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Holidays Matter - Research

Happy memories of family holidays can stay with us all our lives. Don’t just take our word for it, though.

Families who have enjoyed a holiday, short break or group trip show us through their experience that holidays are gift that make a lifetime of difference. Their stories show this impact. We ask families, and the people who support families to go on a holiday, to tells us what it means to them too.

Seeing my husband and son swimming together, looking so happy with one another, made me feel really good.

Wider Research

We join in with research (usually in partnership with schools, colleges and universities) that helps us to understand and explain the impact of holidays on families. The more we understand what makes a difference the better we can support families.

Do holidays help families with complex challenges to cope better?

We are working with a PhD research study with Nottingham University, which is due to complete in September 2022. They are investigating how families who are struggling to cope and facing ‘complex, multi-dimensional challenges’ benefit from the shared experience of a family holiday together. The goal is to understand if families facing tough times are better able to cope in the longer term because of their holiday.

The value of breaks for ordinary working families

In 2018 we took part in a study with Nottingham Civic Exchange that discusses how a holiday is an unaffordable luxury, even for many working families, and that missing out is having a negative impact on mental wellbeing.

The study shows how families with a household income of between £12,000 and £34,000 are struggling to meet the costs of a family holiday. Many have to juggle annual leave to cover caring responsibilities and this stops them spending time together.

Parents feel there is a limited time to give their children experiences to make happy memories when they are young. This creates a ‘ticking clock’ for parents who can’t provide holidays for their children with feelings of guilt and shame weighing heavy on parents’ minds.

You can read the report here.

Other sources of information:

Social Tourism

Social tourism is a broad term used to discuss tourism for those who can’t usually access a holiday. Initiatives are usually aimed at encouraging people who are ‘economically or otherwise disadvantaged’ to take part in tourism activities. Sometimes, this is called ‘Tourism for All’.

Supporting more people to experience the positive benefits of a holiday – something we are passionate about – also benefits the tourism sector and the local economy. The ripples are felt well beyond the family who travel.

Family Holiday Charity has been involved with social tourism initiatives for many years, including through the formation of an All-Party Parliamentary Group, participation in organisations such as International Social Tourism Organisation, and through networking and partnerships with organisations with similar aims. 

We are proud to partner with Visit Scotland for their innovative Scot Spirit programme which aims to make tourism in Scotland more accessible for Scottish families, see here.

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