Britain's young adults refuse to fly the nest for holiday travel

July 8, 2010

Holidays for the young aren’t what they used to be. Once Britain’s youth couldn’t wait to escape their parents to see the big wide world, but now it seems the nation’s young adults would rather stay within safe reach of mum’s apron strings.

Indeed, new research from Mintel finds there has been a dramatic decrease in the number of young Brits who feel the need to escape from their parents when holidaying. In 2008, over a third (36%) of Britain’s youngsters aged between 16 and 25 longed to escape from their parents, but today this figure has declined to just 23%.

It seems tough economic conditions are having a strong influence on the level of independence viable for young holidaymakers, but that’s not the only influence. Indeed, almost a fifth of Britain’s young (18%) say they can not afford to go on holiday without their mum and dad – a figure which is actually down six percentage points (24%) since 2008.

Tom Rees, Senior Travel Analyst at Mintel, said:

“Young travellers are becoming less negative towards the idea of family holidays. While the Recession may have played its part in encouraging Britain’s young adults to get a paid for break with their family, these figures highlight the fact that its not about cost for those choosing to do so. However, Recession-driven recruitment freezes have hit graduates particularly hard and created a real fear that a ‘lost generation’ will be the legacy – influencing both their attitudes towards holidays and their ability to travel. ”

Meanwhile, almost a quarter (22%) of this age group say that difficulty in finding a job is making it harder to go on holiday and almost one in ten youngsters (9%) complain about problems they have with student loans which have made it harder to go on holiday. And the future doesn’t look too bright for those parents longing to return to a quiet break for two, as around a quarter (23%) of those aged between 16 and 25 admit that they are likely to go on holiday with their parents again in the future.

Holidaying with the family is not just restricted to the younger end of this age group and it seems gender is also a factor. Almost four in ten (37%) men aged between 21 and 25 admit to having holidayed abroad with their parents in the past three years, while a further three in ten (31%) say they have holidayed at home in the company of mum and dad in the same time. However, it seems that Britain’s young women, are showing greater independence than their male counterparts, as less than a third of women aged between 21 and 25 (32%) have holidayed abroad with their parents in the last three years while a further (25%) have holidayed at home in the same company.

In addition, it’s not only who young travellers are going on holiday with that’s changed, but how they research and book too. Mintel’s exclusive consumer research reveals that the use of online social networking in arranging trips has surged in recent years – up from 13% claiming to do so in 2008 to 24% in 2010.

“Social networking has dramatically changed the holiday booking process for a new generation of travellers and savvy brands are increasingly attempting to capitalise on this lucrative online audience. What travel operators need to remember is that this generation are au fait with using these tools to find and buy holidays – in the same way that the internet was adopted as a new tool in the past, and will carry this usage forward through future lifestage travel such as honeymoons and family holidays. “Tom concludes.

Meanwhile, it seems that encouragingly Britain’s young adults are becoming increasingly cultured. Two years ago over four in ten (41%) of this age group said they were more interested in fun than culture, today this figure has fallen to just three in ten (31%).

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