It’s said that out of the mouths of babes comes truth and wisdom, so this year Booking.com, the global leader in connecting travellers with the widest choice of incredible places to stay, set out to canvas the world’s children on exactly what they want from their family getaway. Over 22,500 post-holiday reviews were collected from children across the globe, and the findings not only reveal the most important factors to keeping little adventurers happy, from bouncy beds to special treat suppers, but also uncover the best rated destinations for each desire.
Today’s teens (12-15 year olds), put the impetus on social media and keeping in touch with friends at home while away. Specifically:
- The majority (89%) of 12-15 year olds prioritised a strong Wi-Fi connection as essential
- Having the chance to take cool photos for social media was important for nearly half (44%)
- Staying near a pool or a beach and enjoying lots of activities were also ranked in the top five important factors
- Conversely only a quarter (25%) of 12-15 year olds think it’s important to make friends with other children on holiday
By contrast, 5-11 year olds are much more sociable and long for holidays by a cool pool or beach:
- Staying near a pool/cool water slides (73%) or beach (58%) are deemed the two top priorities for children aged 5-11, followed by activities they can’t do at home (54%)
- Playing with other children is important to nearly half (42%), while over a third would like to have all the ice cream they can eat on holiday (34%) and food that isn’t usually allowed at home (32%)
- One in five look to stay somewhere with a room bigger than they have at home (24%) and with bouncy beds (22%), while one in ten (10%) expect holiday staff to be good at telling jokes
 Research conducted by Booking.com with 22,564 respondents aged 5 to 15 from 31 markets. Respondents had to be aged between 5 to 15 and stayed at least one night in a Booking.com property to complete a review with their parent’s permission. Only booker nationalities which had over 100 respondents, and only destination countries which had over 100 visitors were included in the results. Data was collected between June 3 to August 29 2016.
The findings highlighted Greece, Brazil and the US as among the top rated destinations for children this year, with all three countries recommended by the young guest reviewers who visited. It’s here that families will find the most important elements of a child’s holiday, such as evening activities, accommodation near beaches and epic social media upload opportunities. Japan, Mexico and Canada were also commended by children visting from around the world, showing how diverse destinations are more accessible and family-friendly than ever.
Adrienne Enggist, Director of Product Development at Booking.com, comments: “Spending time away together is an important part of family life, but we understand that planning to keep all the children happy can be hard. At Booking.com we’re on a mission to match families with their perfect choice of holiday and we offer an informative bank of guest reviews, handy filter functions and easy booking of over one million diverse properties to help them do just that. Whether it’s finding a great place to stay near to the coolest outdoor pursuits, most family friendly restaurants or even the bounciest beds you can find it in just a few simple clicks on Booking.com.”
BIG OPINIONS FROM LITTLE ADVENTURERS – REPORT FINDINGS
SOCIAL MEDIA KUDOS
A strong Wi-Fi connection (89%) and eye-catching social media scenery (44%) are key factors in a holiday for 12-15 year olds, showing the importance of reporting back to friends at home during family travels. Brazil is revealed as the top spot for 12-15 year olds to get the best shot this summer, with rooftop apartments and epic beachside hotels overlooking views such as Christ the Redeemer and Sugarloaf Mountain. Creating kudos on Instagram, Snapchat and Weibo is serious business and something that cannot be dismissed for Generation Z.
|COOL SOCIAL MEDIA SHOTS
(12-15 YEAR OLDS)
A LAZY BREAKFAST
Nearly half (42%) of 12-15 year olds and over a quarter (26%) of 5-11 year olds look for accommodation which gives them the opportunity to have a lie in before breakfast. Of the 5-11 year olds, a huge 77% noted that Poland is great for a late breakfast, whereas Croatia was rated highly by older children. To ease the stress, self-catering is a great option for guaranteeing children don’t miss the most important meal of the day, providing flexibility for you to enjoy fresh bread rolls and scrambled eggs at any point.
|SERVING A LATE BREAKFAST
(5-11 YEAR OLDS)
|SERVING A LATE BREAKFAST (12-15 YEAR OLDS)|
EATING FORBIDDEN FOOD
From the 5 to 11 year olds that travelled this summer, a third (32%) agreed that the most important thing on a family trip is eating food that isn’t usually allowed at home, proving that holidays are an exciting way to taste food from different cultures and tuck into tasty treats. Japan was a clear favourite, with a huge 84% of 5-11 year old children enjoying the food on their travels there. With a rise in popularity of colourful sushi and dim sum dishes, plus the delicious Ningyo-yaki dessert, it seems children are experimenting with their taste buds more than ever!
|EATING FORBIDDEN FOOD
(5-11 YEAR OLDS)
STAYING UP PAST BEDTIME
This summer, evening activities were highly regarded by nearly half (46%) of 5-11 year olds and a quarter (27%) of 12-15 year olds. With a range of hotels offering kids clubs, babysitters and evening shows, entertaining your children has never been easier to organise. Rich in diversity and with a range of activities on your doorstep, including ice-skating, cycling, wildlife sighting and fishing, over three quarters (78%) of children aged 5-11 noted Canada as a great destination this summer for evening activities and staying out late.
LET’S GO TO THE BEACH
Sun, sea and sand – the perfect option for keeping little ones busy on holiday. From making sand castles to paddling in the sea, staying near the beach is deemed the second most important thing for 5–11 year olds, and the fourth for 12-15 year olds. With a number of islands boasting idyllic beaches, fun water sports and epic snorkelling, Greece is a clear favourite for beach-based retreats, for all ages.
|STAYING NEAR THE BEACH (5-11 YEAR OLDS)|
|STAYING NEAR THE BEACH
(12-15 YEAR OLDS)
A WHOLE LOT OF HISTORY
Staying in a piece of history is possible now, thanks to Booking.com’s diverse bank of properties. From 16th century castles to large lighthouses, it’s clear to see why Great Britain was deemed the most historical holiday spot by 76% of 12-15 year olds and 33% of 5-11 year olds. Closely followed by other European countries including Ireland, the Netherlands and Italy, it shows that studying can carry on even when’s school’s out.
(5-11 YEAR OLDS)
(12-15 YEAR OLDS)
BIGGER BEDROOMS… AND BOUNCIER BEDS
Taiwan and Malaysia pip Thailand to the (bed)post for children’s bedroom sizes, with 84% of children aged 5-11 this summer recommending the small island off China. However, Brazil beats Asia in the battle of the bouncy beds, something that a fifth (22%) of children aged 5-11 see as an important factor for a family holiday, ensuring energetic jumping is followed by a comfortable night’s sleep.
Research conducted by Booking.com with 22,564 respondents aged 5 to 15 from 31 markets. Respondents had to be aged between 5 to 15 and stayed at least one night in a Booking.com property to complete a review with their parent’s permission. Only booker nationalities which had over 100 respondents, and only destination countries which had over 100 visitors were included in the results. Data was collected between June 3 to August 29 2016.