This weekend is the busiest of the year for UK holiday firms and airports as thousands
of holidaymakers head off for a week or two in the sun and Thomas Cook has revealed research that gives an insight into kids’ holiday views.A lead finding is that for eighty-five per cent of children
under 12, holidays are at least as exciting as birthdays or Christmas - and even
more so for 20 per cent!
Perhaps surprisingly, the top reason for holiday excitement is that children get
more time with their parents. A huge 95 per cent of children say that the best thing
about going on holiday is that grown-ups are less grumpy, and 80 per cent said that
parents are more fun than at home.
But not just any holiday will do. According to the survey, which interviewed more
than 200 parents of children aged up to 12, 70 per cent of children feel more
excited about holidaying abroad than in the UK. But travelling further afield pays
off in children’s education. Of the parents questioned, 59 per cent said that
holidays abroad make their children more interested in geography and/or languages.
Holidays are a great way to prise children away from the TV. Sixty-one per cent of
parents say that their child spends more time playing outside on their holidays than
at home. Twenty-five per cent of parents said that their child is outside at least
three times as much than at home.
Focus groups with children showed that making friends, being outdoors and ‘not being
bored’ were the factors that contributed to their best-ever holiday. Destinations
for these holidays included Spain, the Balearics, Greece, Turkey, Cyprus and
Tony Hopkins, Director of Product & Publishing at Thomas Cook said: “I think that
like me, most parents will be surprised and delighted to hear that children are so
keen to spend time with their parents on holiday. We have certainly seen that our
customers particularly like hotels where there are entertainments and activities
that the whole family can enjoy together. The focus groups also found that children
like it when their parents hire a car so that they can see new places - but only for
a day or two so that they can get back to the beach and the pool!”
Thomas Cook’s focus groups also found that children are conscious of a stigma
attached to not going on a holiday abroad. Interestingly, 70 per cent of children
say that they like their mum and dad to book holidays well in advance, to give them
something to look forward to and show off to friends about.
Children also suffer from post-holiday blues, just like adults! Fifty per cent of
the children interviewed said that they feel sad when a holiday ends. But the other
half are so pleased to see friends and grandparents on their return that they don’t
feel any regret.