One in Five British Parents are Considering ‘No-Tech’ Holidays for Their Next Family Break

The new report by Village Hotels on the modern face of the UK family break has revealed that a quarter (26%) of parents worry technology stops their children from taking in the world around them, with almost one in five (18%) considering a no-tech holiday for their next break.

Hitting the nostalgia button to childhoods of past generations, the great British family break has had many faces – from ice-creams on sandy shores to excited faces in theme park queues. However, as a quarter (26%) of Brits admit worrying about their child’s technology use on holiday stops them from paying attention to the world around them, what does the great British family break look like in 2024?

To investigate how the UK family break has evolved, Village Hotels polled British parents via OnePoll on their reasonings around booking a UK break, what they get up to, and how tech has impacted their holiday, following Google searches for ‘how to limit screen time for a child’ increasing by +5000% in the past 30 days.

Brits are favouring low-cost activities such as beach visits and walking on their family breaks

When asked about their reasonings for booking a family break half (52%) said it’s to spend more quality time together, and a third (36%) outlining their motivations being to spend more quality time together.

So, are UK family breaks still about dodging seagulls and fish and chips by the sea? UK parents revealed their top UK family break activities as:

Which of the following activities does your family tend to get up to on a UK family break?Total
Beach visit54%        
Zoo or safari park37%        
Theme parks35%        
Outdoor play areas or parks32%        
Heritage sites30%        
Cultural attractions e.g. art galleries, monuments29%        
City tours27%        
Farm visit24%        

Brits do still love to be beside the seaside according to the data with over half (54%) selecting beach visits as one of their top priorities – from the sandy promenades of Blackpool to the idyllic Bournemouth shorelines. In fact, lower-cost activities were at the top of the priority list with walking (48%) another top activity, whether that’s strolling through botanical gardens or hitting hiking trails.

Of the more costly options, a visit to a zoo or safari park was the favourite, with 37% choosing to take a walk on the wild side, just edging out shopping (36%) and theme parks (35%)

How is technology changing the inter-face of the UK family break?

Technophobe or techno fan, in 2024 technology is part of everyday life. However, there’s much debate around it’s usage by younger children– in fact, 49% of parents saying they have rules in place with their child using technology on holiday.

Despite this worry on average holiday technology usage is kept to a minimum with the average child spending 2 hours 26 minutes per day on their tech – just over one in ten children (12%) spend more than 5 hours on their devices.

So, how do Brits feel technology has affected their family breaks?

How, if at all, do you feel your child/ren’s use of technology affects your family holidays?Total
It keeps them occupied while travelling or waiting45%        
It allows them to record our family memories28%        
I feel my child doesn’t always pay attention to the world around them26%        
It stops them fully switching off from day-to-day life22%        
It affects their sleep18%        
It disrupts our family bonding time18%        
It enriches them e.g. by providing answers to questions, educational apps18%        

On the downside, technology can often prevent a full immersive family break experience, with 26% saying they feel their child doesn’t fully pay attention to the world around them, and one in five outlining it stops them switching off from everyday life.

However, for many parents they noted that limited usage of technology can ease their travel experience with 45% saying it keeps their children occupied while travelling or waiting, and 22% saying it allows them to record family memories.

When asked about if they are considering restrictions around their child’s technology usage for their next family break, one in five (18%) said they are considering a ‘no-tech’ family break, with 17% saying they will allow their children to have unlimited access.

Commenting on the report a spokesperson from Village Hotels said “With the summer holidays coming up, many UK families will be looking to spend quality time together – and there are so many great places to explore up and down the UK. We wanted to explore the role of technology in the modern family break, and investigate just how it impacts what the UK staycation looks like in 2024.”

Feeling inspired to book a family getaway, and get away from screens for a bit to make some new memories? Whether you need a quick getaway or a UK mini-break this summer, Village Hotels have got a variety of packages to choose from, all including breakfast and holiday spends for food in our Pub & Grill!

Stella Ryne

Stella Ryne is an art historian, traveller, conscious consumer and a proud mother. When she is not trying to improve the things around her (and herself, for that matter), she likes to lose herself in a good book. She’s deeply into green practices, cherishing the notion that sustainable living and sustainable travel will not only make us far less dependent on others regarding the dwellings we inhabit and what we eat, but also contribute to our planet being a better place to live on. Stay in touch with Stella via Twitter @RyneStella