LONDON, U.K. – 3 APRIL, 2009 – A survey by TripAdvisor®, the world’s most popular and largest travel community, has revealed that 79% of Britons believe there should be child-free zones on planes.
Whilst 88% of travellers without children would like to see the introduction of adults-only sections on flights, a surprising 71% of parents also agree.
With 76% of families planning to take at least one holiday this year and thousands of travellers making preparations for Easter breaks, the survey of 509 Britons reveals the challenges that travelling with children can present.
SCHOOL TERMS DON’T GET IN THE WAY
Almost one in two Britons allows their child to miss school in order to take family holidays during term-time, reveals the survey.
A staggering 49% of parents of school children confess they allow their offspring to be absent from classes for at least one day a year, in order to facilitate travel plans and secure the best value deals.
Furthermore, 16% of parents allow their children to be absent from classes for seven days or more, whilst 8% are happy for them to miss five days of term and an equal number are comfortable to write off three days.
The most demanding aspect of family getaways lies in travelling to the destination, reveals the TripAdvisor survey.
Almost one in five (19%) parents find that journeys with their offspring pose the biggest headache, whilst for a further 16%, finding activities that everyone enjoys is the greatest challenge.
Keeping everyone entertained is the biggest hurdle for 13% of parents, whilst 12% find that staying on budget is a trial and 8% have difficulty in finding time to relax and unwind. A further 8% consider finding food which everyone likes to be the biggest holiday headache of all.
“ARE WE THERE YET?”...
With 20% of parents admitting they sometimes wish they could sit in a separate section of a plane from their offspring due to their misbehaviour, keeping children quiet on journeys can test even the most patient of souls.
When it comes to avoiding the dreaded cry of, “Are we there yet?”, the survey reveals that technology beats more traditional pastimes hands-down. Whilst 47% of parents turn to a TV or DVD player to entertain their offspring, 18% encourage their children to read books and 11% rely on the appeal of new toys.
A further 3% resort to over-the-counter children’s medicine, which surprisingly, constitutes a more popular solution than sweets (1%).
DADS ARE CHALLENGING TRAVEL COMPANIONS, TOO
Children are not the only challenging travel companions, reveals the survey! Whilst 54% of mothers maintain that their children and partner complain an equal amount on holiday, 51% believe that their partner and children are equally as difficult to please.
Men also lag behind children when it comes to language skills. Over one in five mothers (22%) maintain that their children are the most likely to pick up local words or phrases on holiday, whilst just 17% believe their partner is the most natural linguist.
Meanwhile, more than one in five mothers (22%) maintain their partner is the least willing to embrace the local cuisine on family holidays, whilst 60% find their children to be the fussiest eaters.
“Family holidays can be far from stress-free and often draw more parallels to scenes from The Simpsons than The Waltons. However, they’re also an unbeatable opportunity for spending quality time with your nearest and dearest,” said Luke Fredberg, TripAdvisor.
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Notes to editors
509 Britons took part in the TripAdvisor survey (March 2009)