The average British holiday - in numbers...

The average British family holiday involves a three-hour journey, four tantrums - and two days of rain, new research reveals.

Wednesday, 25th May 2016, 10:58 am
Updated Wednesday, 25th May 2016, 12:23 pm

A survey of 2,000 families also found that children ask “Are we there yet?” five times and parents enjoy only two lie-ins, but do get at least 16 hours as a family on the beach.

And taking a phone to the beach is more important that a TOWEL for four in ten people, according to the holiday-by-numbers research by self-catering agency Beach Retreats.

The average British holiday sees 81 photos snapped, three Facebook statuses posted and eight ice creams are eaten per person - although two will be dropped.

Families will also have to contend with three occasions of seagulls swooping in, five sandcastles are built and three inflatables are blown up by puffed-out parents.

Parents will normally get less than two and a half hours to themselves most days but will manage three quiet drinks over the holiday.

Andrew Easton, business manager for Beach Retreats said: “Around half of British families will be taking a staycation in 2016 and the appeal of the British beach holiday stronger than ever.

“Documenting your beach holiday with photos, social uploads and selfies is now a typical part of a beach holiday, but it’s great to see that outdoor activities, discovering the beach, are still so important to families.”

One of our favourite things about UK beach holidays is the sea air - with three quarters of people (73 per cent) saying it’s what they love most about the seaside.

Being close to the sea (61 per cent), out of the wind (55 per cent) and near to a toilet (30 per cent) are amongst the key factors in deciding where best on the beach to set-up camp for the day.

More than two thirds (69 per cent) of families will not head to the beach without at least one weather-proof essential such as a windbreak, full waterproofs or an umbrella.

Whilst on holiday, half (54 per cent) of British families will watch a sunset, almost a third (29 per cent) will have a barbecue on the beach and 22 per cent adults will try a local craft ale.

Traditional British beach behaviours are still as popular as ever, with building sandcastles, digging holes in the sand and exploring rock pools listed as the most popular things to do beside the seaside.


115 miles travelled to destination

3 hours driving to destination

5 Kids ask ‘Are we nearly there yet?’

8 ice creams eaten

4 beach trips

5 sandcastles built

4 picnics

8 sandwiches

4 tantrums

6 late nights

2 cream teas

4 car games

3 accidents/scraped knees

10 times applying sun cream

2 bits of sunburn

2 lie-ins for parents

2 drinks spilt

3 films watched

3 board games played

3 inflatables blown up

3 fending off seagulls

2 dropped ice creams

2 family bike rides

2 tags to locations on Facebook

3 holiday-related Facebook statuses

81 photos taken

3 quiet drinks for the parents

3 takeaways

2 rainy days inside

2 visits to local attractions


Walked along a pier - 70 per cent

Built sand castles - 69 per cent

Played in a penny arcade/2p machines - 66 per cent

Dig holes in the sand - 61 per cent

Walking along a promenade -58 per cent

Explored rock pools - 58 per cent

Ate fish and chips wrapped in newspaper - 50 per cent

Ate a stick of rock - 38 per cent

Played bat and ball - 37 per cent

Played a board game - 37 per cent

Played I-spy - 37 per cent

Sat in a deck chair - 32 per cent

Sending postcards - 30 per cent

Went on a merry go round - 29 per cent

Went crabbing - 27 per cent

Saw a steam train - 26 per cent

Used a windbreaker - 22 per cent

Kite flying - 22 per cent

Went on a donkey ride - 18 per cent

Beach cricket - 18 per cent

Going on a helter skelter - 17 per cent

Watched a Punch and Judy show - 16 per cent

Visited a model village - 16 per cent

Ate cockles - 11 per cent

Changed in a beach hut - 4 per cent

Went fruit picking - 4 per cent

Wore a hankie on head to protect from sun - 4 per cent

Had a wheelbarrow race - 2 per cent

Ate jellied eels - 2 per cent