Cost-cutting drives the rise of 'greycations'

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Car Rental News - 03/05/2010


Families seeking to spread holiday costs are turning to three-generation vacations.

As the economic recession continues to hit incomes, British families are increasingly finding ways for three generations to holiday together, thus spreading the costs. A recent survey finds pragmatism, rather than a traditional sense of family, to be the main driver of this trend.

UK holidaymakers were already spurning holidays abroad for ‘staycations’ in their home country. Now, the number of families planning to take holidays involving children, parents and grandparents staying together in the UK has soared to an estimated 2.7 million.

Researchers say the trend is being driven by both dwindling cash flow and a slump in the availability of cheap holidays abroad. Prices at travel agent Thomson’s have risen nine per cent since last year. At Thomas Cook, prices are up two per cent.

And it’s not just UK resorts that are benefiting from the new all-in-the-family holidays. UK caravan companies are also enjoying a boom as customers purchase caravans to be used by three generations of family.

Nearly half of respondents in the survey claimed to be attracted by the opportunity for their children to spend more time with the grandparents. The reality, however, is revealed by the survey results.

Eighteen per cent of parents surveyed said the grandparents would be babysitting the children in the evenings. Nineteen per cent of respondents said they aimed to save money. Ten per cent said including grandparents in the holiday spread the burden of cooking meals.

Whatever the real inspiration behind this holiday trend, it means many children will get to spend more time with their extended family, and that cannot be a bad thing. British holiday resorts, long forsaken by sun-seeking Brits, are also unlikely to complain.

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