June 16, 2015

Two-thirds of families will holiday abroad this year with Mum organising every aspect, Ireland’s largest online community of mums, reveals unique insights into making family holidays more enjoyable this summer. The MummyPages Travel Insight Survey looks at all aspects of family travel with 66% of mums planning a family holiday abroad this year.

Eight in ten mums believe that stress-free travel to and from their holiday destination is the most important factor in ensuring an enjoyable holiday, with good weather coming in second. One in five mums have never travelled by air due to the perception that it’s too hard with young children.

Family travel insights:

Stress-Free Holidays:

  • 20% of mums won’t fly abroad while their family is young
  • 61% of mums drive to the airport to make life easier
  • 35% of mums enjoy their holiday more when their children are of school age as they’re easier to entertain
  • 84% of mums believe that stress free travel to and from their destination is a key factor to an enjoyable holiday
  • 78% of mums dread the mountain of laundry to be tackled on return from holidays

Travel Arrangements:

  • 80% of couples choose their holiday destination together, but mum is the one who organises most of the travel arrangements thereafter:
    • Mum books the holiday (56%), jointly (33%) and dad (11%)
    • Mum checks the family’s passports are in date on booking (77%)
    • Mum organises passports, travel insurance and foreign currency (68%), jointly (22%) and dad (10%)
    • Mum looks after the travel arrangements to and from the airport (50%), jointly (18%) and dad (32%)
    • Mum checks everyone in online (56%), jointly (26%) and dad (18%)

Airport Travel:

  • 66% of mums are planning a family holiday outside of Ireland this year
  • 78% of mums and families look forward to and enjoy the overall airport experience
  • 61% of mums choose to drive the family car to the airport as its most convenient, 21% get a lift from friends or family, 10% take a taxi, while 8% of families travel by bus
  • 63% of mums would love an extra pair of hands to get through the airport
  • Only 19% of mums know Dublin Airport provides a Concierge Service to assist families with their journey through the airport
  • 60% of mums didn’t know about the Dublin Airport Fast Track service through security with 94% of mums with young children interested in availing of this
  • The most popular children’s pastime at the airport is watching the planes (62%), getting a treat in Duty Free (36%) and wheeling their own suitcase (33%)

Driving the family car is the most popular way of travelling to the airport for 61% of our mums because it has the added benefits of:

  1. Door-to-door convenience with just a 2 minute walk to the terminals from the Short Term Car Parks or a 5-10 minute bus transfer to check-in from the Long Term Car Parks. Mums can now calculate journey times to and from the terminal using the real-time shuttle bus information app.
  2. A quicker transfer home after landing from the nearby car parks
  3. A more cost effective option – especially when you book in advance and use the long term car parks, with one week’s holiday parking for as little as €29.
  4. Peace of mind that the children arrive at the airport refreshed following a nap in the car
  5. You can pack your luggage in the car the night before
  6. Safe and secure parking

Packing and unpacking for the whole family is the most stressful part of family travel for mums with 56% stressed out trying to stay within the weight restrictions. Most mums (78%) dread the amount of laundry to be done on their return from holiday. The MummyPages Travel Insight Survey revealed that mums manage these concerns by purchasing extra luggage allowances in advance (33%), while 59% of mums opt to do laundry on holidays to cut down on the volume of clothes being brought on holidays and dirty laundry coming home.

Eight in ten families plan to spend between 2.5 – 3.5 hours at the airport to enjoy the whole airport experience. A further 70% of mums are looking forward to trying out the new 737 flight simulator in T2 at Dublin Airport.

MummyPages’ Top Tips for travelling with young children: 

  1. Prepare your toddler in advance to save on meltdowns: 

With one week to go, talk them through every step of their journey from going through security to staying in their seat on the plane. Remind them every day of the travel adventure, talking through each step.

  1. Choosing your airline seats:

Make sure one of your seats is an aisle seat. A window might seem more attractive but you’ll be glad of the aisle seat when your restless toddler wants to get up and walk or asks for another item that’s stored in the overhead bin.

  1. Driving to the airport: 

Book your car parking well in advance on or use the Dublin Airport App. Book Fast Track to quickly navigate through security in the airport and also receive flight information updates via text message.

  1. Plan for airport security: 

Bring a light foldaway buggy for ease going through the x-ray machine. Both you and your toddler should wear slip on shoes, no belts and ensure liquids are 100ml or under are in resealable clear bags.

  1. Boarding the flight:

Boarding first might seem like a good idea but that’s just an extra 30 minutes in a confined space with your toddler or infant. Use space around your boarding gate to run around as much and tire them out.

  1. On the flight:  

Bring as much finger foods and toys as you can fit in your hand luggage and make sure your portable entertainment devices are fully charged.

Commenting on the MummyPages Travel Insight Survey, Laura Haugh, Mum-in-Residence for says:

“Family travel has come a long way in recent years with airports going above and beyond to accommodate the needs of families with young children. Family friendly amenities such as family lanes and fast track options at security, a concierge service for that extra pair of hands, and nearby parking facilities all help to make the experience easy. Of course, driving to the airport gives families more control over their journey but it also means there’s no fussing with children’s car seats and they can nap or watch a DVD on the drive there.”

“Our MummyPages mums reveal that their children enjoy their time at the airport with designated play areas, chill out zones, free Wi-Fi, and great food all contributing to a positive experience. If you’re flying out of Terminal 1, visit Candy Cloud, a confectionary store just for kids. Our mums’ top tips for travel are to charge up the digital devices before leaving home and to bring a charged power pack of battery life if the flight is a long one. Also plugging in your technology at the airport to save on juice is advisable if gaming before take-off.”

“Holidays are all about relaxing and spending time together as a family. It is hardly surprising therefore that our MummyPages mums are more relaxed with their rules when abroad. A huge three-quarters of parents let their children stay up late, 65% allow more treats, 32% allow their children to dictate the day’s activities, while 30% of parents let their child away with not finishing every meal.”