THEY are old enough to bring up families of their own, but many grown-up cash-strapped “children”, some as old as 40, are holidaying with their parents this year, a new report reveals.
Almost two million parents are paying to take their adult offspring away on summer breaks – sometimes taking as many as three with them at a time.
The survey of more than 2,000 Britons reveals two-thirds of parents are unwilling to let their children pay a penny towards the trip – adding an extra £380 to the cost on average. More than a third of parents said they paid because they wanted the family to be together.
Those holidaying with their parents include adults in their twenties and thirties. Money is a key consideration for parents with many worrying their children could not afford a holiday without their help.
Over a quarter (26 per cent) of parents said they are paying for or subsidising their grown-up child’s holiday because they know they cannot afford a break. A similar number (24 per cent) say that if they did not pay, their child would not have a holiday at all.
The average age of an adult child joining their parents on holiday is now 30, while almost a fifth (19 per cent) are in their forties.
Dr Mary Brown, a psychologist and former lecturer at Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen, said it was unfair to characterise such adult children as “spongers” freeloading off their parents.
“Many families have an unofficial ‘quid pro quo’ arrangement with their adult children, helping out throughout the year with tasks such as painting and decorating, fixing computers, driving and accompanying parents to hospital appointments. They might not have money to contribute towards a holiday, but they help out in other ways.
“Also, in the present situation, adult children are often faced with the sort of problems their parents did not encounter when they were young. Years ago, it was much easier to get reasonably well-paid work.
“These days it can be a struggle to find a job which pays a reasonable amount, especially now there are fewer employment rights. Housing is a nightmare for many who have little choice but to return to the family home after university or short-lived jobs.”
Some parents are taking more than one grown-up child away with them, with over a third (35 per cent) taking two or three on their trip.
Dr Brown added: “Holidays are important for families especially with the long hours culture faced by many people. Getting away from the home patch and having time to talk and sort out niggles is very important for family bonding.”
Holidaying with parents may become more commonplace as people leave their parental home much later in life nowadays or return to live with their parents after their studies – the “boomerang” generation.
According to the research, nearly four in ten (37 per cent) parents with adult children have at least one still living at home with them, and one in five (22 per cent) of these children is being taken away by their parents this year.
Selwyn Fernandes, the managing director of LV= travel insurance, who conducted the survey, said: “Holidaying with the parents is becoming a growing trend.”
Search for a job
Search for a car
Search for a house
Weather for Edinburgh
Sunday 19 May 2013
Temperature: 10 C to 16 C
Wind Speed: 8 mph
Wind direction: North
Temperature: 9 C to 20 C
Wind Speed: 7 mph
Wind direction: West