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Holidays now ‘essential’ for parents who get little quality time with kids

Busy families spend so little quality time together that for three-quarters of parents, family holidays are now seen as an ‘essential’ or so important that they will cut back on other things to ensure they get away, according to new research by Intrepid Travel's UK sister comapny, The Adventure Company.

The family holiday specialist’s survey of more than 4,000 parents found that on average, parents spend just 17.6 hours quality time with their children each week, including time together at the weekend – which is less than half the time that the average employee spends at work. Parents in the East Midlands reported the least quality time together (15.5 hours per week) and those in Northern Ireland the most (20 hours).

Almost half the parents surveyed (45 per cent) said that having a family holiday was ‘essential’ and one of their top priorities. A further three in ten (28 per cent) said that getting away on a family holiday at least once a year was very important and they would cut back on other things if necessary. Less than one in fifty parents (2 per cent) said that a family holiday was not important and they’d rather do other things.  

While holidays offer busy families a chance to spend quality time together sharing new experiences, for many the shared experience starts long before the trip itself as half of all parents (49 per cent) say they share the decision on where to go with their children. In most other households, the parents choose the family’s holiday destination but a brave one in 50 (2 per cent) said they let their children choose where to go and one in 12 (8 per cent) said there’s no decision to make as they visit the same place every year.

One of the aims of going on holiday may be to relax, but travelling with children is not without its challenges. The journey – by plane, train, ferry, car or other means - is the biggest hassle for three in ten parents (30 per cent), with those in the East of England, London, Northern Ireland, South East, South West and West Midlands saying this is the main issue they have to contend with.

Packing everything you need when travelling with kids comes a close second, with 28 per cent of all parents and those in the East Midlands, North East, North West, Scotland, Wales, and Yorkshire & Humberside most likely to identify this as their biggest challenge.  
 

“These days many of us lead such busy lives that holidays are one of the few chances we have to spend uninterrupted, quality time with our families and in many cases, we can spend more time together during a week’s holiday than we’re able to spend in a whole month at home,” said Claire Wilson, mum and Managing Director of The Adventure Company.

“Sitting on a beach or lying by a pool may help to recharge the batteries, but as people look for more memorable ways to spend their precious time together we’re seeing an increased interest in families taking more adventurous holidays, from activity-based breaks to cultural tours, walking holidays to safaris. While this style of holiday might seem daunting with children in tow, if you travel with a specialist tour operator they will plan a family-friendly itinerary for you, provide a suggested packing list and even supply activity packs to keep the children entertained during the journey - so that you can concentrate on making the most of your holiday.”

The Adventure Company provides detailed trip notes for every holiday which include a suggested packing list, details of visa and vaccination requirements, and information on the destination such as accepted tipping practices and key phrases. It offers kids' activity packs on a range of its most popular trips, which help to entertain the children during the journey.

ENDS

Note to editors

Survey of 4,108 UK parents was conducted online from 15 January 2013 – 5 April 2013 on behalf of The Adventure Company.

Regional responses

How important is it that you get away for at least one family holiday each year?

In an average week (Monday to Sunday), how much quality time do you get to spend with your children?
 

Region

Number of responses

Essential

Very important

Quite important

Not important

Hours of quality time per week

East of England

200

40.0%

25.0%

32.5%

1.5%

16.7

East Midlands

227

45.4%

28.6%

25.1%

0.4%

15.5

London

514

47.1%

27.8%

22.4%

1.6%

16.6

North East

135

44.4%

23.0%

28.1%

3.0%

19.0

North West

486

45.9%

29.8%

23.3%

0.8%

17.9

Northern Ireland

68

44.1%

27.9%

23.5%

2.9%

20.0

Scotland

263

45.6%

27.4%

23.2%

2.7%

17.3

South East

1,008

42.3%

28.8%

26.0%

2.3%

17.9

South West

372

42.7%

28.0%

27.7%

1.1%

17.7

Wales

193

37.3%

29.5%

27.5%

4.7%

18.2

West Midlands

276

50.4%

27.5%

20.3%

1.4%

17.6

Yorkshire

366

48.4%

27.9%

23.2%

0.0%

18.8

Overall

4,108

44.6%

28.1%

24.9%

1.7%

17.6 hours

 

How do you choose where to go on your family holiday?
What is the biggest hassle when going on a family holiday? Alternative responses:

  • Deciding where to go and what to do (23.0%)
  • Finding family-friendly attractions, restaurants etc (10.8%)
  • Trying to entertain the children so that they don’t get bored (8.5%)

 

Region

Number of responses

Return to same place each year

Parents decide

Children decide

Family shares decision

Journey biggest hassle

Packing biggest hassle

East of England

200

6.5%

35.5%

2.0%

52.5%

24.5%

34.5%

East Midlands

227

5.3%

38.3%

1.3%

52.0%

28.6%

28.6%

London

514

8.6%

41.1%

2.9%

42.6%

23.3%

28.6%

North East

135

10.4%

36.3%

0.0%

49.6%

31.9%

22.2%

North West

486

7.4%

37.7%

1.2%

50.4%

30.5%

23.5%

Northern Ireland

68

5.9%

41.2%

2.9%

39.7%

17.6%

41.2%

Scotland

263

6.8%

35.0%

0.8%

55.1%

32.7%

30.8%

South East

1,008

8.8%

39.4%

1.9%

46.8%

27.2%

32.3%

South West

372

7.5%

37.4%

0.8%

52.4%

21.2%

34.4%

Wales

193

9.8%

38.3%

1.0%

48.7%

32.1%

25.9%

West Midlands

276

8.7%

35.9%

1.8%

52.2%

25.0%

29.3%

Yorkshire

366

7.1%

36.6%

1.1%

52.7%

31.7%

27.0%

Overall

4,108

8.0%

38.1%

1.6%

49.3%

27.6%

29.6%

 

Tuesday, April 30, 2013


About Intrepid Travel

Intrepid Travel is one of the world's leading small group adventure tour operators. It offers authentic and fun experiences that give travellers the chance to get under the skin of the places they visit, with more than 1,000 itineraries to more than 100 countries worldwide. Intrepid Travel trips are designed to go off the beaten track, meet the locals and travel in an unconventional way, joining locals on their transport, in their markets and even in their homes.
 
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For more information please visit www.intrepidtravel.com