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Average child will travel nearly 4,000 miles around world by 15th birthday, survey claims

Nine in 10 parents believe travel is important to children's upbringing

Rob Knight
Wednesday 21 August 2019 17:50 BST
The Heathrow Express study found that children today have traveled almost twice as far as their parents had at the same age
The Heathrow Express study found that children today have traveled almost twice as far as their parents had at the same age (Getty Images)

The average child will have travelled 3,754 miles around the world by the time they reach 15 – almost twice as far as their own parents had at the same age.

They will have also already been on four holidays abroad, catching numerous flights and visiting continents such as the Middle East and South America.

In contrast, parents had travelled just 2,185 miles in total at the same age, rarely going further than a European destination.

The study of 2,000 parents with children up to 15, commissioned by Heathrow Express, found six in 10 believe a holiday abroad is the perfect place to create family memories.

A spokesperson for Heathrow Express, which offers free travel to kids aged 15 and under, said: “It’s brilliant to see the world of travel has opened up for a new generation.

They added: “It’s clear the world is smaller than ever before and a world of opportunities for travel has opened up for the young generation of today.

“Air travel is now much more accessible, making it possible for millions more youngsters to expand their horizons all over the globe.”

The survey also found nearly two-thirds of adults had not been on a plane at all by the age of 15.

Money topped the list of reasons grown-ups did not explore more of the world when they were younger.

However, nearly a fifth said it simply “wasn’t the done thing” for kids to be jetting off around the globe in decades gone by.

Another one in 10 said their parents did not want to travel with young children, so kept holidays closer to home.

Sixty-four per cent did say they wished they had been able to visit more foreign countries when they were children though.

Parents are now trying to make up for the young travelling experiences they missed, with nine in 10 believing travel is important to a child’s upbringing.

Half of respondents said it was important for children to get out of their normal day-to-day routines and 29 per cent said they would like their children to learn another language.

On average, children today go on their first holiday at just two-and-a-half years old – with a quarter travelling internationally before their first birthday.

Heathrow Express’ spokesperson added: “Our results were really positive in terms of finding out how much travel means to the nation.

“If people weren’t able to get away as much as they would have liked when they were young, they’re going the extra mile – literally – to ensure their kids have that option.”


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