Pre-schoolers enjoying sunshine breaks in far flung resorts, and silver surfers checking in online – the way the nation holidays has never been so adventurous according to new research from airline and operator Monarch.

The survey polled 2,000 UK adults and children about their holidaying habits, revealing how the nation’s family breaks have changed throughout the years.

The destination for the nation’s first family breaks has seen a significant change over the years; when asked where they had spent their first ever holiday, only 19% of over 50s had spent it abroad, compared with 37% of today’s generation of children. The average age at which today’s jet set kids first travel on a plane is five and three quarter years old – whereas almost two thirds (64%) of the over 50s polled didn’t take to the skies until at least their 16th birthday.

While their grandparents most likely spent their childhood holidays in British seaside resorts, 36% of UK kids are holidaying in Spain, one in five head to France and almost a third are even jetting off to far flung destinations such as America, the Caribbean and Asia.

Trips abroad with groups such as schools or clubs appear to have fallen out of favour in recent years, with only three in ten children (32%) being treated to these group trips, compared with almost half (46%) of their parents’ generation.

Although younger adults often see the introduction of modern technologies into their holiday experience as more of a positive than the over 50s, it seems that the more mature traveller is almost just as tech-savvy. Just 15% of over 50s polled saw online check-in ahead of travel as a negative, and half (49%) consider ticketless check-in a positive.

More mature Brits are also doing a lot of travelling – more than half (55%) of the over 50s polled take two or more holidays each year, compared with 29% of younger adults.

Meanwhile, holidaying as a wider family group is a popular concept right across the ages, with almost two thirds (62%) of over 50s holidaying regularly with their grown up children and 77% revealing the main reason for these family breaks is simply because they enjoy their company.

Younger adults also see their parents’ company as the primary reason to holiday together (68%), however almost a quarter did admit to there being more practical benefits such as looking after the grandchildren.

Ian Chambers, the company's head of digital and marketing, said: “The arrival of the package holiday is often credited with transforming the nation’s holidaying habits, and our poll has revealed the significant impact that affordable foreign travel has had on the types of breaks we have taken over the last 40 years.

“The introduction in the 1970s of affordable package holidays made international travel a reality for many British families, and transformed the range of holiday options available for a whole new generation.

“In recent years, technological developments have meant that the way we travel continues to develop – from online and ticketless check in, to 24/7 access to a holiday rep even before you travel via email, this survey shows just how well these changes are received by every age group.

“Best of all, it’s great to see that holidays, whether taken abroad or in the UK, continue to bring every generation together to enjoy each other’s company and make life-long memories – and that’s what it’s all about.”


Image Source: Syda Productions via Shutterstock

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