The average British family finds time for just three ‘big days out’ together every year- researchers found that busy weekends catching up on work and household chores and frantically ferrying the kids from club to club means families rarely have the opportunity to enjoy quality time together.
It also emerged that, incredibly, around one in 15 families- or almost 1.2 million- NEVER have the chance to enjoy a day out, even during half term or the holidays.
Additionally four out of ten said if they were arranging a day out, they were forced to plan ahead and pre-book it – with 87% of those planning it up to six months in advance.
The study was carried out by NCP car parks to launch their pre-booking parking service in London, Cardiff, Brighton and Manchester.
Jo Cooper of NCP said:
”Our lives are becoming busier than ever, and as the children get older, their spare time is taken up with school during the week and various clubs at weekends.
”This leaves little time for families to enjoy some quality time together.
”However, It’s important to get away from everyday life every now and then and make the most of day together.
”By planning ahead and pre-booking you can make sure that you have days set aside when you can enjoy that quality time you miss out on day-to-day.”
The study of 2,000 parents for the ‘NCP Pre-Book Report’ found more than half feel they don’t have enough time for family days in their hectic schedule.
Almost 55% blamed being too busy, while another 37% just have too many commitments to fit into the weekends.
One third also said their children are too busy with parties and play dates at weekends to spend the day away, while 19% of people spend all their time ferrying the kids around.
Hectic work schedules during the week were also blamed by 33% of parents for not planning weekend family trips, heightening the need to pre-book further in advance.
Three in ten claim they are just too tired to do anything in their spare time and one in ten reckon they don’t even have the time to organise days out, let alone go on them.
It’s not just days out that are suffering from our busy lifestyles though, as almost 60% of parents say they also have to plan other aspects of their life to make sure they actually get around to doing them.
More than a third of people have pre-planned a time where they can sit down and have a proper conversation with their partner, while one quarter have even pre-booked sex with their other half – 82% of those within the last 12 months.
Top of the list was being able to pre-book the weather, with over half of people saying they would like to know when the sun was going to shine so they can organise that picnic or barbeque.
Other things we would like to pre-book included illness, so that we can organise work and social arrangements around it, when that ‘special someone’ would enter our lives, a parking space at the shops to avoid driving round for ages or having to walk a long way with heavy shopping, as well the day we’d die.
Jo Cooper continued:
”We’re rolling out pre-booked parking spaces across the UK – starting with London, Cardiff, Brighton and Manchester – to help customers save both time and money, while guaranteeing there’s a space there waiting for them.”