New research by One Poll for Thomas Cook reveals that 50% of kids decide where to go on the family holiday

While 50% of parents state quality time together to be most important aspect of a family holiday, surprisingly 89% of children prefer to spend most of their time with their family – with 25% wanting to spend all of their time with Mum and Dad!

Despite the rise of ‘travel friendly technologies’, kids still prefer traditional holiday activities such as swimming and making new friends over iPads, gadgets and games.

2013-07-31 — / — New research by One Poll for Thomas Cook shows that one in three parents allow their children to choose the family holiday, with two in ten going so far as letting their child have the final say on where they go every year, every time. That’s a lot of pester power!

The research also showed that 50% of parents choose their annual holiday based solely on whether the kids would enjoy it – proving that children really do wear the trousers when it comes to one of the most important purchases of the year.

With 24% of all holidays taken last year being family holidays* It’s clear that quality time away is a priority for parents, particularly with the average working week in the UK topping 43.6 hours for men and 37 hours for working mums. It’s not surprising that when asked what they most looked forward to when going on holiday, 50% of adults said that spending time with the family was most important – even if one in four said they did appreciate a bit of ‘me time’ away from the kids when abroad. By comparison, the poll of a thousand 4-16 year olds found that a huge 89% wanted to spend some or all of their time with mum and dad.

Uli Sperl, Product & Yield Director, Thomas Cook UK & Ireland, said: “As our research shows, the main priority for parents travelling with us is to spend quality time together while enjoying a great holiday abroad. As such, the family offering featured in our new product range for Summer 14 has been designed to meet their needs, providing great value on safe, quality assured and exclusive holidays, which is a key element of our new strategy.

“We’re featuring more exciting family holidays than ever before, including the introduction of Sunwing Premium Family Resorts and the addition of five new Aquamania resorts. Furthermore, we’ve simplified our brochures to better showcase the destinations and hotel concepts on offer to make it easier for all our customers, young and old, to find the holiday that’s right for them.”

With iPods, smart phones and tablets now a fixture in our daily lives, the number of people taking gadgets on holiday is at an all-time high, and with 1,000’s of Thomas Cook’s hotels offering Wi-Fi, technology is changing the way we holiday. However, research shows that children still favour more traditional activities while abroad, with one in three choosing ‘the swimming pool’ as the thing they most looked forward to about going on holiday.

A huge 60% said their dream holiday would include unlimited access to a waterpark and surprisingly only 22% of children chose gadgets and computer games as being an essential part of their holiday. In fact less than 10% of children said they miss computers and computer games while on holiday – proving the value of quality family time abroad.

Thomas Cook has launched its Summer 2014 programme this week, and holidaymakers can expect to see a full range of holidays for families on offer. With five FamilyWORLD properties, Sunwing hotels developed exclusively for families that are willing to spend a bit more, as well as hundreds of child friendly resorts and hotels in popular destinations – Thomas Cook has created a variety of fun family holiday experiences, designed to suit all tastes and budgets.

Mike Hoban, Marketing, Sales and Ecommerce Director at Thomas Cook said: “With the Summer season in full swing, families are already looking to book their holiday for next year and we’ve made sure that we’ve got our best offers and family deals on the table – allowing those who want the guarantee of knowing their holiday is fully booked and their budget sorted for the year ahead, as well as having something to look forward to.”

With this in mind Thomas Cook is offering ‘Kids for a Quid’ on selected Summer 2014 family holidays, for those looking to book early and save – and with 60% of children saying their dream holiday would include an on-sight waterpark, Thomas Cook has added five new Aquamania resorts to its product profile for summer 2014, bringing its total to 43.

Top 5 Summer 2013 Family Destinations

1. Turkey

2. Balearics, Spain

3. Greece

4. Tunisia

5. Canaries



Notes to editors:

1,000 Adults and 1,000 children aged between 4-16 took part in a survey on behalf of Thomas Cook by OnePoll

*Mintel research – Holiday Planning and booking October 2012

**Mintel research – Family Holidays taken in 2012

Terms and conditions re:

‘Kids for a Quid’ promotion * There are a limited number of holidays available where the first child pays only £1 (plus any applicable supplements). These are available at selected properties on selected dates from all UK airports. We will make a limited number of first child places available from £1 and when these have sold out we will offer the first child our lowest available current child price at the time of enquiry. Prices for second and subsequent children may also be available. Child age restrictions apply and are specific to the holiday chosen. Ask your Thomas Cook or The Co-operative Travel agent for full details of child price conditions.
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