape the pressures of the festive period.

Nearly one in five people would consider jumping on a plane to escape the in-laws or steer clear of cooking for relatives on Christmas Day, according to a British Airways survey.

Across the UK, it was the Scots who were most likely to want to avoid the in-laws, while seven per cent of Londoners said they would use being abroad as an excuse not to buy presents.

Seventeen per cent of 25-34 year olds said they would even be willing to travel just to get out of the washing up and 10 per cent to avoid any family arguments.

Susan Smillie, worldwide cabin crew member, said: “I’m not surprised by the findings. I have been flying for over 20 years, and when I chat with our customers they often say they are relieved to be escaping the demands of Christmas.

“I sometimes also choose to spend Christmas abroad. A trip to Dubai is a welcome escape from the cold in the UK.”

Women and men were equally likely to want to avoid Christmas as a whole, with just over 15 per cent of both sexes looking to go abroad over the period to escape it all together.

BA is offering a range of last-minute deals in December for people looking for an alternative to Christmas at home.