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Road trips –A family holiday favourite, but conflict often takes the driving seat

submited Thu 28 Jul, 2016

-      35% of family road trips dissolve into arguments within the first hour

-      Listening to music, sleeping, and playing car games ranked top activities for kids in the car

13th July 2016: The old-fashioned road trip has been ranked a staple of the Irish summer holiday, however rows are likely to disrupt the peace, particularly if kids are on board! That’s according to new research from travel experts Jurys Inn, who looked at the automotive annoyances revving us up,as Irish parents and drivers gear up for summer car trips with kids in tow…

While road trips are a great way to explore new places and go off the beaten track on holidays, they’re not without their dramas, with 35% of family car journeys dissolving into arguments within the first hour. For one in ten, these fights begin before they even hit the road (10%)! This is in stark contrast to the car journeys taken by those without children – according to the research 79% of those without children say they ‘rarely’ have bust-ups during road trips.

So what do kids do that grinds the gears of those sitting in the front seats so much? The most common car activity for children is listening to tunes (48%). Four in ten children will sleep while on car journeys, leaving the tots with plenty of energy for when they arrive at their destination (42%)! 38% of kids want to play car games, compared to 10% of adults – who would rather be left to their music! A quarter of children spend their time snacking (25%) while social media is the activity of choice for a further 25% of those under 18. Reading is still the activity of choice for one in ten kids, with 12% of children hooked on a good book while in the car. 

Half of Irish people (47%) take a road trip at least once every 2-3 months, with the majority taking less than three hours in duration (58%). Only 5% embark on long car journeys of five hours or more, with 37%  of car journeys taking between three and five hours.

Our partners are the driving companions of choice for most (73%), with children (33%), other family member (25%) and friends (19%) also hopping in the car with us. One in ten prefer to avoid human company, instead travelling with pets or by themselves (10%). 

When it comes to drive time disputes, the biggest causes of rows are:

-       Getting lost (29%),

-       Backseat drivers (22%)

-       Not asking for directions (19%)

-       Lack of space (12%)

-       Fellow passengers who constantly need a toilet break (8%)

-       Dodgy music choices (7%)

For adults, the most common pastime by far while travelling on a road trip is listening to tunes, chosen by two thirds of participants (67%), with humble car games such as ‘I Spy’ and the number plate game still favoured by one in ten of us (10%). Women were found to be more than twice as likely to fall asleep during car journeys (13%), than men (6%). Women are also two times as likely to be catching up on social media (11% vs 6%) or reading (9% vs 4%) in the car, in comparison to men.

Commenting on the findings, Suzanne Cannon, Group Marketing Managerat Jurys Inn said: “Road trip staycations are evidently highly popular with Irish holidaymakers and the perfect way to explore new places and take in the scenery as you drive. While the majority of us enjoy hitting the road with our family and friends, it’s clear from the research that even short distance journeys can be rife with heated disputes.” 

“For the most enjoyable car trip, we recommend carefully planning a journey before leaving and mapping out your route in detail, thinking ahead about ways to keep the kids happy and preoccupied in the backseat, and creating a playlist that satisfies every taste in the car.”

Jurys Inn has five hotels across Ireland located in Dublin, Cork, Galway and Belfast, close to local amenities and attractions. With family rooms, kid-friendly menus and free Wi-Fi, they are the ideal choice for a family getaway. For more information and a full list of Jurys Inn destinations in Ireland, the UK, and Prague see:

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