Special Interest Travel

Greece, Brazil and the US as among the top-rated destinations for children this year

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NEW YORK – It’s said that out of the mouths of babes comes truth and wisdom, so this summer Booking.com set out to canvas the world’s children on exactly what they want from their family getaway. Over 22,500 post-vacation reviews were collected from children across the globe, and the findings not only reveal the most important factors to keeping little adventurers happy – from bouncy beds to special treat dinners – but also uncover the best-rated destinations for each desire.

Today’s teens (12-15 years old), put the focus on social media and keeping in touch with friends at home while away. Specifically:

  • The majority (89%) of kids 12-15 years old prioritized a strong Wi-Fi connection as essential
  • Having the chance to take cool photos for social media was important for nearly half (44%)
  • Staying near a pool or a beach and enjoying lots of activities were also ranked in the top five important factors
  • Conversely, only a quarter (25%) of those 12-15 years old think it’s important to make friends with other kids on vacation

By contrast, kids 5-11 years old are much more sociable and really want for vacations by a cool pool or beach:

  • Staying near a pool/cool water slides (73%) or beach (58%) are deemed the two top priorities for children ages 5-11, followed by activities they can’t do at home (54%)
  • Playing with other children is important to nearly half (42%), and over a third would like to have all the ice cream they can eat on vacation (34%) and food that isn’t usually allowed at home (32%)
  • One in five look to stay somewhere with a room bigger than they have at home (24%) and with bouncy beds (22%), while one in ten (10%) expect vacation staff to be good at telling jokes

The findings highlighted Greece, Brazil and the US as among the top-rated destinations for children this year, with all three countries recommended by the young guest reviewers who visited. It’s here that families will find the most important elements of a child’s vacation, such as evening activities, accommodations near beaches, and epic social media upload opportunities. Japan, Mexico and Canada were also given kudos by children visiting from around the world, showing how diverse destinations are more accessible and family-friendlier than ever.

BEST RATED DESTINATIONS BY 5-11 YEAR OLDS

 

US

A pool/cool water slides

Greece

Near the beach

Brazil

Activities I can’t do at home

Canada

Evening activities so I can stay up late

Mexico

Other kids to play with

 

BEST RATED DESTINATIONS BY 12-15 YEAR OLDS

Japan

Wi-Fi/Fast internet connection

US

A pool

US

Lots of activities

Greece

Near the beach

Brazil

The chance to take cool photos for my social media accounts

Todd Dunlap, Managing Director of Booking.com, Americas, comments: “Spending time away together is an important part of family life, but we understand that planning to keep all the children happy can be hard. At Booking.com, we’re on a mission to match families with their perfect choice of vacation and we offer an informative bank of guest reviews, handy filter functions, and easy booking of over one million diverse properties to help them do just that. Whether it’s finding a great place to stay near to the coolest outdoor pursuits, most family-friendly restaurants, or even the bounciest beds – you can find it in just a few simple clicks on Booking.com.”

Report findings

Social Media Kudos
A strong Wi-Fi connection (89%) and eye-catching social media scenery (44%) are key factors in a vacation for kids 12-15 years old, showing the importance of reporting back to friends at home during family travels. Brazil is revealed as the top spot for teens 12-15 years old to get the best shot this summer, with rooftop apartments and epic beachside hotels overlooking views such as Christ the Redeemer and Sugarloaf Mountain. Creating kudos on Instagram, Snapchat and Weibo is serious business and something that can’t be easily overlooked for Generation Z.

COOL SOCIAL MEDIA SHOTS

(12-15 YEAR OLDS)

Brazil

93%

Russia

90%

Greece

88%

Croatia

87%

Netherlands

87%

A Lazy Breakfast

Nearly half (42%) of kids 12-15 years old and over a quarter (26%) of those 5-11 years old look for accommodations that give them the opportunity to sleep in before breakfast. From those 5-11 years old, a huge 77% noted that Poland is great for a late breakfast, and Croatia was rated highly by older kids. To ease the stress, self-catering, or inclusive meal options, is a great choice for guaranteeing kids don’t miss the most important meal of the day, providing flexibility for them to enjoy fresh bread rolls and scrambled eggs whenever they want.

SERVING A LATE BREAKFAST

(5-11 YEAR OLDS)

Poland

77%

Croatia

76%

Thailand

75%

Ireland

73%

Mexico

73%

 

SERVING A LATE BREAKFAST (12-15 YEAR OLDS)

Croatia

75%

Greece

73%

Austria

69%

Italy

65%

Germany

65%

Eating Forbidden Food
Of the 5 to 11 year olds who traveled this summer, a third (32%) agreed that the most important thing on a family trip is eating food that isn’t usually allowed at home, proving that vacations are an exciting way to taste food from different cultures and dig into tasty treats. Japan was a clear favorite, with a huge 84% of 5 to 11 year olds enjoying the food on their travels there. With a rise in popularity of colorful sushi and dim sum dishes, plus the delicious Ningyo-yaki dessert, it seems like children are experimenting with their taste buds more than ever!

 

EATING FORBIDDEN FOOD

 (5-11 YEAR OLDS)

Japan

84%

Taiwan

80%

Thailand

78%

Australia

77%

Argentina

76%

Staying Up Past Bedtime
This summer, evening activities were highly regarded by nearly half (46%) of kids 5-11 years old, and a quarter (27%) of those 12-15 years old. With a range of hotels offering kids clubs, babysitters and evening shows, entertaining your kids has never been easier to organize on vacation. Rich in diversity and with a range of activities on your doorstep, including ice-skating, biking, wildlife sighting and fishing, over three quarters (78%) of children from 5-11 years old said Canada was a great destination this summer for evening activities and staying out late.

EVENING ACTIVITIES

(5-11 YEAR OLDS)

Canada

78%

France

75%

Great Britain

70%

Portugal

69%

US

69%

 

EVENING ACTIVITIES 

(12-15 YEAR OLDS)

Russia

76%

Australia

56%

Brazil

56%

US

53%

Croatia

52%

Let’s Go to the Beach
Sun, sea and sand – the perfect option for keeping the little ones busy on vacation. From making sand castles to paddling in the sea, staying near the beach is deemed the second most important thing for children 5-11 years old, and the fourth for those 12-15 years old. With a number of islands featuring idyllic beaches, fun water sports and epic snorkeling, Greece is a clear favorite for beach-based retreats – for all ages.

STAYING NEAR THE BEACH (5-11 YEAR OLDS)

Greece

90%

Croatia

89%

Portugal

81%

Spain

77%

Mexico

77%

 

STAYING NEAR THE BEACH

(12-15 YEAR OLDS)

Greece

70%

Croatia

70%

Mexico

53%

Portugal

52%

Spain

50%

A Whole Lot of History
Staying in a piece of history is possible now, thanks to Booking.com’s diverse selection of properties. From 16th-century castles to huge lighthouses, it’s easy to see why Great Britain was voted the most historical vacation spot by 76% of those 12-15 years old and 33% of children 5-11 years old. Closely followed by other European countries including Ireland, the Netherlands and Italy, it shows that studying can continue even when’s school’s out.

HISTORICAL DESTINATIONS

(5-11 YEAR OLDS)

Great Britain

33%

Ireland

31%

Italy

24%

Russia

24%

Poland

23%

 

HISTORICAL DESTINATIONS

(12-15 YEAR OLDS)

Great Britain

77%

Netherlands

71%

Mexico

71%

Italy

68%

Portugal

67%

Bigger Bedrooms… and Bouncier Beds
Taiwan and Malaysia beat out Thailand for children’s bedroom sizes, with 84% of children ages 5-11 this summer recommending the small island off China. However, Brazil beats Asia in the battle of the bouncy beds, something that a fifth (22%) of children ages 5-11 see as an important factor for a family vacation, ensuring energetic jumping is followed by a comfortable night’s sleep.

BOUNCY BEDS

 (5-11 YEARS OLD)

Brazil

81%

Taiwan

79%

Thailand

69%

Malaysia

67%

Japan

61%

 

BIGGER BEDROOMS THAN AT HOME (5-11 YEARS OLD)

Taiwan

84%

Malaysia

72%

Thailand

70%

Japan

67%

Mexico

62%

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