Family Holidays Take a hit as Parents Forced to Slash Budgets

By Tripadvisor, PRNE
Sunday, May 15, 2011

Research Reveals Half of British Parents Take Kids out of School in Term-time

LONDON, May 16, 2011 - As half term approaches, new research from TripAdvisor, the
world's largest travel site, reveals more than half (53%) of British parents
are spending less on family holidays in 2011 compared to 2010, and almost
half (46%) admit they have broken the rules and taken their child on holiday
during term time to save money.

The TripAdvisor Family Holiday Survey, carried out on 2,000
parents across the UK*, reveals that government spending cuts are
significantly impacting family holiday spend this year.

"These findings will come as no surprise to all those parents
who are seriously considering sacrificing the family holiday altogether this
year. For many families, breaking the rules and taking their child out of
school to avoid peak holiday costs is regarded as the only way they can
afford a family holiday this year," commented Emma O'Boyle, TripAdvisor

Half of British families slash holiday budgets in 2011

With government cuts taking hold, job security under threat
and taxes on the rise, the TripAdvisor Family Holiday Survey found:

- More than half (53%) of British parents will spend less on family
travel in 2011 than they did in 2010

- 44% of British parents claim the government spending cuts will directly
impact their travel plans in 2011

Rebellious Parents: Schools Fail To Penalise

Since 2004, schools and courts have had powers to issue
penalty notices of up to GBP2,500 to parents who take their children on
holiday during term-time**.The controversial topic looks set to heat up again
as the TripAdvisor study reveals that half (46%) of parents have taken this
route to avoid peak-time prices. Of these:

- 47% claimed the school turned a blind eye

- 46% said the school "wasn't happy", but still didn't

- Parents in the East Midlands are most rebellious - 62% have taken their
kids on holiday during term time, compared to the national average of 46%

- Only 7% of UK parents were fined for doing so - although
this rises to a more significant 17% in Scotland

Of the 54% of parents who have not yet taken their children
out of school in term time, more than a third (36%) said they would consider
doing so in the future.

Family Flying: A Frosty Reception

The subject of children on planes has been hotly debated
recently with calls from certain quarters for adults-only flights. According
to the TripAdvisor Family Survey, a quarter (24%) of parents who have flown
with children under the age of three claim to have experienced negative
reactions from fellow passengers.

Of the 44% of respondents who have not yet flown with their
young children, almost a quarter (22%) admit it's because they feel it would
be unfair on other passengers. Of those who have not flown with their

- 27% claim it is unfair to their child (increasing to 47% in Wales)

- 21% say flying is too expensive with their child

- 32% prefer UK holidays with their child

London Parents More Self-interested And Strict on Holiday

The TripAdvisor Family Survey also reveals significant splits across the
UK when it comes to how parents approach family holidays. When questioned on
the importance of fun versus learning on holiday, London parents were by far
the most concerned about education - 29% admit they make their child learn
about the local culture or language on holiday, compared to the national
average of just 16%, falling to only 2% of parents in the East Midlands.

Nationally, a quarter (26%) of parents believe their own
preferences are more important on holiday, while 25% claim their child's
needs come first. Half of British parents (50%) try to strike a balance
between the two.

- London has the most self-interested parents - over a third (36%) admit
to prioritising their own preferences when choosing a family holiday

- At the other end of the scale, only 18% of parents in Northern Ireland
prioritise their own preferences over their child's

- 22% of London parents claim not to have changed their holiday choices
since having children - double the national average of 11%

"Financially, times are tough for families this year, and when
it comes to travel we're likely to see parents making savvy spending
decisions, rather than sacrificing the family holiday altogether. Parents
trying to save money should look to take advantage of early booking discounts
or, if there's a larger group, consider a holiday rental option instead."

*Survey taken on 8th February on 2,000 parents with
school-aged children from 5 to 16 years-old


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*Source: comScore Media Metrix for TripAdvisor Media Group Sites,
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***Source: comScore Media Metrix for TripAdvisor Sites, Worldwide, August

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