Kids want their parents to ditch their phones, spend less time worrying about work – and stop taking embarrassing snaps of them when they are on holiday, a study has found. A poll of 1,000 6-12-year-olds found youngsters also reckon mum and dad spend too much time reading books by the pool instead of having fun and take too many naps.
But the poll, by Marella Cruises, found children are most annoyed by parents who insist on making them wear excessive suncream. Worryingly for mum and dad, of those surveyed, one in 10 think their parents worry about work too much to truly unwind and enjoy their time together.
And 21 percent of kids claim to feeling total and utter embarrassment when their parents get carried away with the camera, taking too many photos. Researchers also discovered what would happen if you let your children plan your holiday, with some surprising results.
The great outdoors triumphed over tech, with a quarter of kids saying they’d rather explore and go on an adventure than stare at a screen whilst on their family holiday. And almost a third of little ones stated that spending time with parents is the most important thing to do when they are away.
If kids were allowed to do whatever they wanted, 55 per cent would love nothing more than going to a waterpark, followed by a trip to a theme park or a day by the pool.
Going out to eat their favourite foods, building sandcastles, and freedom to pack what they want also rated high in the poll, with goggles proving the most important piece to pack above all else.
The research also revealed children thrive when being involved with the holiday planning, with three in five wanting the freedom to choose the family activities.
More than half also said they would feel more grown up if their parents let them pick where they wanted to go and what they wanted to do. Child psychologist Dr. Anna Colton, who worked with Marella Cruises to understand what 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 put their findings to the test sending YouTube vlogging family, The Saccone Joly’s on a Marella Cruise – but with a twist. The entire itinerary had been planned by their five-year-old daughter Emilia, who was been given free rein to organise the family holiday, making all the fun and diverse decisions – from exploring the programmes onboard to experiencing the exciting excursions ashore.
Chris Hackney, Managing Director of Marella Cruises added: “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.”
TOP 5 MOST IMPORTANT THINGS ABOUT GOING ON HOLIDAY TO UK KIDS
1. Spending time with parents / family
2. Exploring / going on adventures
4. To play games
5. Freedom to do what they want
TOP THINGS PARENTS DO WHICH ANNOY KIDS ON HOLIDAY
1. They make me wear sun cream
2. They spend too much time reading their book
3. They embarrass me by taking lots of photos
4. They are too protective of me
5. They spend too much time asleep
6. They don’t let me do what I want to do
7. They spend too much time on their phone
8. They worry about work too much
9. They spend too much time together without me
10. They embarrass me by trying to speak the local language