Well-travelled children

Welcome to Generation Globetrotter

  • Average British six-year-old has been abroad four times and first jetted off aged four - compared to their parents who didn't leave the UK until they were 11
  • 16% of youngsters holiday outside the UK before they are one

Travelling abroad used to be considered something of a luxury but for today's cosmopolitan children it seems foreign holidays and visits to far-flung destinations are fast becoming the norm. Dubbed 'Generation Globetrotter', these lucky youngsters are notching up an average four overseas trips before they reach the age of six, with one in seven (16 per cent) travelling outside the UK before they are one.

By the time they are sixteen, they have racked up an impressive seven overseas trips, with more than a quarter enjoying ten or more and one in 20 taking 15 trips with their families. It means these fortunate globetrotters can spend up to three weeks a year exploring foreign resorts, with almost one in three (30 per cent) benefiting from more than two trips a year. By contrast, their parents didn't leave the UK for a holiday until they had started high school - at an average age of 11.

According to a major new study released by holiday experts, Eurocamp, this week, their favourite destinations are Spain (visited by 72 per cent of families), France (popular with 60 per cent) and America (visited by 35 per cent of families). A further one in 20 children had already visited a more far-flung destination like Thailand too.

Regionally, Welsh youngsters seem to be the best-travelled, making an average nine trips before their sixteenth birthday, followed by those living in Yorkshire who have been on eight foreign holidays by the time they finish high school.

It means today's youngsters have an average three stamps in their passport and 86 per cent have at least one. Another one in eight (12 per cent) has four and a jet-setting one in 20 has six.

The research, which gathered the views of 1,000 British parents and their under-18-year-old children, found the drive to overseas trips was being fuelled by a desire to enjoy guaranteed great weather (chosen by 57 per cent) and explore other cultures (54 per cent). Making time for outdoor activities like sports and cycling was also important for 39 per cent, while one in ten were keen to learn another language.

Speaking about the findings, Eurocamp's Head of Marketing, Chris Hilton, says: “It's surprising to see just how well-travelled today's young people are. It's a clear reflection on how holidays are a hugely important part of family life, something for both parents and children to look forward to throughout the year. The rise of 'Generation Globetrotter' is a trend we have seen grow over time, as today's parents developed a taste for travelling when they were younger, which is further fuelled by today's accessible, affordable foreign holidays that cater for everything families need.”