LONDON, May 16, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- 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 spokesperson.
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 penalise
- 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 children:
- 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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TripAdvisor(R) is the world's largest travel site, enabling travelers to plan and have the perfect trip. TripAdvisor offers trusted advice from real travelers and a wide variety of travel choices and planning features (including Flights search, TripAdvisor Mobile and TripAdvisor Trip Friends) with seamless links to booking tools.
TripAdvisor(R) Media Group, operated by TripAdvisor LLC, attracts more than 50 million unique monthly visitors* across 18 popular travel brands**. TripAdvisor-branded sites make up the largest travel community in the world, with more than 40 million unique monthly visitors***, 20 million members, and over 45 million reviews and opinions. The sites operate in 29 countries worldwide****, including China under daodao.com. TripAdvisor also operates TripAdvisor for Business, a dedicated division that provides the tourism industry access to TripAdvisor's millions of monthly visitors. The division includes Business Listings, which allows hoteliers to connect directly to millions of researching travelers, and Vacation Rentals, which helps property managers and individual home owners list their properties and showcase hotel alternatives.
TripAdvisor Media Group websites have been recognized as top travel resources in 2010 by Condé Nast Traveller, Good Housekeeping, TIME magazine and Travel + Leisure.
TripAdvisor Media Group generated $486 million in revenue in 2010. TripAdvisor and the sites comprising the TripAdvisor Media Group are operating companies of Expedia, Inc. (NASDAQ: EXPE).
TripAdvisor logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of TripAdvisor LLC in the U.S. and/or other countries. Other logos or product and company names mentioned herein may be the property of their respective owners.
(c)2011 TripAdvisor LLC. All rights reserved.
*Source: comScore Media Metrix for TripAdvisor Media Group Sites, Worldwide, August 2010
** In addition to TripAdvisor, The TripAdvisor Media Group of websites includes: http://www.airfarewatchdog.com, http://www.bookingbuddy.com, http://www.cruisecritic.com, http://www.everytrail.com, http://www.familyvacationcritic.com, http://www.flipkey.com, http://www.holidaylettings.co.uk, http://www.holidaywatchdog.com, http://www.independenttraveler.com, http://www.onetime.com, http://www.seatguru.com, http://www.sniqueaway.com, http://www.smartertravel.com, http://www.travel-library.com, http://www.travelpod.com, http://www.virtualtourist.com and http://www.kuxun.cn.
***Source: comScore Media Metrix for TripAdvisor Sites, Worldwide, August 2010
**** TripAdvisor sites operate in 29 countries worldwide: http://www.tripadvisor.com, http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk, http://www.tripadvisor.ca, http://www.tripadvisor.it, http://www.tripadvisor.es, http://www.tripadvisor.de, http://www.tripadvisor.fr, http://www.tripadvisor.jp, http://www.daodao.com, http://www.tripadvisor.in, http://www.tripadvisor.se, http://www.tripadvisor.nl, http://www.tripadvisor.com.br, http://www.tripadvisor.com.tr, http://www.tripadvisor.dk, http://www.tripadvisor.com.mx, http://www.tripadvisor.ie, http://www.tripadvisor.com.au, http://www.tripadvisor.com.sg, http://www.tripadvisor.co.kr, no.tripadvisor.com, pl.tripadvisor.com, th.tripadvisor.com, http://www.tripadvisor.ru, http://www.tripadvisor.com.gr, http://www.tripadvisor.co.id, http://www.tripadvisor.com.ar, http://www.tripadvisor.tw and http://www.tripadvisor.com.my.