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Holidays ‘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 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.

Further information
For more information please contact Nicola Frame, The Adventure Company’s PR Manager on nicola.frame@intrepidtravel.com or +44 (0)7725 261232

About The Adventure Company
For more than 15 years, The Adventure Company has been taking people on memorable holidays to some of the world’s most amazing places. It is the UK’s leading family adventure holiday specialist, with almost 100 trips that are designed especially for families. From sleeping under the stars to getting up close to incredible wildlife, The Adventure Company offers an unrivalled range of unforgettable holiday experiences that the whole family can enjoy together. For more information visit www.adventurecompany.co.uk/family