While family holidays are the perfect way to escape the routine of everyday life, there are bound to be times on every trip when your loved ones seem to conspire to ensure the break is far from relaxing.
According to kids, there are a fair few things their parents do to irritate them while they’re on holiday. The team at Marella Cruises surveyed 1,000 British kids aged six to 12 years to find out about their holiday habits. So if you’re jetting off anytime soon, perhaps take this tips into account...
1. Don’t worry about bringing gadgets.
Nearly a third (31.9%) of kids stated that spending time with parents is the most important thing to do on a holiday and it’s refreshing to hear that just 2.8% would want to play on their phone while they’re away. So if you intended to pack consoles, kindles and iPads for your trip, it might be worth double checking whether you really need them all.
2. Stop checking work emails.
It can be tempting to check in on the outside world while you’re sunning yourself on holiday, so you know what’s going on back at home. However just a heads up - kids are aware if you’re checking your work emails. One in ten children surveyed think their parents worry about work too much to truly unwind and enjoy their time together - so turn off those email notifications and have a digital detox.
3. Don’t take too many photos.
In a world where if you haven’t taken the perfect family holiday photo and poste dit on social media, have you even really been on holiday? It can be easy to whip the camera out at every opportunity. And - even worse - to make your kids pose for shots in front of nice backgrounds when they don’t want to. In the survey, 20.8% of kids claimed they get “total and utter embarrassment” when their mum and dad get carried away with the camera and take too many photos. If you still want to get the snaps, why not go for those candid shots while your kids aren’t looking, instead?
4. Involve your kids in decision making.
You will ultimately have control of where to go while you’re on holiday (the money for that expensive water park isn’t coming out of your kids’ pocket, is it?), but the research revealed 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.
The research found that if kids were allowed to do anything, they would love to go 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%. Freedom to pack what they want also rated high in the poll, with goggles proving the most important piece to pack (53%).
5. Don’t try to impress with your language skills.
It’s an exciting challenge to test out those language skills you learned way back when, but sorry to break it to you, kids find it pretty embarrassing. The children in the survey mentioned that their parents “trying, and often failing” to speak the local language got on their nerves - so perhaps save that for when the little ones aren’t next to you.
Commenting on the results, child psychologist Dr. Anna Colton, who worked with Marella Cruises, said: ”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.”