The parents of families with kids know how persistent they can be when insisting on a particular choice as the family holiday destination. The influence of children’s opinions in making these types of decisions should not be underestimated when designing a family leisure project; recent sociological models and studies confirm this.
Children prefer activities and action, play and socialisation. Parents prefer to relax and de-stress after their working routine. According to recent studies, 70% of people say that rest is the purpose of their holidays. However, families with children find themselves having to seek out destinations that have quality leisure activities for their children.
The success of a leisure project therefore depends on the correct sizing and layout of the relaxation areas for adults and the activity areas for children. As designers, we appreciate that too often children’s areas are inadequately valued, with developers tending to imagine them as being smaller and with fewer activities than is reasonable. Up until very recently, tour operators and managers did not believe that children’s influence on the choice of holiday destination was relevant.
Children’s areas should be large, extensive and eye-catching, with surprise effects. Kids’ activities should be healthy and age-appropriate, getting a child to practice and advance their cognitive, creative and motor skills, whilst overcoming fears and experiencing sensations of adventure, discovery, sociability and self-improvement.
Just because the kids are having a good time, doesn’t mean that parents’ relaxation time should be negatively impacted. Extensive relaxation areas designed for parents’ enjoyment should be located near to the zones for children, with places to eat strategically placed for their convenience.