Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Family holidays: What does Growing up in Scotland research tell us?

Having a summer holiday is something many families in Scotland take for granted. GUS dissemination officer Lesley Kelly reports on the holiday habits of families with young children in Scotland  

Time spent away from the pressures of daily routines provides a much needed respite for many. But for nearly a third of families with young children, a summer holiday is unaffordable.

Research from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation finds that people in the UK agree that families with children should be able to afford one-week’s self-catering in a caravan/ family resort in the UK as part of an acceptable minimum standard of living.

The thousands of families taking part in the Growing Up Scotland study are asked ‘Do you have a holiday away from home for at least one week a year, whilst not staying with relatives at their home?’

Amongst families with children aged 6 years, two-thirds say that they have an annual holiday.

28% of families say that they would like a holiday but cannot afford it.

A further 6% say that they do not need or want a holiday at the moment.

Not surprisingly, families in the highest income groups are more likely to say that they have an annual holiday.

89% of families in the top income group (with a household income of greater than £37,500) say that they have a holiday, compared with 35% of families in the lowest income group.

Half of families living in the most deprived areas manage a holiday, compared with 82% of families living in the most affluent areas of Scotland.

72% of couple families have an annual holiday, compared with 43% of lone parent families. Three quarters of children born to mothers in their thirties have a holiday, compared with less than half (44%) of children born to mothers under 20.

Not everyone wants a family summer holiday. But low incomes means many families don’t get the choice.

Lesley Kelly is dissemination officer with Growing up in Scotland www.growingupinscotland.org.uk

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