New research reveals that children are actually the key influencer for parents choosing their next holiday destination.
The study, by Dubai Tourism and comissioned in partnership with psychologist and social commentator Honey Langcaster-James reveals that our holiday patterns spilt the average British family into five distinct holiday typologies:
- Modern Day Waltons – taking inspiration from the classic American dream, these families spend all their time together to create fantastic memories
- Frugal Families – parents who save and look for the best deals whilst planning and during their breakaway
- Culture Vultures – families who use holidays to explore and experience new customs and cultures
- Clingers – for this tribe, holidays are used as a chance to make new friends and to add to their address book through socialising
- 50:50 – it’s an equal split when this family go away between spending time as a couple and spending time as a family
However of these five groups, research shows this year’s most prominent tribe is The Modern Day Waltons, as families taking a break search for a destination that offers the opportunity to create those special memories made through spending quality time together.
Ian Scott, UK and Ireland Director of Dubai Tourism and Commerce Marketing, comments: “As families plan and book their 2012 holidays we at Dubai Tourism wanted to get an insight into what it is driving holiday decisions. Every family is different and it is really interesting to see these five typologies emerge around how as a nation we choose to holiday. With people having to be more cautious with cash yet also working longer hours than ever, children are at the heart of parents’ decisions when choosing their family holiday destination. As a destination, Dubai is committed to offering families a great value holiday experience and in partnering with psychologist Honey Langcaster-James, we have gained a valuable insight into British holiday habits and the role family time plays in their holidays.”
Modern Day Waltons
In families that fit this category, children are the power-players when planning a holiday as 69% of parents admit that their choice of destination is made as a family, whilst ensuring the holiday will expand the children’s horizons and show them new things. In addition, staying together and ensuring quality time is spent as a family whilst on holiday is the most important aspect of a breakaway. When asked what the key priorities are to bring back from a holiday, two thirds of parents admit it is the memories of the time spent together as a family, as well as 60 per cent who said it was to enjoy and be able to reminisce about fun memories and anecdotes.
Honey Langster James, psychologist and social commentator comments: “Modern families now have the opportunity to travel further afield and explore the world together so it’s no surprise that some families want to experience a bit of culture as well as just take time to relax as a family. However, there are distinctly different types of families with some preferring lots of sightseeing and group expeditions and others preferring a chance to relax and have the kids catered for at a stimulating kids club while they relax by the pool. For this reason families should take time to consider which type of family they are and carefully choose a holiday that meets their individual needs. It’s about making sure the right family get the right package for them that’s key to making happy memories for years to come!”
For Frugal Families they still want a break, but value for money and free local activities are the driving force to avoid breaking the budget. When choosing a destination, it’s also about ensuring mum and dad are not digging too deep into their pockets with just under a fifth admitting they are influenced by price.
As purse strings tighten further in 2012, over a fifth of parents admit one of the most important things to bring back from their holiday is the knowledge they’ve stuck to the budget set out before travelling.
Whilst Frugal Families and the Modern Day Waltons lead the family tribes for 2012, other interesting outtakes from the research include;
- Culture Vultures, these families focus on learning and education for their holidays as over a fifth of parents admit the key priority from a breakaway is to open the children’s eyes to new experiences, customs and cultures
- It’s not always about the children on a 50:50 tribe trip, 17 per cent of parents begin planning nights out as a couple when they’ve booked their holiday and start providing the kids with choices for them to do too. In addition, over 1 in 10 confess they find having to amuse their children if the babysitter is ill or the kids club is cancelled the most irritating aspect about going on holiday as a family
- For Clingers, going on holiday is all about interacting with other families as 30 per cent of parents admit the key priorities when taking a break are plenty of family friendly areas and activities for parents and kids alike, so they’re able to meet like minded families