- Jet2holidays reveals top tips for harmonious holidaying with children
- ‘Stress less Spain’ unveiled as the favoured family holiday destination
- One in ten parents yet to venture abroad with their offspring
- Tomato sauce, the secret ingredient of a successful trip!
In time for the summer holidays, leading package holiday specialist Jet2holidays has surveyed more than 2,000 parents across the UK to unlock the secret to a happy and harmonious family holiday.
Jet2holidays commissioned the consumer research to better understand the holidaying needs of families as part of it’s continual development to service and holiday products, and has used the results to formulate top travel tips for families looking to take their tots (aged 0-5) and tweens (aged 6-12) on holiday. The holiday company recognises that some parents need support as the poll revealed that one in ten parents are yet to venture abroad on a family holiday for fear of it being an experience that is more stressful than relaxing.
According to the survey, creating the perfect family holiday needn’t be a worry. Whilst the research indicates that two weeks may be too long with a fifth (18 per cent) favouring the one week option, a third (30 per cent) say the familiarity of ‘Stress less Spain’ is their destination of choice when the offspring are in tow. The tried and trusted destination is also within child-friendly distance for families as one in three parents (31 per cent) say a three-hour flight is as much as they can contain their kids’ excitement for.
Finding a balance between the kids taking part in activities and the family spending quality time together, is what makes a successful escape for everyone, according to two fifths (44 per cent) of respondents. A splash of culture is also vital for nearly a fifth (16 per cent) of people, who believe holidays offer the perfect opportunity to broaden their children’s horizons.
More than one in ten (12 per cent) prefer to give their family the five star treatment choosing to lavish their loved ones with some holiday luxury. Nevertheless, a third (29 per cent) put value for money at the top of the list when choosing their favoured family break, whether it’s booking an all inclusive package break or choosing a hotel with added extras such as tailored kids’ activities.
Pat Spungin, family psychologist, commented on the findings: “It’s sad to see some parents potentially missing out on the experience of holidaying abroad with their children. Undoubtedly there are some common pitfalls which can discourage foreign travel, but the benefits to all the family far out-weigh any minor stresses.
“The parents that were surveyed revealed the highlights of taking their kids abroad on holiday. Whether it’s seeing their children revelling in new found freedom or reconnecting with them through fun, far away from everyday regimes, holidays allow families to create memories that can be cherished for a lifetime. There is nothing more bond building and strengthening than shared experiences.”
The tips have been specially selected to respond to the report which found one in three (30 per cent) claim it’s the tots who cause the most holiday headaches, compared with one in ten (11 per cent) who believe keeping the tweens entertained is the hardest holiday hassle. It’s also double trouble for those with more than one offspring, as a fifth (20 per cent) think keeping tabs on several children is enough to send stress levels soaring.
Steve Heapy, Managing Director of Jet2holidays, Chief Commercial Officer of Jet2.com and Dad of two, said: “Clearly holidaying abroad is met with some trepidation from parents. Jet2holidays is dedicated to delivering the ultimate holiday experience for families. We really want the whole family to enjoy the benefits of a foreign holiday and our tips for tot and tween travel help make sure pitfalls such as, tantrums at the airport and refusal to try foreign food, are avoided. We’ve collected some fantastic suggestions from packing tomato sauce to make meal times easier, to planning plenty of activities to make sure there’s something different to look forward to each day.
“At Jet2holidays, we pride ourselves on catering for the needs of all the family. Our generous 22kg baggage allowance means there’s no need to worry about packing, one of the top holiday stresses that parents reported. Allocated seating helps set the tone for a hassle free holiday with parents safe in the knowledge that they don’t need to rush to find seats together. Many of our family packages also feature extras such as theme and waterpark entry to provide exceptional value for money helping budget conscious families to still enjoy the experience of a holiday together.”
Family Holiday Tips
Based on parents’ feedback from the survey, Jet2holidays has compiled the following top tips for a happy family holiday:
- Involve the children when choosing the right holiday. Whether it’s a pool or beach they prefer, or free play over a kids club, their preferences may help make the final decision. That way parents can rest easy that the kids will look forward to the holiday as much as them!
- With little ones, keep to their usual routine as much as possible for a smooth transition from home to holiday.
- Pack plenty of home comforts, including blankets or a favourite toy or teddy. Tomato ketchup is a must for fussy eaters and is guaranteed to make meal times less stressful!
- Prepare a plane goody bag with their favourite things to keep them occupied and take advantage of in-flight entertainment on longer flights. The most recommended item is a colouring book with crayons – it doesn’t take much space and provides hours of fun.
- Plan ahead, make sure the itinerary includes some fresh experiences and unusual activities for all the family to enjoy and look forward to together.
- Keep the children entertained throughout by holding back a few different toys for later in the holiday when early excitement begins to fade.
- Save up a special activity such as a visit to a theme park for the middle or end of the holiday.
- Stay sun safe with high factor sun protection, plenty of water and lots of shade. Encourage a nap to avoid the strong midday sun and stave off tiredness.
- Look out for kids clubs or family activities on offer and encourage the children to get involved and make friends.
- Loosen the reins on older offspring by giving them some independence. A little bit of freedom goes a long way for a harmonious holiday.
- Above all, go with the right attitude. Be prepared to compromise, join in their activities and enjoy the quality time together.
Mr Heapy continued: “We’ve been overwhelmed with the great advice parents have shared with us and hope the tips will help to encourage those still nervous about travelling with children to give it a go. A surprising number of people confessed to taking extra reinforcements on holiday with extended family invited along to ease and share parental duties, some even admitted to hiring a nanny! Hopefully the tips will help show that a family holiday can be both fun and relaxing so that parents give themselves the opportunity to experience what could be the highlight of their year!”
Jet2holidays recently launched its first dedicated family holiday brochure featuring thousands of free child places for 2013 as well as handpicked hotels and locations, perfect for the quarter (25 per cent) who say even finding the right family friendly holiday is a challenge. This new dedicated holiday range aims to alleviate travel concerns, especially for those who admit taking a newborn baby on a foreign holiday is more stress inducing than planning a wedding, or even preparing for Christmas!
To book a family holiday for just £60 deposit per person, or find out further information, please visit www.Jet2holidays.com, freephone 0800 408 5594 or visit your travel agent.