family holiday
Kiss me quick: Swimming with dolphins’ is in the top of kids’ wish list

It doesn’t seem two minutes since it was half-term and now Easter school holidays are looming. So what makes the perfect family holiday?

Attraction Tickets Direct has just done a survey to find out – and adventure and shared experiences have come out on top.

The survey of more than 3,000 children, parents and grandparents was commissioned to find out more about what makes the perfect family holiday, who is in charge of the planning and what the most popular activities are during time away.

The study highlighted the surprising fact that kids want to spend most of their time outdoors, not in front of a television, computer or tablet. Children rated activities such as swimming (58%), riding a rollercoaster (55%) and swimming with dolphins (44%) as the things they would most like to do.

And it isn’t only children who are in pursuit of adventure on their break from everyday life. Parents and grandparents also voted for action-packed holidays, giving them the opportunity to act like big kids and escape from reality. Among the top places parents and grandparents would like to go are theme parks (43%, 36%), water parks (36%, 24%) and on safari (28%, 26%).

When asked what they like the most about their holiday, surprisingly nearly two-thirds of children (62%) said it was spending time with their family, showing the younger generation value the shared experiences just as much as the parents do.

Tech savvy kids get their inspiration online through social media (29%) and TV (50%) and the pester power is effective as when asked who plans the family getaway, almost half of parents (47.5%) said that it’s done all together as a family.

Nearly six out of 10 parents admitted that when on holiday, more than 70% of their time is spent doing an activity to make their children happy. That did depend on who was asked – with 65% of mums versus 45% of dads thinking that children dictated the holiday agenda.

Oliver Brendon, a dad and boss of Attraction Tickets Direct, said: “We conducted this research to learn more about what families look for in a holiday and what’s important to each generation. The results have been pleasantly surprising, showing that it’s spending time together as a family that they all want, doing exciting activities and being outdoors.

“It’s the experiences you have on a holiday that make the memories, and it’s encouraging to see that children appreciate these experiences as much as parents enjoy providing them. Whether it’s seeing Cinderella’s Castle for the first time, braving a huge roller coaster, seeing a sunset from Mount Teide or climbing to the top of the Empire State Building – the opportunity to see and do these things as a family is what makes people happy.”

Some of the quirkier facts to come out of the research were:
10% of dads would like to visit the moon or space for their next trip.
The majority of children (28%) guessed that their annual family break would cost £250 or less.
Other activities on children’s wish lists are to meet batman and see a mermaid!