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Helicopter parenting on the way out? Aussie parents allow their children to be left UNACCOMPANIED overseas

December 11, 2017 OTA News No Comments Email Email

New research reveals helicopter parenting may be on the decline, with new research indicating more than 80 per cent of Aussie parents would allow their children to be left unsupervised while travelling overseas, and 30 per cent would leave their 12-15-year-old kids at home alone while they travelled.

The findings come from a survey of a nationally representative, independent panel of 1,076 Australian parents[1] and commissioned by HotelsCombined.com.au, the world’s leading hotel price comparison platform.

Two in three parents (61%) would allow their children aged under 18 to be left alone for a whole evening in overseas accommodation while they went out. In public areas overseas, 37 per cent would leave their children under 15 alone in leisure areas such as pool or beach for up to an hour, and 31 per cent allow their under-15s to sit alone for the same amount of time in a café or restaurant.  

Of concern, 75 per cent parents would let their 12-15-year-old children go to a public bathroom alone while overseas. Of these, 22 per cent of parents would allow their under-12s go to a public bathroom alone.

When it comes to travelling to or between destinations when overseas, 52 per cent of parents think it is appropriate to put their under-15s on a domestic flight with someone to meet them at the destination. For international flights, 50 per cent of parents would allow their under-18s to fly alone with someone to meet them at the destination. One in three parents (33%) would put their under-15s on trains and buses alone overseas, with someone to meet them at the destination.

Lynette Bolton, wife of Sydney Swans Hall of Fame inductee Jude Bolton, and mother to Siarra (5) and Piper (3), believes that parents are wrong to be leaving their children unaccompanied or unsupervised in these situations, particularly while travelling in unfamiliar areas or other countries: “I think it’s always difficult to decide at what age and in what scenario you should free up the reigns and give the kids more freedom. Sometimes it just depends on each situation, but I feel that 15 years old should be the absolute minimum for any of these situations, and definitely a lot older when you’re in a foreign speaking country.” 

Scenarios that parents would leave their children unsupervised/unattended in foreign countries:

Unaccompanied scenario

% of parents in age group

Under 12

12-15 yrs

16-18 yrs

Over 18

Going to the bathroom

22%

53%

16%

4%

In a leisure place (such as pool, beach) for up to an hour

2%

36%

40%

11%

In a café or restaurant for up to an hour

1%

30%

44%

12%

Left in accommodation while parents went out for the evening

1%

20%

40%

21%

On a domestic flight, with someone to meet them at the destination

12%

40%

28%

11%

On an international flight, with someone to meet them at the destination

2%

14%

34%

32%

Alone at home while parents travelled without them

2%

27%

58%

7%

On trains and buses, with someone to meet them at the destination

3%

30%

41%

15%

 Top 5 family accommodation enjoyable in December available through HotelsCombined.com.au

The pool surrounding the Sheraton Mirage Hotel, Port Douglas

1.       Sheraton on the Park (Sydney, NSW), from $827 per night. Sheraton on the Park offers interconnecting rooms to ensure you can keep an eye on the kids. It is located in central Sydney, only a short walk from the local shops and train station.  

2.       Pan Pacific Melbourne (Melbourne, VIC), from $488 per night. You and your family can stay in a modern family room in Melbourne, located closed to well-known establishments, Crown Casino and Entertainment Complex and Melbourne Aquarium. The hotel provides babysitting/child services and all rooms have movies-on-demand.

3.       Sheraton Mirage Hotel Port Douglas (Port Douglas, QLD), from $384 per night. This hotel accommodates well for families by offering interconnecting rooms. The saltwater lagoons and freshwater pool surround the hotel, which feature a kids’ club and kids pool.

4.       Rydges Lakeland Resort Queenstown (Queenstown, New Zealand), from $340 per night. Located in Queenstown CBD, this resort has impressive views of the lake and mountains. It offers a variety of amenities for guests including ski equipment hire, child-minding services and car hire. Popular attractions are within close proximity, with Skycity Queenstown only a short walk away.

5.       Resorts World Sentosa – Hard Rock Hotel Singapore (Sentosa Island, Singapore), from $542 per night. Hard Rock Hotel is located on Sentosa Island, making it the perfect base for visiting local attractions. Families can visit Resorts World Sentosa, Universal Studios Singapore, Revenge of the Mummy, and easily visit Battlestar Galactica. The resort features kids’ facilities including a kids’ pool and kids’ club.

(The above rates are estimates only taken from HotelsCombined.com.au as shown on the 14th November, for a double room for December 2017 travel)

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