Travel startups - focus on the kids!


It’s Children’s Day today and what do children love most – vacations! So when our friends at HolidayIQ sent us this interesting infographic on vacations with children, we just had to share it. In addition to the infographic, we also reached out to several other travel startups to better understand specific trends in vacations with children.

HolidayIQ compiled their insights an analysis of vacations planned in India with children from November 2013 - January 2014. Key findings:

Bigger budgets

Budgets allocated for holidays planned with children are 86% higher than those planned without them. The average trip budget for a family traveling without children is Rs. 21,256, whereas for a family traveling with children it is Rs. 39,514. According to Sameer from Travotel – “Parents definitely spend more on better quality of hotels, theme park tickets & shopping” Shiju from iTraveller adds that with safety as a major concern, parents usually avoid the lowest category of hotels.

‘Wild’ vacations

Among holiday themes, Jungle holidays are the most popular among families traveling with children, whereas beach holidays are the common choice for others. Salomi from Have Feet, Must Travel adds that, “East and South Africa are preferred family destinations when children are above the age of 12 years as most of the Safari Lodges do not accept children less than 12 years of age.”

Memories & experiences

Experiential & activity driven holidays are becoming popular – wildlife safaris, heritage walks, treks and adventure activities like jet skiing, paragliding & are picking up. Travelers are looking for experiences to make holidays more memorable. The trend is corroborated by Have Feet, Must Travel who shared that when children are a part of the holidays, they focus more on outdoor activities that involve the kids. Eg: In South Africa, activities include Elephant petting in Knysna, Ostrich farms in Oudtshoorn, going on a sail boat in the Knysna Lagoon etc along with game watching at Sabi Sand Game reserve in Kruger National Park.

Safety first

Safety is an important consideration in deciding various aspects of travel, more so with families planning holidays with children. Average planning period for family holidays is 49 days in advance, whereas other holidays are planned 40 days in advance. Travotel explained that Indians traveling with children mostly plan their holidays early to coincide with school vacations during Summer, Diwali, Christmas time or long weekends.

We also got some additional interesting insights when we reached to other travel startups:

Group vacations

According to Anenth from TripThirsty – “A little known fact is that couples with kids sometimes prefer to go with friends and mixed groups rather than themselves. Especially while going to theme parks, having friends attend to the kid taking turns will be a great help for the couple if they want to do a ride together. Couples with kids often join other couples with kids on day trips. Sudha from GoSeekandHide added that she sees “an increasing trend among urban families of traveling with other families where the kids are apartment friends/schoolmates. Such groups tend to look for a large villa or cottages next to each other.”

In-resort activities

Another trend is to look at child friendly resorts or resorts that have an activity center where the parents can drop off the kids for a few hours while they go for a spa session, scuba diving etc. Parents tend to avoid too much of local traveling & usually prefer single destination holidays for everyone’s comfort. Even where they go for a vacation that involves multiple destinations, they like to restrict the inter-destination travel time to not more than 3 to 4 hours.

Special requests

While spending on vacations with children is higher, it also comes with several additional requests. If the child is below 3 years of age, the parents request hotels not to charge the child for meals such as lunch and dinner if they are choosing an all inclusive meals package for the rest of the family. Sanchit from TravelTriangle shared that parents also ask for things like 24 hour milk availability, baby pool, special kid rates, nanny services, etc.

So for those of you in the travel business, watch out for this lucrative segment but remember that the demands will be significantly more. For parents and children – Happy Vacationing!


Updates from around the world