Survey Reveals Top Things that can Spoil Family Holidays

Families dream of holidays full of trips to the beach and days spent enjoying outdoor activities - but in reality lose five days to rain and fall out with each other on five occasions, a new survey has found

Researchers who carried out a detailed study among 2,000 parents discovered there is often a big difference between the ‘perfect’ trip – and the reality.

Ideally the dream family holiday involves 10 ice cream treats, nine trips to the beach and nine outdoor activities.

The research by Holiday Inn found parents also yearn for an 11 day-long trip, with nine leisurely walks together.

However the reality is that the break will last just nine days, involve three toddler tantrums, five family arguments and five days of rain.

It also emerged mums and dads will fork out £1,894, on average, for the family holiday but would happily pay just £170 less, as 56 per cent said expense was the main reason they don’t get the holiday they hoped for.

Additionally one in two said child-friendly affordable accommodation would instantly improve their trip.

The study also found the excitement of activities are just as important, with mums and dads wishing for 11 meals out, visiting eight tourist attractions and seven shopping trips.

However, the study found their actual summer holiday involves just nine dinners, six days out to tourist sites and six shopping sprees.

Families divided of opinion with three in 10 saying they simply don’t have enough time to do what they want.

More than a quarter said family arguments prevent them from enjoying their time off and nearly a third blame bad weather for putting a damper on their perfect vacation.

And more than half said the main reason they didn’t get the holiday they hoped for was due to cost.

The research by also revealed more than a third of families prefer to ‘vacation at a sunny beach resort abroad’, than staying at home, while one in ten prefer to opt for a UK city break when vacationing with the family.

But one in 10 dream of exotic trips outside of Europe and adventure-fuelled activity holidays, where they will go sightseeing, travel to theme parks or learn about the local history.

Dream family holiday:

  • 11 days long
  • 10 ice creams eaten as a family
  • 8 tourist attractions to visit
  • 11 meals out as a family
  • 9 trips to the beach
  • 10 new experiences had
  • 7 shopping trips
  • 23 more minutes of naptime on top of the typical 18 minutes a day.

Real family holiday:

  • 9 days long
  • 8 ice creams eaten as a family
  • 6 tourist attractions to visit
  • 9 meals out as a family
  • 7 trips to the beach
  • 8 new experiences had
  • 6 shopping trips
  • 18 minutes of naptime a day.
By Astrid Hall