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Kids Take over Holiday Travel Planning in 2024

by Staff

  • Kids Take over Holiday Travel Planning in 2024   

A new study commissioned by hotel brand Novotel reveals what tops UK families’ bucket list in 2024. De-stressing and relaxation take centre stage.

What would happen if you let your kids design their dream holiday? French hotel chain Novotel recently commissioned a new study to uncover what kids and their parents have on their minds when it comes to planning a trip in 2024.

The new survey polled approximately 1,000 children aged between 6 and 16 years old, as well as 1,000 parents in December 2023, to see what a dream holiday looks like for both parents and children.

“As one of the world’s leading hotel brands for families, we are always interested in learning about our guests’ dream holidays. Looking at travelling through the eyes of children is another way to help us ensure our guests enjoy time well spent with the most important people in their life,” explains Anaïs Dessales-Quentin, Novotel Brand Marketing Director Europe & North Africa.

Dream Destinations

When asked about the preferred destination for their next trip in 2024, it turns out the topic could cause some family debate. Kids would like to travel further afield to America and Australia next year, but parents would prefer to stay closer to home in the UK and Spain.

For both kids and parents, who were surveyed independently of each other, destinations in Europe such as Spain and Greece are a popular holiday hotspots. Spain tops the parents’ list, (28%), followed by the UK (26%) and Greece (19%). Kids’ top destinations included USA (34%), followed by Spain (26%) and UK (14%).  

I make my world as a I like It

Once the decision on the holiday destination has been made, it is all about defining the perfect stay for the full family. Nearly two thirds of the parents surveyed prefer to sleep comfortably in a hotel or a resort (60%). 10% would opt for an apartment, while just 8% of parents want to camp or stay with relatives and friends (5%). Here too, parents and children are surprisingly in agreement, with a good half (54%) of polled kids also opting for a hotel, and only 10% preferring an apartment.

I pack my suitcase and take…

British kids would prefer to travel to the seaside, visit a theme park or go on a city break. When it comes to parents, what makes an ideal holiday getaway is the proximity to the beach, a swimming pool, as well as connecting hotel rooms with enough space for the whole family. It is no surprise that kids would also like to enjoy play areas (38%) and children’s clubs (13%) as part of their trip .

Travel Companions

When it comes to choosing their holiday companions, parents are at the top of the kids’ list (67%), followed by their siblings (38%) and their best friends (35%). Grandma and grandpa are also welcome holiday buddies (16%). Ten percent would like to travel in a larger group and with other family friends, and 16% would like to bring their pets, the latter being possible in all Novotel hotels.

Stress already in childhood?

98% of the children aged 6-16 rated holidays as important. Surprisingly, 37% of them cited the need to recover from the stress of school as a reason for taking a holiday. Nearly a quarter want to sleep in during their holiday and 19% want to find time for new and old hobbies. But there is also positive news: 80% of children see holidays as an opportunity to spend quality time with the family. The parents surveyed also see holidays as an ideal opportunity to spend time together (77%), create memories (71%), but also relax (58%) and forget their everyday worries (28%).

“Hearing that even children feel they need a break from the stress of school is a wake-up call. Our commitment to families is incredibly important and this is why we offer them preferential offers on hotel bookings, kid friendly spaces, child- friendly menus and even little surprises at check-in. Through Novotel’s partnership with CALM – the world’s leading mental health app, families can also access customised content like sleep stories or relaxation exercises to make their hotel stay as chilled as possible. This is another way to support families and children in enjoying much-needed relaxation and quality time when staying at our hotels,” says Anaïs Dessales-Quentin.

Favourite holiday activities

According to the survey, kids also have a clear idea on how to fill their holidays. Visiting water and theme parks and joining water sports activities are very popular, 34% want to make new friends and 19% want to spend time in children’s clubs. 14% would prefer to bury their nose in a book. Food also goes down well with youngsters as well as adults: 43% of kids want to indulge in lots of delicious food, preferably with lots of ice cream, as 43% want to eat as much of it as possible. Culinary delights are even more important for parents with 51% of polled adults looking forward to tasting delicious food while on holiday.


– The average UK family plans to go on holiday together at least once in 2024

– The average length of a family holiday is 7 days

– On average, UK families prefer 3-6 hours for the journey from their front door to their holiday destination

– The least popular period for family holidays is November-January, with July and August being the busiest

50% of UK families pick a new holiday destination every time they travel, while 10% go back to the same destination

– Living democracy: More than half of the parents stated that they included their children’s wishes in their holiday planning on an equal footing

Top 10 holiday destinations for UK families

Children (6 – 16 years)


1. USA (34%)

1. Spain (28%)

2. Spain (26%)

2. UK (26%)

3. UK (14%)

3.Greece (19%)

4. Greece (14%)

4. USA (16%)

5. Italy (12%)

5. Italy (16%)

6. France (11%)

6. Portugal (11%)

7. Australia (11%)

7. France (11%)

8. Dubai (9%)

8. Turkey (10%)

9. Turkey (7%)

9. Australia (7%)

10. The Maldives (7%)

10. The Maldives (7%)

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