The team behind myvouchercodes.co.uk/travel surveyed 2,197 parents from all around the UK as part of ongoing research into the cost of family holidays. All respondents stated that they were at least 18 years old, have two or more children under the age of 16 years old and went on a holiday abroad in the last 12 months.
Initially all respondents were asked ‘Did your last family holiday abroad take place during the holidays or term time?’ to which 81% stated that they have to book during school holidays, whilst 19% confessed they book during term time. Of the parents who stated that they went during term time, 48% had permission from the school, 29% stated that they hadn’t informed the school and 13% had informed the school but had received no reply. Just 10% admitted they were not given permission to take their children abroad during term time. When asked why they went during term time, 91% stated it was to ‘keep costs down’.
The average holiday duration was found to be seven nights. When asked what type of board they prefer, 58% stated that their preference is all-inclusive, whilst others prefer self-catering (23%), half-board (12%) or bed and breakfast (7%).
All respondents were then asked, ‘When booking your family holiday, do you purchase a package holiday or do you book everything separately yourself?’ to which 67% stated that they book package holidays. Those who choose to book aspects themselves stated it was because ‘it takes longer but saves a lot of money’ (49%) and ‘you get a better choice’ (34%).
When asked how much they estimated that they spent on a family holiday in total, covering the cost of the holiday itself and any extra costs during the holiday, the average was found to be £4,650. This was split as £3,050 for any flights and accommodation and £1,600 on spending money and holiday extras.
Asked to state what they found to be the most expensive additional costs once on holiday, all respondents were provided with a list of potential products and services that would incur a cost and told to select the one they felt had cost them the most on their most recent holiday. The following five were found to be the most expensive:
Day trips – 35%
Activities to keep the children entertained – 21%
Food and drink – 19%
Souvenirs – 12%
Childcare, ie. hotel crèches and babysitters – 4%
Finally, all respondents were quizzed about their holiday frequency, with nearly two-thirds (62%) admitting that they ‘can’t afford’ to go abroad every year.
Anders Nilsson, spokesperson at myvouchercodes.co.uk/travel, said:
“Parents spend a huge chunk of their household income on the annual family holiday, so while it’s not advisable to take children out of school in term time it’s understandable given that trips abroad are often much cheaper then. But as with most things, it’s possible to save a decent amount of money, even on trips during the school holidays, by shopping around between various providers of package holidays, flights and hotels, and to keep an eye out for money-off deals and discount vouchers. There are usually decent savings to be had on everything from full holidays to specific things like flights and airport parking.”