British families getting less than three hours of quality time together in a working week

The pressures of modern life are meaning British families are getting on average just 169 minutes of quality time together in a typical working week, with nearly a quarter (23%) saying they get less than one hour of ‘us time’ together between Monday to Friday, according to research examining how British families spend time together by, one of the world’s leading holiday rental websites.

When it comes to taking advantage of stolen moments together as a couple, parents are settling for spending that precious quality time watching television (65%) over talking (33%) or having sex (31%), proving that finding the time to escape the day-to-day and reclaim missed time as a family and couple is more important than ever.

As we approach the summer, most Brits are eagerly looking forward to making amends: nearly two thirds (60%) of parents say the thing they are most looking forward to about their next holiday is spending quality time with their children.  However, hopes of rekindling the romance on holiday seem distant with three quarters (76%) of Brits admitting that “romance takes a back seat when holidaying with kids.”

Psychologist Dr Linda Papadopoulos, who partnered with HouseTrip on the research, says: “That so many families are spending less than three hours together in the week is a reflection on how busy modern life has become.  The summer months have traditionally been the time when families reconnect and focus on proper ‘us time’.  But many mums and dads – especially the ‘Globetrotter Generation’ born in the 70s and 80s onwards, who were the first to see global travel adventures as the norm and who have put off starting a family until their mid-thirties – are now concerned about the implications of taking their little ones on holiday and what that will mean for their relationship.  Of the Globetrotters surveyed, 80% said that romance takes a back seat now that they’re travelling with kids and 73% of them miss their previous freedoms. This sacrifice and compromise means that some parents are opting to avoid family holidays and therefore are missing out on ‘us time’.”

According to HouseTrip’s research, two thirds (65%) of parents said that they “would love to holiday overseas as a young family, but it’s too hard most of the time to do that with young kids.”  On average, new mums and dads wait until their first child is 18 months old before taking him or her on holiday with one in three (31%) waiting longer.  Seven in ten (69%) parents agree that they sometimes “miss the freedom they had on holiday before they had their little ones.”

HouseTrip, which has 300,000 holiday rentals in over 20,000 destinations around the world, commissioned the research to shed light on the perceived challenges parents feel they are up against when trying to find a way to spend quality time together on holiday.

Arnaud Bertrand, founder of, said: “Parents want to spend ‘us time’ with their children as a family, but they don’t want to compromise the quality time they used to get with each other as a couple.  Old-fashioned package holidays don’t make it easy to get both – space is limited and sharing a room doesn’t allow for much private time. That’s why we’re on a mission to make it easy for people to holiday wherever they want in the world but in beautiful whole homes rather than cramped hotels.”

HouseTrip promises to only offer entire homes, with their own kitchen and bathroom, and that every home listed is screened by a team of experts.  A multi-lingual service team is also on hand to solve any problems, 24/7, 365 days a year.


  • “Globetrotter Generation” struggling more with sacrificing previous freedoms – those parents who enjoyed the adventures of global travel before having kids, are more likely than any other age bracket to agree that romance takes a back seat now that they’re travelling with kids (80%) and that they miss their previous freedoms (73%).  HouseTrip makes it easier for parents to enjoy the forgotten freedoms of past globetrotting adventures by allowing families to holiday together, in a way they want
  • The “One-year itch” for new parents – The summer sees many children reach their first birthday – according to The Office for National Statistics, from 2001 to 2011, July has topped the league for live births in England five times.  So it’s no surprise that at this time of year parents start to miss previous freedoms, with 82% of parents with a one year old child admit that romance takes a back seat whilst on holiday.  Psychologist Dr Linda Papadopoulos refers to this as the ‘one-year itch’, where couples begin to yearn for some of the freedoms they previously enjoyed after spending the first year focusing all of their attention on their little one.  HouseTrip and Dr Papadopoulos encourages mums and dads to celebrate their first year of their new family structure with a different type of family holiday that still comes with no ties and provides the privacy needed to inspire romance
  • Holiday: before kids vs. after kids – Nearly half of parents (48.2 percent) revealed they enjoyed a long haul or exotic destination holiday most before they had children.  Post-kids, 48 percent now say that staying in a rental holiday home or apartment abroad or in the UK is the most enjoyable and easy holiday to take kids on.  HouseTrip can combine the two – with more than 300,000 homes available in over 20,000 destinations across the world.
  • Biggest challenges of holidaying with kids – Finding a holiday that suits you and your partner as well as the kids is one of the toughest thing about taking young children on holiday, according to one in three (30%) of respondents.  And one in five (20%) say trying to find some private time together is the thing they find hardest.  HouseTrip offers families a new way to holiday without compromise – enabling parents to entertain the kids with all the comforts of home, while making it easier to spend time together as a couple

HouseTrip urges families to cherish ‘us time’ and bring back some of the past freedoms of pre-children holidays by taking advantage of the additional space, convenience, privacy and locations that come with renting whole homes, apartments or villas.  With HouseTrip, parents can find the comforts of an entire house for less than the price of just one hotel room, while also receiving the best customer satisfaction scores in the whole travel industry.


Article provided by and research was conducted in May 2014 by CensusWide. 2005 British parents were surveyed online.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *