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Young Families Want More Than Just a Bargain Holiday!

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

This Post Has 64 Comments

  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

    1. It can be hard to get away the more children you have.

  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

    1. It can be hard and expensive.

  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

    1. I love holidays. I wish we could afford to go on more.

  4. There are some great tips here. If i had kids, a kid friendly resort would be really important for me x

    1. It’s something that I find very important with my 3 😉

  5. 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

    1. That’s a great way to break up the year by adding in small breaks.

  6. While price is important I’m sure it’s not the main thing which concerns parents before they book a holiday x

    1. I agree there is much more to consider.

  7. Very interesting we not planning on going away this year as need time to save so hoping we can go somewhere next year.

    1. When and wherever you go I hope you have a lovely time.

  8. 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!

    1. It is good to take children to places where there is entertainment for them s it adds to their enjoyment.

  9. We love spending quality time together as a family and can’t wait to our family holiday! 🙂

    1. I hope you have a lovely time Lilinha 😉

  10. 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.

  11. i love holidays and its great when a blogger can say ive been there it was great ect

    1. It can be great to get recommendations from others and see pictures to of far off places.

  12. Enjoy, i personally am scared of flying and with trying to be brave in front of children worst nightmare

    1. I’m not keen either but I love holidays in beautiful surroundings abroad 😉

  13. A well written article thanks – very useful to all use parents who are looking for a holiday on a shoestring!

    1. Thanks Tracy, we all like a bargain and more included.

  14. i always find i need a holiday to recover from a holiday

    1. Lol, sometimes I need one to recover from the school holidays.

  15. 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

    1. We have done it a few times and it is hard work but I must say they do love holidays.

  16. 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

    1. Now that would be a bargain holiday and would save you loads each year. Hope this years festival is great fun!


    1. He likes to get comfy 😉

  18. Interesting read. I hopeyou have a fab time together wherever you go.

    1. Thanks Bev 😉

  19. looks like you all enjoyed it x

  20. 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.

    1. I agree it is unfair. It’s a shame that nothing is done to stop them taking advantage.

  21. 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 .

    1. It’s great when you can do that as it serves as an inexpensive break.

  22. 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

    1. It does feel strange although nice too 😉

  23. its amazing how when we have more than one child, we seem to do less!!

    1. It is a struggle the more you need to travel with.

  24. 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.

    1. It can be far more expensive which is unfair but we are in their hands unfortunately.

  25. Looking forwarf to taking away the grandkids this year tbh

    1. Have a lovely break John.

  26. everyone loves a bargain, great article, very fun to read

    1. Thanks Gemma, glad you liked it.

  27. 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.

  28. 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

    1. You should plan ahead as there are many special offers available if you look for them.

  29. We do caravan holidays saves so much on entertainment

  30. 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..

    1. I am sure there are. Thanks so much for helping spread the word.

  31. family time is precious and makes great memories!

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

    1. They are a great way to create treasured memories.

  33. 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

    1. That sounds like a great way to holiday. I haven’t stayed in a cottage in the UK as family yet.

  34. 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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