Lonely Planet Writer

Children want pools and teens want Wi-Fi: survey reveals kids’ travel priorities

When hitting the road for a family vacation, young kids are hoping for a pool and water-slides, while teens are dreaming of a strong Wi-Fi connection, according to a new survey of kids’ travel priorities.

Young kids want swimming pools when they go on vacation.
Young kids want swimming pools when they go on vacation. Image by Maria Pavlova/Getty Images

Booking.com collected more than 22,500 post-vacation reviews from kids around the globe to find out exactly what makes their travel experience better – and the results will likely come as no surprise to anyone who travels with kids in tow.

People enjoying summer around the pool.
People enjoying summer around the pool. Image by Ghislain & Marie David de Lossy/Getty Images

Children aged five to eleven are most eager to stay near to a pool or water-slides, with 73% indicating they’d like to go for a swim while on holidays. Easy access to a beach was a travel priority for 58%, while 54% said they want to be able to take in activities that they can’t do at home. About 42% of kids want to be able to play with other children, 34% want to have all the ice cream they can eat and 32% want food they aren’t allowed to eat at home. One in five want to stay in a room that’s bigger than theirs at home, and 22% are hoping there will be bouncy beds.

Woman lying on bed using at cellular phone.
Teens want Wi-Fi to stay connected with friends. Image by Sam Edwards/Getty Images

Older kids had slightly different priorities for their family vacations – they want to be able to use social media and stay in touch with their friends at home. About 89% of kids aged 12 to 15 said a strong Wi-Fi connection is essential to their holiday. About 44% wanted the chance to take cool photos for social media. Other priorities were staying near a pool or beach, but only 25% thought it was important to make friends with other kids while on vacation.

Teenager takes selfies in the sea.
Teenager takes selfies in the sea. Image by Thanasis Zovoilis/Getty Images

The research found that the top-rated destinations by kids were Greece, Brazil and the US. Those countries meet many of the expectations from kids, with beaches, pools and plenty of chances to take great selfies. Other destinations that ranked highly were Japan, Mexico and Canada.