Lockdown has brought many families closer together, and made parents re-evaluate what’s important and prompted them to think differently about their holidays as lockdown restrictions ease, according to new research commissioned by Luxury Family Hotels and conducted by Mumsnet.

80% of parents surveyed say that they have enjoyed the additional time spent together as a result of lockdown, and 76% say their children have enjoyed the additional time spent together. 67% say lockdown has brought them closer together as a family, and 70% say that it has made them re-evaluate what’s important in life as a family.

This is despite the fact that 55% say lockdown has been stressful, and 30% admit it has put a strain on family relationships. With limited opportunities to socialise and schools shut to most pupils, 69% say their children have spent too much time on screens.

55% say lockdown has made them behave more sustainably as a family, and 41% say it has changed their views on sustainability and foreign tourism. Once restrictions lift, two-thirds (66%) are hoping to go on some sort of holiday this year, with 41% saying it has made them reconsider the UK as a holiday destination. The majority (90%) of parents say they feel lucky that the UK has beaches and countryside where they can take their family for a break as restrictions ease.

The research confirmed a strong appetite for a Great British holiday for many families, with 47% confirming that they will opt for a beach holiday as their first trip post-lockdown; 43% said they would like to head to the countryside and 10% are keen to take a city break. More than half (53%) of parents surveyed admitted that they are really looking forward to a change of scenery.

66% are hopeful they will be able to go on holiday this year, even if restrictions mean it’s in the UK. Lockdown has prompted 2 in 5 (41%) of British families to consider the UK as their main holiday destination, although 29% say they are looking for inspiration.

2020 will be the year that many families return to the UK after bypassing it for foreign holidays. The research found that 29% of British families last holidayed in the UK three or more years ago and a further 10% admitted that they had not holidayed in the UK for over a decade.

Luxury Family Hotels is the pioneer of luxury family escapes in the UK. Simon Maguire, Managing Director, Luxury Family Hotels, commented:

“We wanted to commission this research to understand family attitudes to travel as restrictions ease. We know these last few months have been tough for parents and their children and their first holiday post-lockdown needs to be one that is enjoyable, stress-free and enables parents to have some much needed me-time and also quality time as a family. Each one of our unique hotels is located in picturesque places in the UK and has acres of space for families to enjoy and, importantly, gives parents a much-needed break from normal life.”

Mumsnet Founder Justine Roberts said:

“Lockdown has had huge impacts on just about every aspect of family life. Among those parents who have been able to stay at home, the familiar worry that they just don’t spend enough quality time with their children has been wiped out in one dramatic stroke. For some, lockdown has undoubtedly been a terrible experience, but this survey shows that for many, the time spent together has been transformative. It will be interesting to see whether families make long-term changes to reprioritise their time when restrictions start to ease.”

What families are most looking forward to

The research asked families what they are most looking forward to on their first holiday post lockdown. Fiindings include:

  • a change of scenery (53%);
  • someone else taking over the cooking (41%);
  • visiting a beach (39%);
  • spending time with their partner (34%);
  • some ‘me’ time (29%);
  • reading a magazine, book or paper in quiet (21%); and
  • having their children looked after by someone else (21%).

Simon Maguire, Managing Director, Luxury Family Hotels, commented:

“The research shows that families are looking forward to a new adventure, a change of scenery from ‘home’ life given what we’ve been able to do during lockdown has been very restrictive.

“Parents most definitely want a break from the kitcken and cooking day in and day out. As a result, we have been working with our food and beverage teams in order to be able to offer families a wide range of eating options to tantalise their taste buds as well as some special treats and experiences including gourmet picnics to go.”

Wellness even more important

The research also uncovered the increasing importance of an element of wellness as part of a family’s next holiday. One in five of those surveyed (21%) indicated that an element of wellness in their holiday is an important factor in their typical holiday, and of those, 50% say it has become more important to them because of coronavirus.

Simon Maguire added:

In partnership with Elemis, Luxury Family Hotels will be offering a range of contactless treatments alongside a streamlined list of more traditional spa treatments to ensure there is a range of choices for all of our grown-up guests to relax and unwind.”

Holiday worries revealed

As the traditional summer holiday season looms, the research asked families what their main holiday worries were. Parents responded as follows:

  • • overcrowding (53%);
  • cleanliness of the place they are staying in (52%);
  • social distancing rules (51%);
  • being able to access sightseeing destinations (44%);
  • trips being cancelled (41%);
  • getting coronavirus while on holiday (36%);
  • keeping children entertained (35%); and
  • the availability of outdoor activities (35%).

When choosing holiday accommodation for a family’s first trip post-lockdown, factors that parents state are the most important to them include:

  • location (68%);
  • family friendliness (55%);
  • overall cleanliness (46%);
  • comfort (41%);
  • sightseeing opportunities (38%);
  • good food (34%);
  • outdoor activities (31%);
  • children’s play areas and entertainment (28%);
  • an inside pool (19%); and
  • an outside pool (16%).

Simon Maguire added:

“Our hotels are located by the beach or in the countryside and are perfectly placed to help families enjoy their first holiday as restrictions ease given they have acres of outside space and offer plenty of facilities for all the families to enjoy in a safe way. In addition, our experiences’ team has put together a whole host of ideas for families to enjoy – be it venturing to nearby off-the-track secret beaches; amazing walks away from the crowds, as well as a host of activities families can do in our spacious gardens and grounds. We’re very much looking forward to opening our doors and providing guests of all ages with a wonderful family experience.”

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