PrintNew survey highlights flying as major headache for parents

Over 60% of parents from the Midlands holiday on home soil to avoid the ‘stress’ of travelling abroad with their children.

In a new survey commissioned ahead of the February half-term holiday by the NEC based Caravan & Camping Show and conducted by MumPanel, 52% of the parents asked pinpointed ‘the flight’ as their key concern, with most worried about how they could keep their children entertained in the confined cabin space or the hassle of managing children at the airport.

Other flight related turn-offs included having their parenting skills judged when their child cries or becomes restless on the flight (12%), the limited luggage allowance (11%), that their children would cry for the entire journey (4%) and having to stick to a strict schedule (3%).

Post flight, parents cited a whole new list of resort-related anxieties including the fear that the accommodation would not be suitable for the family’s requirements (36%), their children would become ill and have to be treated in a foreign hospital (34%), and the limited choice of ‘child-approved’ food (31%).

In contrast, a resounding 86% said that the prospect of packing up the car and having the flexibility to holiday at their own pace appealed to them.

Commenting on the findings, Andrew Whalley, Director of The Caravan & Camping Show said, ‘As a Dad, I’m well acquainted with that feeling of anxiety and apprehension you get boarding a plane at Birmingham International with the kids.  The dark looks from fellow passengers when the little darlings start playing up is enough to make any parent feel uncomfortable and fretful. It’s not exactly the best start to the family trip; holidays are supposed to be about unwinding, not tears, tantrums and trunki wars in departures.

“Camping and caravanning holidays have seen a huge surge in popularity with parents with young children over the last few years and this is because they offer a stress free alternative to package trips abroad, and are much cheaper,” he continued.

With no flight deadlines, bags of freedom and the flexibility (and peace of mind) of being just a car journey away from home, a camping or caravanning getaway has huge merits for young families.

40% of those surveyed said the most appealing aspect of this kind of holiday is the freedom it gives them to go at their own pace, 30% favour the opportunity to encourage the children to appreciate the great outdoors and nature, and 19% said they knew their children would view it as an exciting adventure.

The cost is a lot more manageable too; as little as £10 per night can guarantee a campsite pitch with breath-taking views and child friendly facilities. There are over 3,000 sites to choose from across the country.

For those considering a first time camping, caravanning or motorhoming holiday, The Caravan & Camping Show is at the NEC Birmingham from Tuesday 18th to Sunday 23rd February providing access to all the latest caravan, motorhome and holiday home models plus a huge range of family-friendly tents, campsites and outdoor leisure accessories.

Advance tickets* cost £8 for adults and £7 for seniors with children aged 15 years and under admitted for free. With half term dates the Show is a great day out for families with a free-to-attend dog agility theatre, campsite cookery demonstrations plus the chance to have a go at rock climbing, mountain biking and an assault course under expert guidance.

Special guests include Ashleigh & Pudsey, actress and chef Lisa Faulkner, TV presenters Helen Skelton, Julia Bradbury and Andy Torbet and WC Andy Green with supersonic car BLOODHOUND.

For more information or to book tickets call 0844 581 1250 or visit

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