April 2018
  • Taking embarrassing snaps, attempting to speak the local language and spending way too much time checking work emails are among things kids wish their parents didn’t do on holiday
  • Leading child psychologist and an independent study of 1,000 British children aged six to 12 years finds that kids would feel more grown up and valued if they could help make holiday decisions
  • Age-old sun cream wars continue to be the biggest bug bear for modern kids across the UK, who still aren’t keen on the lotion rub down and trying – and often failing – to speak the local language
  • Other pet peeves include parents being too protective
  • Despite being brought up in a tech-obsessed world, kids would opt for more quality family time and adventure outdoors if they were given the chance to plan the holiday

An independent study produced by Marella Cruises, the UK’s third largest cruise line, found what would happen if you let your children plan your holiday. Nearly a third (31.9%) of little ones stated that spending time with parents is the most important thing to do on a holiday. In comparison, a meagre 2.8% of those surveyed would want to play on their phone. The great outdoors also triumphed over tech, with a quarter of kids (25.5%) saying they’d rather explore and go on an adventure than stare at a screen whilst on their family holiday.

Of those surveyed, one in 10 think their parents worry about work too much to truly unwind and enjoy their time together. Meanwhile, 20.8% of kids claim total and utter embarrassment when mum and dad get carried away with the camera, taking too many photos.

The research also reveals children thrive when being involved with the holiday planning, with 59% wanting the freedom to choose the family activities and over half (51%) stating they would feel more grown up if their parents let them pick where they wanted to go and what they wanted to do whilst away.

Renowned child psychologist Dr. Anna Colton, who worked with Marella Cruises to understand what our tiny-travellers really want from a holiday said: “We were lucky enough to spend a whole day working closely with a group of children and asked them what they would do if they planned their family holiday. By listening to their moments of mini-inspiration it has become very clear that involving children in all aspects of the planning process of a holiday will make them feel more grown up, valued and listened to.

“The fact that there was an overwhelming response in wanting to spend more time with their families on holiday shows that this primal desire to connect is very powerful. The group were also incredibly keen on being adventurous. Wanting outdoor activities further demonstrates the desire for connection and family time, as these activities are not done alone. It is fabulous to see that the research backs up what we already know is of such fundamental importance to good mental health in our children.”

Marella Cruises conducted the research and put their findings to the test by sending YouTube vlogging family, The Saccone Joly’s on a Marella Cruise – but with a twist. The entire itinerary has been planned by their five-year-old daughter Emilia, who has been given free rein to organise the family holiday, making all the fun and diverse decisions – from exploring the plethora of programmes onboard to experiencing the exciting excursions ashore.

The research found that if kids were allowed to do anything, they would love nothing more than going to a waterpark (55.%), followed by a theme park visit (51%) or a day by the pool (39%). Going out to eat favourite foods (43%), building sandcastles (39%) and freedom to pack what they want also rated high in the poll, with goggles proving the most important piece to pack (53%).

Chris Hackney, Managing Director of Marella Cruises said: “At Marella Cruises we put our customers in the middle by ensuring that every family member gets to experience our exceptional service and atmosphere. No matter who you are, we make your family holiday special. Of course, we were delighted to discover during the research that our tech-savvy younger generation prefer quality family time on their holidays – holidays are a great time to reconnect with your kids, and many adults feel much closer to their family when they’re abroad.”

To watch the Saccone Joly’s adventure and follow their bespoke holiday itinerary, visit: .



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