Ireland can be a wonderful place to have a family holiday in – beautiful scenery, interesting places to visit, plenty of history and legend. And it can also be, well, a bit rainy. So what matters to Mums when planning holidays in Ireland?
The reality is that Ireland is a rainy country and we can’t guarantee summer sunshine. Parents who are not tied by school holidays often look to travel in May or September, which tend to have nicer weather, and while not as warm as summer months, are still pleasant times to spend getting out and about. Businesses should consider offers for these times aimed at those parents who may have toddlers or older teens.
Outside of school holidays in months that may be colder or wetter, mums are looking at what indoor options are going to be available, so if you have indoor activities, shout about them!
Once the family has chosen the destination in Ireland, they then start to look at what there is in the area or nearby to the accommodation before booking. Most mums tend to pick accommodation as the key thing to get sorted out, then look next at options for visits and things to do to amuse the family in that region. They are looking for free activities like playgrounds and parks along with paid activities.
Most families have children in different age groups so it is important to show how you can accommodate and entertain all ages and what there is on offer locally for them too. From baby changing facilities when out and about to shops where they can purchase nappies, wipes, juice etc.
Finally they want to know what family and budget friendly eating options are available if these are not part of the accommodation package.
Factors that influence whether I am going to book in advance or closer to when I intend to travel include:
- school holidays (peak prices! so the earlier I can book the better)
- my own job/work
- partner’s job/work
- available budget to book in advance (can you have reserve now and pay full amount later)
We Surveyed Mums about Planning Holidays in Ireland
We surveyed parents about planning holidays in Ireland and they shared with us that:
75% plan to take either their main holiday or short break in Ireland
70% prefer hotel accommodation
50% book their stay in Ireland several months ahead so they know they will get where they want
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Factors that Matter to Mums when Planning Holidays in Ireland
The top five factors for choosing a particular destination:
1. Plenty to do at the destination with a range of activities for all the family
2. Availability of suitable accommodation
3. We have never been there and we want to try somewhere new
4. Our accommodation offers on-site activities
5. Proximity to beach
The top factors that influence parents to book a particular destination:
1. Offers on a hotel or discount website
2. We want to try somewhere new and different
3. We’ve been to the destination before and like it
4. Can use rewards/loyalty points/vouchers
5. Ads that I see
Other Feedback About Planning Holidays in Ireland from Mums
“A swimming pool is a huge deciding factor for us!”
“A kids club is important and a lovely spacious family room”
“Accommodation seems to be increasing in price and with low airfares, it is tempting to look at options abroad”
“As a mum of two active/sporty kids I’d love all hotels to give an outline of activities in the area of the hotel.”
“Beautiful country if only we could roof it!”
“Can be very expensive in comparison to European places we’ve been”
“I travel as a single parent with my 3 kids. Most hotels/deals are based on 2 adults and 2 kids. Also, a lot of hotels don’t bother to email me back when I enquire about prices.”
“I have 4 children, and all you ever get is special deals for 2 plus 2. I would just love for once if hotels had deals for larger families. I can never afford a weekend away with my family as it is just too expensive.”
“Prefer to holiday at home but so costly especially to eat out as a family”
“We have a tight budget so value for money is important.”
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Things that the Tourism Sector Can Look at For Marketing to Mums
Here are a few suggestions based on this feedback and my own experience:
Getting offers out earlier
Many tourism entities tend to leave the marketing until just before a holiday season. Why not go out much earlier to hit the 50% who want to book several months ahead to know their holiday is sorted.
I personally am a busy mum and don’t have that much time to work out all the different things we could do at a destination. So the more you can help me plan my holiday the happier I will be. Look at how you can partner with other businesses to offer other options to bundle together so parents know activities and / or meals are also taken care of.
Share ideas on your website for other things to do. You may not feel like promoting other places but the family is not going to just visit your location, so the more helpful you are the better.
Partner up to promote your destination
Work together with other providers in your destination to market your family friendly aspects showcasing you as one family destination. On Mykidstime we have worked with Tipperary Tourism, Discover Enniscrone and other destinations to showcase the whole destination as somewhere to consider when picking their family holiday in Ireland.
Extras that help families
Mums might be price sensitive when planning their family’s holiday but they also appreciate good value and extras. What can you include in their purchase to make life even easier? It could be a small thing like a colouring book and pencils for their kids when you check in but all these little extras that help families are things that delight and will have parents and kids talking about after their stay.
When confirming a booking e.g. for your accommodation, your restaurant or your attraction – how can your confirmation email help add value to your customer? What other content can you put on the email to help them?
I look at reviews or listen to other mum’s recommendations for destinations, accommodation, restaurants and activities. For example, what’s the cost, what did they think, what should I know about?
How can you get reviews and get Mums recommending to other Mums. Can you offer an extra discount or something nice when they stay if they give you a review online?
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One final tip
Create and share holiday planning content that helps Mums out as they start to plan, it’s a good way of building trust and connection with your target customers beyond your sales message.
Connecting your accommodation, attraction, child-friendly eatery with mothers in an engaging way through social and digital channels is possible, we do it all the time on Mykidstime. We help brands and businesses to connect with Mums. Schedule a call today to have a chat about how to work with Mykidstime.