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Most families have enjoyed lockdown - despite stresses and strains

Parents are thinking differently about sustainability – and many are now more willing to think about a UK holiday.

By Mumsnet HQ | Last updated Jul 15, 2021

Child running outside

The Covid-19 lockdown has brought many families closer together. As a result, parents are re-evaluating what’s important to them according to new research by Mumsnet for Luxury Family Hotels.

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 that 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 two in five (41%) 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 spend their holidays in the UK after bypassing it for foreign travel. 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.

When lockdown lifts families are most looking forward to:

  • 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%)
  • having their children looked after by someone else (21%).

The research also uncovered the increasing importance of an element of wellness as part of a family’s next holiday. One in five (21%)of those surveyed, 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.

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%)
  • 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%)
  • an outside pool (16%)

Mumsnet founder Justine Roberts said, “Lockdown has had a huge impact 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.”

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.”