Traditionalists would assume that once kids are beyond the sandcastles and donkey rides age, they have outgrown family holidays. However, a new piece of research has revealed that there's no end to the parental gravy train for young people nowadays. Two million parents will take grown-up children away with them this year.
So why is this, and when are children too old for a family holiday?
The survey, by LV= travel insurance found that children as old as 40 were being taken away by their parents. Two thirds (67%) of these won't let their children pay a penny towards the trip - adding an extra £380 to the cost on average. Meanwhile a third (33%) are subsidising the cost by paying for the flights or accommodation.
Why?Despite the additional cost, parents say they are happy to take their adult children with them on holiday because it brings the family together. Two fifths (42%) of parents pay for their adult child's holiday a treat, while 37% just want the family together, regardless of the cost.
It's not just twenty-somethings that are struggling to pay for a getaway. The average age of an adult child joining their parents on holiday is now thirty, while 19% are in their forties. Some parents are even taking more than one grown-up child away with them, with 35% taking two or three on their break.
How old is too old?There will be those who argue that it's up to parents what they pay for, and that you cannot criticise a family for supporting those who need help. However, there will be others who wonder where this is going to stop.
No longer do children grow up and leave home for good. Nowadays they either leave their parental home much later in life now or return to live with their parents after their studies - the 'boomerang' generation. According to the research 37% parents with adult children have at least one still living at home with them.
There are clearly good reasons for this: the cost of property and the ruinous expense of studying mean many young people on lower incomes have no hope of making ends meet.
However, you have to ask where this stops. When these youngsters have their parents putting a roof over their head, cooking them three meals a day, cleaning up after them, and even taking them away on a break, there's no incentive to stretch themselves, to work harder and accept poorer accommodation in order to stand on their own two feet.
So what do you think? is this a harmless and natural trend for modern times, or is it time for parents to cut the apron strings and get some time to themselves on holiday? Let us know in the comments.