The Average Summer Break Involves 11 Day Trips, 344 Miles Of Travel, And Two Cases Of Sunburn

by : Emily Brown on : 18 Jul 2018 15:41

The main ways families spend their summer holidays have been revealed, and there’s a lot of ice cream involved. 


Summer holidays always have to be taken advantage of – I don’t know about you, but any time spent in my own home watching TV during the summer was time wasted.

Over a month of freedom from education, and each day had to be seized. Luckily, a study by National Express Coach has revealed we’re quite good at seizing summer.

The study found that the average summer break from school will involve 11 day trips, 344 miles of travel, and two cases of sunburn. No matter how many times the sun hurts us, we always go back for more.

National Express Coach conducted a survey of 2,000 British families, finding out what the most popular ways to pass time during summer were – while simultaneously revealing the best ways parents can gain some kid-free time in the holidays.

Ice creamsIce creamsPixabay

The study found that during school summer holidays, children spend 11 and a half hours at the swimming pool, nine hours at the cinema and 12 hours foisted off on friends.

Of course, the parents have to spend quality time with their children too, so another 16 hours are typically spent sitting in the car as parents ferry the family around from place to place.

While these activities fill up a lot of time, in summer there’s always time to spare. The study also found that parents will hear each of their kids wail ‘I’m bored’ an average of 33 times during the summer holidays.

Getting the kid-free time doesn’t seem such a heartless thing to do now, does it?

Probably in attempts to keep the never-satisfied children happy, National Express Coach found that parents tend to fork out for 19 ice creams a head during the summer.

The study was done as part of National Express Coach’s attempts to encourage the nation’s families to head out and explore the UK this summer.


Chris Hardy, the managing director of the company, said:

Our research revealed that six in 10 parents worry their children will spend too long indoors during the summer holidays.

And two thirds of parents see the summer break as an opportunity to take their kids to see parts of the UK they wouldn’t normally visit.

The long summer school holiday is the best time of the year for families to take a trip together and discover somewhere new.

Don’t let your kids sit bored indoors this summer. There’s a whole nation out there to see, and with the lovely weather and free time the school break brings, there’s no better time to get out and explore it.

The average day out over the summer holidays sees families 52 miles away from home, searching for fun things for the kids to do. It seems like these families need to consider moving to more entertaining places.

Parents voted the beach or seaside as their favourite place to take kids for a day out followed by the cinema, the local park or a nearby swimming pool.

Unsurprisingly, the car is the most popular mode of transport to ferry families around their summertime destinations, though more than 14 per cent said they dread long hours driving in the car with kids.

Calls of ‘are we there yet?’ probably haunt parents’ dreams.

For a quarter, the cost of travelling to and from activities is a big worry, while three in 10 struggle to get enough time off work.

Three times as many people say they’d rather take multiple short trips over the summer break than one big long-haul adventure. Smart, the kids have less time to get bored of the one place – although it does open more opportunities for ‘are we there yet?’.

Thirteen per cent of families will go on a train journey together, and almost one in 10 will jump on a coach as a family to visit a UK destination.


For nearly half of the population, the summer holidays will also involve a flight, with one in 10 hopping on a plane four times or more over a year.

Chris Hardy explained what National Express Coach can offer to those looking to stay entertained over the summer.

He said:

We’ve already seen increased bookings to coastal locations, no doubt thanks to the recent sunshine.

A jolly to the seaside is a fun and active way to spend a day strengthening family ties and making the most of the British summer weather.

Museums inspire inquisitive kids, while bike rides and trips to the pool ensure all that summer holiday energy is put to good use.

At the UK’s largest coach operator, we run services to more than 900 locations across the country, so whether you’re looking to take in some great British coastline, walk a picturesque trail with the kids in tow, or pay a visit to some of the UK’s renowned heritage sites and castles to take in some history, we can get you there.


The most popular summer holiday family day trips turned out to be: 

1. The beach/seaside
2. The cinema
3. The park
4. The swimming pool
5. A walking trail
6. An amusement park
7. A water park
8. A bike ride in the countryside
9. A museum
10. A friend’s house

I think going to a water park is way too far down on that list.

If you have a story you want to tell, send it to [email protected] 

Emily Brown

Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University, and went on to become a freelance writer and blogger. Emily contributed to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news as well as longer form features.

Topics: Life