Survey: Holidays are kids’ top experiences

This weekend is the busiest of the year for holiday firms and airports as thousands of holidaymakers head off for a week or two in the sun. Thomas Cook reveals research that truly 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 Florida.

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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.

Thomas Cook takes more than 250,000 families away on holiday every year. It has a wide range of hotels and facilities on offer for those travelling with children, including SuperSun hotels - handpicked for their complete family entertainment programmes. Brazilian Soccer Schools and Superstar Stage Schools, exclusive to Thomas Cook, have proved highly popular, as is Club:KidsWORLD - Thomas Cook’s own kids club available in nine different holiday destinations. The club is unique in that it has no age-group restrictions on its six-hour openings, so that children of all ages can attend together.

This summer sees the launch of brand new `Nintendo Zones’ in SuperSun hotels, giving older children access to the latest games and consoles. Nintendo games will also be on offer over the school holidays on selected Thomas Cook flights. For more information see Thomas Cook’s dedicated SuperSun brochure.
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