Is hell other people’s children on holiday – or even your own?

Thomson launches Couples, a new child-free holiday experience at resorts worldwide
– One in three adults agree that “Hell is other people’s children on holiday”
– 40% say their own children adversely affect their holiday enjoyment

Thomson Holidays has today officially launched Thomson Couples, an all new adults-only holiday experience aimed at couples who want to spend time abroad in a child-free environment, away from their own kids, and other people’s. With the first Couples customers flying out this month, Thomson is the first mainstream travel company to offer 100% child-free holiday resorts worldwide.

News of the launch will be welcomed by more than three quarters (79%) of all those questioned for a Thomson Holidays survey* who admitted their holidays were affected by other people’s children, while 31% said that unruly youngsters have actually ruined a well-earned break.

What’s more, one in three UK adults (35%) said they agreed unequivocally with the statement “Hell is other people’s children on holiday”.

For more than half those questioned (55%) the main complaint about children is their behaviour in the hotel restaurant, while nearly half (48%) find the “general noise and whining” made by kids on holiday irritating. Another major gripe was noise from children in the room next door (45%), while for a third (32%) over-tired youngsters can also spoil an evening’s entertainment.

The hotel swimming pool is a flashpoint too, where 41% are irritated by the noise from excited children. Being splashed while sunbathing around the pool was annoying for nearly a third (30%), while 21% said they dislike being splashed by children while they’re swimming in the pool.

Interestingly, the problems are not solely confined to other people’s children. Some 40% of parents say their own kids affect the enjoyment of their holiday, while 4% of these say they can even ruin it completely!

The research went on to show that many people would like to see adult-only areas in hotels. More than half (55%) believe the bar should be a no-go area for kids, while 42% would like part of the swimming pool cordoned off for adults to swim quietly.

The subject of adults-only holidays is explored in greater detail in a thought-provoking ‘White Paper’ commissioned by Thomson Holidays, which also takes a light-hearted look back at the history of the family holiday. The paper includes interviews with people taking both Thomson child-free and child-friendly holidays in Cyprus during last October’s half-term holiday.

Luke Gaskins, Head of Product Development at Thomson Holidays, explained that Thomson Couples is part of the company’s commitment to designing holidays around the differing needs of its customers, and would complement its hugely popular Thomson Families resorts.

“Family holidays are incredibly important to Thomson and an extremely valuable opportunity for families to spend quality time together, enabling children to experience new places, foods and cultures – and have fun,” said Luke.

“At the same time, many parents also tell us how much they cherish a few days to themselves once in a while in addition to their family holiday, to recharge their batteries. Just as our Family resorts are focused on keeping children entertained, Couples is completely geared to adult relaxation and together time. At a Couples hotel, peace and quiet both come as standard”.

Available from summer 2011, Thomson Couples will feature 19 contemporary hotels exclusive to Thomson UK customers in stunning locations across all haul types.

All hotels in the Thomson Couples range are part of Thomson’s Premier Collection, which include the company’s very best 4T and 5T hotels. Couples customers will also enjoy complimentary benefits including increased luggage allowance, priority transfers, day-before check-in and dedicated holiday advisors when overseas.