It’s easy enough to focus on what the people booking the holiday want when planning and advertising features of a holiday, and that’s usually the parents when it comes to a family trip away. Parents do usually take into consideration what their children want on holiday, though: it can take a while to save up for a big trip away, so it’s important that everyone’s happy.
Trips abroad increased by 9.4% in the UK last year, compared to the previous year, so it’s important to keep all those travelling happy, whatever their age. With this in mind, Jet2holidays surveyed some of its younger customers (aged 7–13) to find out what exactly makes the perfect holiday for them.
One of the travel trends predicted for 2016 was that families would travel more with their friends, so they could share their trip away and allow their children to play together. Interestingly, when asked who they would most like to go on holiday with, a third of 13-year-olds picked their best friend, so perhaps this new trend will keep everyone happy.
Half of the children surveyed did say that they wished their parents would spend more time and play more games with them on holiday though, so perhaps travelling in a bigger group is actually preventing families from bonding. Many holidays focus on activities for parents and children individually when ideally they should offer something the whole family can get involved in.
The top thing children said they got from going on holiday was new memories, with playing in the pool and jumping in the sea high on their list of enjoyable things to do – fun things the whole family can do together.
When it comes to destinations, children in the UK seem to have their eyes on the Mediterranean Coast. Spain was the most popular destination with those surveyed, followed closely by Italy and France. There were 13 million visits to Spain from UK residents in 2015, making it the most visited country abroad, so perhaps this is why kids now also favour the European country, following in the footsteps of their parents.
Accommodation is something parents spend a long time looking into, especially when they have children to consider. Jet2holidays had some great answers from children about what their ideal hotel would be like, and found that a fifth of them wanted somewhere space-themed. Half of them wanted theme park rides incorporated within their hotel and 27% said zoo animals were a must.
While it’s understandable that many of these kids’ requests won’t be feasible for businesses to incorporate in their holiday offering, it’s definitely worth keeping in mind what the younger generation wants when it comes to advertising and attracting families to book with you.
One way to focus on attracting more families is to make your website as family-friendly and fun as possible. Over half (57%) of all travel bookings are now made on the internet, so a business’ website needs to attract guests young and old. The homepage should be used to advertise all the family-friendly amenities on offer – whether that’s a space-themed hotel or something else!
With so many family holidays on offer, it’s a good idea to try to stand out from the crowd, and offering extra child-friendly incentives is a good way to do this. While a hotel incorporating rollercoasters and zoo animals may not be the easiest way to do this, it’s interesting to see that the data shows children have a strong focus on animals while on holiday and also keep technology close to their heart.
There were some rather odd requests from the children surveyed, too: pets featured heavily on the list of things they would like to take on holiday with them, with budgies, ponies, and hamsters all making the cut. One football-loving child even said they wished they could take the whole of the St Johnstone FC with them.
Zoe Towers, Head of Product at Jet2holidays, said: “It’s great to see that family holidays top the list as the favourite time of year for most children, and it’s so interesting to find out exactly what a kid’s ideal holiday looks like when it comes to location, activities, and the hotel.
“We love hearing how imaginative kids can be when it comes to what they want on holiday – a space-themed hotel would definitely be fun, but it would take some planning to bring the whole of St Johnstone FC on a plane to join them!”
This research shows that while parents are ultimately in charge of booking the family holiday, children certainly know what they want and may have an impact on the final holiday destination and accommodation decisions.
Businesses need to take this into consideration when planning their future marketing and advertising campaigns. While some of these requests may not be instantly implementable, they are definitely something to keep in mind for holidays of the future with a younger generation on board.
About the author
Matt Jones writes for travel, media and management publications with a wide range of companies from around the world. He has a keen interest in the hospitality industry as well as a slight obsession with food!