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Parents still pay for adult children’s holidays – research shows

Many Irish people will remember with fondness the free holidays they enjoyed in their childhood courtesy of their parents. However, most young Irish adults – and in fact many adults of all ages – still have holidays paid for by their parents thanks to the growth of ‘the travel agency of mum and dad’, according to new research released today by Enterprise Rent-A-Car Ireland.

It found that nearly three quarters (71 percent) of young Irish adults (aged 18 – 24) had been on holiday with their parents in the past year, with parents helping to cover costs 85 percent of the time. Typically, parents pay for flights (6 percent), accommodation (58 percent), and even food (49 percent) for their adult offspring.

While young adults are most likely to enjoy a free holiday on their parents, they are not the only age group doing so. 39 percent of all adults have been on holiday with their parents or in-laws in the last year, and more than two thirds (66 percent) said their parents or in-laws contributed to some or all of the cost of the trip, Enterprise Rent-A-Car claims.

Just over one in five adults (21 percent) admit getting financial help is an ‘upside’ of going away with parents and one in ten said it was the main reason for doing so. Spending quality time together was a more important factor. More than half of Irish adults said they go on holiday with their parents or in-laws to spend time with them (52 percent). Others said it allowed them to give something back to them (36 percent) and help them pay for the trip (21 percent). Eleven per cent said the main advantage of holidaying with parents was that it allowed them to go on the types of holiday they wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford.

The vast majority of Irish adults who have been on holiday with their parents or in-laws said they would do so again (92 percent) – although 60 percent said it wasn’t something they would do for every holiday.

Despite the financial benefits, it appears that there are downsides to traveling with parents. Eight out of ten (80 percent) adults that have been on holiday with their parents or in-laws said there was at least one disadvantage – the main one being the lack of privacy (36 percent). Other challenges with multi-generational holidays were revealed to be catering to all tastes (29 percent), managing relationships in the group (25 percent), and choosing what to watch or listen to (12 percent).

George O’Connor, Managing Director, Enterprise Rent-A-Car Ireland, said: “It’s incredible just how many Irish adults go on holiday with parents who cover all or part of the costs. Anyone with young children may be surprised that the ‘travel agency of mum and dad’ continues long after children have grown up.”

“During the summer, we see much higher demand for larger vehicles and people carriers as they are a great way for the extended family to get around. If you are holidaying with family this summer, ask your car rental company what’s right for you because your choice of vehicle can really have an impact on your holiday experience. Sometimes it can be hard to cater for all tastes, so renting two smaller cars is a great way to ensure you have the flexibility to do a range of activities together or in smaller groups”.