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Far from being an enjoyable prelude to a relaxing break, planning the family holiday is likely to leave mums feeling stressed and tempted not to go away at all, according to new research from The survey of over 1,000 UK mums has revealed that 84% are left to plan the family holiday by themselves, with 60% finding it a stressful experience. The problem has reached such an extent that many have considered not going away at all due to the stress of trying to plan the perfect getaway.

The research has found that, behind moving house and preparing for Christmas, planning a family holiday is the most stressful event in most mums’ lives. To help ease the pressure, has developed the “Mum’s Holiday Guide”, offering advice on everything from choosing the right location, to packing and how to get the rest of the family involved in organising the holiday. The Mums Holiday Guide is free to download from and has been created with advice and top tips from real mums, allowing everyone to benefit from the nation’s collective experience!

The survey found that the journey to and from the holiday destination is the most stressful part of a family holiday, with almost a third (29%) of mums stating that long flights, cramped car journeys and claustrophobic ferry trips cause anxiety. Making sure that everyone has packed the right things and organising passports and paperwork also top the list of holiday hassles.

Although it is overwhelmingly mums (84%) that organise the family holiday, many do get a helping hand from the rest of the family once they arrive. When on a self-catering holiday nearly half (47%) of mums share tasks with the rest of the family, compared to a mere fifth (22%) when at home. Typically Dad lends a hand by barbequing, helping to prepare meals and washing up, while everyone helps to keep the place tidy.

Accommodation also proved to be a major bone of contention, with many mums complaining about inadequate facilities or arriving to find they hadn’t quite got what they booked!

One disgruntled mum commented; ‘My worst holiday ever was when we arrived and discovered, having booked two interconnecting rooms, we hadn’t got them. My two and half year old daughter was put in a room on her own with double doors to fire escape which didn’t lock and the heating didn’t go above 17 degrees!’
Another said, “Don’t assume anything! We thought going to a well-known family holiday camp would be fun. How wrong we were; the caravan stunk to high heaven, the camp was tacky and the entertainment was awful! We won’t be doing that again!”

With its easy to use website listing over 45,000 properties worldwide, makes finding the perfect accommodation easy, and has created the Mums Holiday Guide to help make the planning process smoother for busy mums too. With advice on destinations and tips to take the pain out of planning, the guide contains everything mums need to make sure they enjoy their holiday too!

Greg Grant, UK MD for says: ‘Based on the results of our research, it’s not surprising that mums can find holidays stressful! We can’t force other members of the family to help mum more on holiday, but we have done everything we can to help take the pain out of planning with our Mums Holiday Guide.”

“Renting a holiday home provides families more space, privacy, comprehensive facilities, and the flexibility to take time out for themselves. Unlike hotel rooms, holiday homes give kids space to breathe and parents freedom to relax in another room, but everyone is still under the same roof.”

With a wide range of accommodation available, users of can choose the type and size of property they want for any destination they’d like to visit. The website is easy to navigate and all properties have at least four colour photos and a detailed description of what guests can expect.
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Notes to Editors surveyed over 1,000 Mums in January and February 2008. Full survey results are available on request.

The Mums Holiday Guide can be downloaded from

For further information please contact:
Desi Argyrides 020 7632 4802
Eddie May 020 7632 4800

Family Holidays - Fast Facts
▪ 54% would consider taking their family holiday in term time to save money
▪ Sun, sea and sand is still the most common type of family holiday; 86% take this type of holiday with their family. The next most common are cultural/historic trips (28%), followed by rural retreats (23%) and activity breaks (20%)
▪ Families today are well travelled! The vast majority take one or two holidays in the UK and Europe, and 56% take one holiday outside Europe each year too
▪ 87% of respondents prefer self-catering accommodation for a family holiday
▪ 78% of respondents had been on holiday with extended family and 84% found it a good experience
▪ For the majority of Mums, the thing they most enjoy about family holidays is simply relaxing and spending quality time together, over and above sightseeing and doing activities
▪ TV and games consoles are the items that Mums would most like kids to give up on holiday

Based in London and founded in January 1996, represents more than 45,000 holiday properties providing travellers with a worldwide selection and easy to use tools for finding a holiday home, and owners a simple, cost effective way to market their property. In 2007 it was voted among the top 10 villa rental companies in the Conde Nast Traveller Reader Awards, one of the top 100 travel websites by Times Online, and awarded 4 stars by Webuser magazine.

In 2005, Ltd was acquired by US-based HomeAway, Inc., which is led by an experienced team of online publishing experts. HomeAway has been financed by Austin Ventures, Redpoint Ventures, American Capital, Institutional Venture Partners and Trident Capital. Last year the HomeAway websites attracted more than 100 million visitors and listed over 270,000 paid holiday home rental listings across 100 countries.

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