Why you should let your children plan the family holiday

fun family snacks in the Dordogne

Schedule lots of outdoor family time, and don’t forget to pack the goggles. These are some of the most important holiday considerations for children, as revealed in an independent study by Marella Cruises, the UK’s third largest cruise line. From the study findings it turns out that, if you let your children plan the family holiday, they’re likely to come up with some surprisingly sensible ideas. Here’s why it just might be a good thing to do.

Releasing the inner child

I’ve posted before about how play benefits parents as well as children. The children in Marella’s study picked options that were mega-fun: play, play and play, all the way. If kids were allowed to do anything on their holidays, they would love nothing more than going to a waterpark (55.%), followed by a theme park visit (51%) or a day by the pool (39%). Building sandcastles (39%) also rated high in the poll, with goggles proving the most important piece to pack (53%).

Parc du val de Loire

Release the inner child!

As we found on our trip to the Dordogne, in France, a holiday that’s full of play can be extraordinarily relaxing. And a child-led holiday means you’ll have a lot of decisions taken off your plate, too – another road to relaxation.

Seeing the holiday from different angles

If you let your children plan the family holiday, they may pick options you hadn’t thought of yourselves. This refreshing take on things means you get to experience the family holiday in a different, new and exciting way.


Seeing the world through a child’s eyes…..

The Saccone Joly family, who recently let their five-year-old daughter plan their family trip, said:

“Our Marella Cruise wasn’t like our usual holidays – this time Emilia planned the whole trip. Emilia chose everything – from the type of holiday, the destination to our itinerary. It was probably one of the best trips we’ve been on. Emilia and her brother Eduardo even booked the spa, for Anna [Mrs Saccone Joly]. That was very nice of them! Allowing Emilia to plan the holiday showed us that there’s something for everyone on a Marella Cruise.”

You can see some of Emilia’s choices in action in this short video, on the TUI Youtube channel:

More family harmony

Giving children a say in holiday arrangements can help parents understand their kids better – and vice versa. Perhaps surprisingly, Marella’s study found that only 2.8% of those children surveyed would want to play on their phone. The great outdoors triumphed over tech, with a quarter of kids (25.5%) saying they’d rather explore and go on an adventure than stare at a screen whilst on their family holiday.

Nearly a third (31.9%) of little ones stated that spending time with parents is the most important thing to do on a holiday. Family breaks are clearly important times for bonding, for both parents and children. But snap-happy parents need to check themselves for embarrassing behaviour. 20.8% of kids claim total and utter embarrassment when mum and dad get carried away with the camera, taking too many photos.

Isle of Wight

Holidays are a time for bonding: so say the children, as well as their parents.

Confident kids

Letting children make choices about family activities can help boost their confidence. Child psychologist Dr. Anna Colton, who worked with Marella Cruises to understand what the study group of 1,000 British children aged six to 12 years really wanted from a holiday, said:

“We were lucky enough to spend a whole day working closely with a group of children and asked them what they would do if they planned their family holiday. By listening to their moments of mini-inspiration it became very clear that involving children in all aspects of the planning process of a holiday will make them feel more grown up, valued and listened to.”

So mental well-being is another good reason to let your children plan the family holiday.

Have you ever let your children plan the family holiday? How did it go?

This post was produced in partnership with TUI and Marella Cruises.

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  • Sam | North East Family Fun Blog
    June 5, 2018 at 8:34 am

    I always try and involve the kids but have not gone as far as letting them choose our destination etc…. yet! Food for thought x

    • Nell
      June 11, 2018 at 10:42 am

      Yes, it would be interesting to see what transpired!

  • John Adams
    June 5, 2018 at 10:01 am

    No, we have never let our kids plan a family holiday. if they did, I k ow for a fact we’d be going to Portugal and staying in a villa with our own pool! Doesn’t sound like such a bad idea to me!!!

    • Nell
      June 11, 2018 at 10:44 am

      It really doesn’t!

  • Plutonium Sox
    June 5, 2018 at 4:50 pm

    Oh, this is so interesting! I’ve never really thought of doing that although we do definitely involve them in the decision making process. I’m pretty sure we’d end up in Australia if my two were allowed to do the planning!

    • Nell
      June 11, 2018 at 10:47 am

      Yes, I suppose the lack of financial restraint might make it tricky to follow their plans to the letter!

  • Flyingkids
    June 7, 2018 at 2:06 pm

    I agree. Involving them in the planning process is so much fun.


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