21 Oct

Two thirds of younger people holidaying with their families

From the Bank of Mum and Dad to the Holiday of Mum and Dad

Younger people are the most likely to enjoy a family holiday as ABTA reveals the nation’s most popular holiday companions. Two thirds (66%)* of 16-24 year olds holidayed with their family in the 12 months to August 2013, compared to an average across all age groups of just under half (46%). The 65+s were the least likely to holiday with their families with less than a third (30%) doing so.

The survey showed that across all age groups Brits’ most popular holiday companions are partners, with half (49%) of Brits going away with a partner, followed by immediate family (39%) and friends (22%).

Table 1.1 – Who people have gone on holiday with in the 12 months to August 2013

  All ages 16-24 25-34 35-44 45-54 55-64 65+
Partner 49% 29% 51% 53% 51% 53% 55%
Immediate family 39% 51% 38% 46% 38% 36% 24%
Extended family 7% 15% 8% 7% 4% 3% 6%
Friends 22% 33% 27% 14% 15% 23% 24%
Alone  10% 7% 13% 7% 9% 12% 14%

Younger people get help from Mum and Dad 

Financial pressures may be behind young people’s reasons for travelling with their families. Despite being the age group to take the most holidays in 2013, 16-24 year olds significantly cut back the numbers of holidays they took in the twelve months to August 2013 compared to the previous twelve months, taking on average one holiday less per person. 

Table 1.2 – Average number of holidays taken

  Average across all age groups 16-24s
2013 3.1 3.7
2012 3.5 4.7

This suggests that they may be turning to Mum and Dad to help them go away in the face of cost of living pressures, rising tuition fees and high youth unemployment.

Friends or family

Aside from 16-24 year olds, it is those with young families who are the most likely to take a holiday with their extended family (12% compared to an average of 7%) perhaps hoping to take advantage of babysitting benefits from the grandparents.

Holidaying with friends was most popular overall with the under 35s with almost a third (30%) choosing to travel with friends. Those holidaying with friends appear to be seeking the advice of travel professionals to help them make group bookings, nearly three quarters (72%) booked with a travel agent or directly with their tour operator compared to an average of three in five (62%).

Going it alone

One in ten (10%) people holidayed alone in the 12 months to August 2013. The two groups most likely to travel alone were the 65+s (14%) and those aged 25-34 (13%). Elsewhere in the research it was revealed that those travelling alone tended to go abroad for their holidays, perhaps reflecting the trend for so called grey gap years and the late 20s/early 30s extended career break overseas.

Victoria Bacon, ABTA Head of Communications said “With a tough jobs market and more young people living at home for longer, it is perhaps not surprising that we are seeing younger people going away with their families. More broadly, the range of holiday companions reflects the different types of holidays taken by Brits and the huge selection of holidays now on offer to suit every style, whether you want to see the world solo or enjoy a romantic getaway with your partner.”

*Consumer research was conducted by Arkenford Ltd (www.arkenford.co.uk) who specialise in tourism and leisure market research. The ABTA Consumer Trends survey generated response from a nationally representative sample of 2008 consumers using an online research methodology and related to holiday booking habits in the 12 months to August 2013. Fieldwork was conducted in August 2013.