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As one might expect I get all sorts of emails land in my inbox.  Some of these emails are clearly spam and others are sent out giving information to people like myself to be used as content if we so wish.  Generally I don’t post these as I don’t have much time to also include content from others but having had a read of the information sent through from a company called Tots To Travel I thought that I might share some snippets with you, not because I needed content as I have plenty of my own but in this instance I thought that this might be of relevance to many of you.

The email titled “YOUNG FAMILIES DRIVE JANUARY HOLIDAY BOOKINGS – As holiday industry ‘bargain shouting’ falls on deaf ears –“ was an interesting read and actually stopped to make me think.

With the start of 2017 the initial overseas winter holiday market rush which initially began in December 2016 with the over 55’s is overtaken by young parents.  These young parents are on the hunt for holidays that are more than just a bargain.  When you have little ones there is so much more that needs to be considered aside from the price.

The UK’s leading baby and toddler-friendly holiday company Tots To Travel have been doing their research and the findings suggest the holiday preferences of parents with young children are based on compensating for the quality time challenges many face in their daily lives.  Parents with demanding full-time jobs or with larger families have less everyday quality time with their young children and these parents look to family holiday as the time to redress the balance.


Time challenges at home

Although both parents will cherish the same top five weekly activities that they regard to be ‘quality time moments’ with their young children – such as cuddle time which has to be my favourite (76%), going to the park (73%), family walks (69%), bedtime stories (67%) and eating dinner together (66%) less than one in two fathers manage to enjoy a wide range of other important activities with their children during the typical week.  These include: eating breakfast together (47%), swimming (44%), taking family photos (42%), doing arts and crafts (38%), taking children to play dates or parties (25%) or going to a toddler group (26%).  The issues faced by fathers is mirrored by those working full-time.  Men are the primary breadwinners in two in three households suggesting the quality time gap is more a symptom of long working hours than being a gender divide.


Similar challenges are faced by parents with three or more children (I would fall into this category), who simply don’t have the time to enjoy such a range of nourishing quality time moments at home with their young children (see table one).

Table one: Weekly quality time activities by number of children in the household



2 children 3+ children
Going to the park/playing in the garden 73% 78% 62%
Going out for family walks or day trips 74% 67% 53%
One-to-one playtime (i.e. just me and my child) 71% 69% 40%
Reading bedtime stories 67% 71% 57%
Bath time “fun” 76% 60% 49%
Learning numbers and/or words 68% 64% 38%
Eating breakfast together 55% 50% 33%


Quality time preferences drive holiday choices 

Recent figures indicate the number of UK people working more than 48 hours a week has increased by 350,000 in the last decade.  I work as many hours as I physically can from home around the children and their schedules.  The time challenges that families such as mine face at home plays out directly on what we look for from our family holiday.

  1. i) Choosing the resort

Whilst 41% of young parents do want a good deal it isn’t the only factor at play when we select our holiday destination.  With parents being more conscious about the foods their children eat a factor to consider is whether the resort offers child-friendly and nutritious menus rather than just smaller portions of adult menus and this was the top consideration (44%) in the survey carried out.  This was followed by a range of other convenience considerations that would free parents up to enjoy quality time with their children: Accommodation being close to shops and amenities (37%), having inter-connecting rooms as standard (25%) and the resort providing baby essentials including blackout blinds, baby monitors and sterilisers for free (24%).  These factors were all more important to parents with busy, full-time jobs at home.


  1. ii) Getting there

Beyond simply choosing the location, factors that related to getting to the resort were also hugely important for young parents.  The majority (57%) would only consider a location that offered a direct flight (if there wasn’t a direct flight I wouldn’t even consider the location as an option), 53% said they would want to fly from a nearby airport and 43% would look for an easy transfer from airport to the resort.  Short flights were also crucial (46%) as was the ability to fly at a time of day that didn’t disrupt a child’s sleep or food routine.  Any recent holidays that I have been on have all been to places that had a flight time of under 5 hours as the thought of travelling further with my 3 little ones is not an option.


Wendy Shand, Founding Director at Tots To Travel comments: “Despite all the economic gloom before Christmas, the holiday industry has started with a bang in 2017 and young families are becoming one of the key driving forces in the UK market. Whereas research in recent years has pointed towards a resurgence in staycations for many consumers, for parents of young children the overseas family holiday remains a keystone of their year and has a serious role to play. For young parents, the overseas holiday is one of the key times in the year when everyone gets the chance to enjoy quality time together – and quality time that isn’t against the clock as can be the case at home.


The work-life balance dynamics at home are changing the terms on what young parents want from a holiday abroad. A bargain is always welcome, but at a time of year when holiday firms are bombarding consumers with offers that don’t go much deeper than headline price, it is time for the industry at large to stand back, wake up and better understand what young families actually want from their fortnight abroad.”


At Tots, we are a holiday business by and for young families and in the last two weeks we have experienced a significant upturn in holiday enquiries. Christmas week and the summer holiday are possibly the two times of the year when young families can truly switch off and enjoy total and uninterrupted quality time with their young children. It is perhaps no surprise that once Christmas is over, many young families are keen to book their next tranche of quality family time before returning to work.”


The research was conducted by YouGov among a nat.rep sample of 519 young families.

To discover more about Tots To Travel and its difference visit: https://totstotravel.co.uk

Are you planning on travelling this year?

If you have children do they influence your holiday choices?

Photographs are copyright of Melanie Edjourian

64 thoughts on “Young Families Want More Than Just a Bargain Holiday!”

  1. I think it must have such a big impact on where you go with a family. When I was younger, we couldn’t afford to go abroad. Being a single person with no kids, I like going wherever I want which is nice. Good to hear companies like this set up x

  2. I don’t have children yet but can imagine it must be so difficult to find a great holiday destination for the entire family! Great and informative post!!
    L x

  3. Quite shocked by these statistics – i know some parents who think it’s better to dress the child fashionably and have the latest gadgets rather than nurturing and simple pleasures of reading and swimming -holidays are important even if only once a year or even day trips -bonding and communication are so important to a childs wellbeing food for thought for many

  4. Interesting post, I don’t have any children but am planning on taking quite a few trips this year. Though growing up we only did one big holiday a year and them a few smaller breaks x

  5. What a fabulous company! It was always paramount that we too our children to places where there was a lot of activities and things for them to do, rather than us. This company could have a massive future!

  6. This is interesting, I would’ve thought that young parents wouldn’t want to go on lots of holidays as they are expensive and a lot of hassle but I see why they would want to spend some special quality time with their children.

    1. I for one wouldn’t want to go on lots of holidays but a few once in a while to spend stress free time with the kids in the right environment would be lovely.

  7. I don’t have children yet but I probably wouldn’t want to take them abroad when they were too young, think it would be too much hassle plus they would be too young to appreciate it & remember it anyway

  8. My lads a bit older, a lovely friend has often lent me her house when she’s away as she lives by the sea but this year me and my boy are off to a festival. Working not partying

  9. I really hate the fact that holiday companies and airlines hike their prices by extortionate levels during half terms. It’s so unfair to patents.

  10. Were on a tight budget paying a mortgage doesn’t leave us alot of money for holidays so we tend to visit my brother in Wales who puts us up which saves a big chunk for us .

  11. Brilliant blog piece. The one thing I noticed when I went away with my partners and my little fella last year was how strange it felt to be all in each other’s company for so long at a time…weird feeling? x

  12. All I can say is I’m pleased I’m well passed the ‘parenting’ stage in life.
    Life is difficult enough these days with out travel companies taking advantage of people with children only being able to go on holiday in the school holidays and hiking up the price of said holiday.
    Although I do enjoy a ‘child free’ holiday these days so make a point of never going on holiday myself during the school holidays.

  13. My daughter’s father works such long hours that he rarely sees her, holidays once a year are the only time we all get quality time together. We only usually go to a caravan park but we love it

    1. I don’t think it matters so much where you go although it can add to the enjoyment. It’s about spending time as a family.

  14. I find going away with children can cost an arm and a leg, plan ahead on ways to keep children entertained without paying a penny

  15. Tots to travel what a wonderful idea…I’m gonna spread the word because there’s plenty of families out there that would love to know about this..

  16. Great post it was very interesting to read. I love going on family holidays…..the best memories I have are of family holidays.

  17. We are a young family and have to take in so many consideration’s when booking, our oldest son is 12 and our daughters are 4 and 4 months so we need to make sure they are all entertained, we usually stay in the UK for holidays and have booked a few cottages, they are fantastic as you get the option of safety gates, highchairs, and travel cot for the baby, there is an outdoor heated pool, adventure playground and games room which will keep them all entertained and we like to go because of the beautiful scenery but it still needs to be close enough for days out to theme parks, farms etc but not cost the earth xxx

  18. Excellent tips! I loved reading your post! It’s true we don’t just want something that’s cheap. There is much more to consider.

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