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A Holiday for the Ages

A Holiday for the Ages

Are you thinking of going away with your little ones this year? Where would you most like to jet off to?

As we start to plan our big getaways for 2020, now is the time when the logistics of travelling with children under the age of five starts to move from being a vague idea to a series of to-do lists and plan b's for when the baby gets upset.

With so many parents trying to work out where the most suitable destinations are for young families this year, we at Tots to Travel asked 1,500 UK parents about how they’ve found travelling with their under-fives in the last year.

If you’re plotting your big summer escape, read on to get some top tips on travelling abroad with little people...

35% of parents would take thier child on an 8 hour flight

Feeling Frazzled

There’s a lot going on when you go away on holiday, and when you have young children in tow, things can get stressful fast. Suddenly the juggle of bags and boarding cards through security takes longer and the delayed flight feels like it’s taking an eternity because your four-year-old’s complaining that the two-year-old has scribbled on her colouring book.

If you have a long-haul flight to a tropical destination on the cards, you might well be one of the 69% of parents worrying about the journey before you’ve even arrived at the airport. A further 41% of us are worrying about how our children will cope in the heat.

It’s concerns like these that are keeping almost a third (30%) of Brits from boarding a plane at all, instead favouring a staycation with their kids >here in the UK. However, there are destinations that are suited to those travelling with little ones. In fact, >Spain, France and Italy are still the most popular choices.

Time Flies

Those of us who are venturing with our families away from the British Isles are mostly travelling for three hours. Almost a third (31%) said this is the longest flights they’d risk with their little ones, and for those travelling with children up to the age of one, two hours was the maximum.


There are some parents (15%) who would happily take their two to three-year-olds on a nine-hour flight, and of these, it seems that mums are most likely (15%) to risk this longer flight with their under-fives than dads (4.8%).

You may be wondering how parents would keep their kids occupied for these longer flights? Over half (57%) say there’s nothing better than notebooks, pens, pencils and crayons for keeping them busy and these are the most important items to pack when travelling with little ones on a flight. This was followed by a tablet (27%) and sweets or chocolate (10%).

Dealing with Disruption

While airlines have noted a high percentage of delays to the most popular destinations, parents in the UK are generally happy with what’s on offer at the busiest airports in the country. Overall, 81% of parents are rating UK airports ‘good’ for travelling with children. Glasgow was the biggest success story (85%) and Newcastle was the lowest-ranked (72%) in terms of satisfaction.

Soaring Temperatures

As well as travel times influencing parents when it comes to booking their holiday, how hot destinations are is a huge factor, too. Most Brits with little ones (56%) steer clear of locations that regularly see temperatures over 25ºC.

However, there are parents (5%) who will take their family away in temperatures up to 35ºC. Surprisingly, the most popular temperature to holiday in for little ones up to the age of one is between 26 and 30ºC. This falls to between 21 to 25ºC for the next age group, which is one to two years. This temperature range of 21 to 25ºC is then consistent for all the ages up to five.

One explanation for travelling to destinations with lowers temperatures is that new parents may not quite understand how much of an impact 30ºC heat can have on their babies. This becomes a lesson learned by the time they take them away again for their second holiday abroad.

The stats reveal that dads are the ones wanting to jet off to warmer climes, while 70% of mums are more likely to want a break in cooler 21 to 25ºC temperatures.

Popular destinations by child age group

Where to Go

The places we travel to seem to vary depending upon the age of our children. Although the hotter temperatures came out as the most popular choice when taking babies up to the age of one away, rather surprisingly, the cooler France came out as the most popular destination for holidays with under-ones. >Greece, meanwhile, came out on top for those travelling with children aged between four and five.

Mums are the ones who want to stay in the UK or jet off to >Italy, while dads are aiming for France and Spain.

Where are you inspired to go this year? Are you a mum seeking some Italian culture or a dad wanting to soak up some Spanish sun? Wherever you decide to go, make sure you pack some crayons!