Natalie Paris, The Daily Telegraph, July 08, 2013
The average child today has travelled 13,582 miles by its 16th birthday - five times further than mum or dad. The parents questioned, in contrast, had only clocked up 2,471 miles by the same age, visiting an average of four countries, according to the poll for Club Med resorts.
The vast majority of parents – 78 per cent – agreed that their children were far more adventurous than they had been in their youth.
Three quarters of the 2,000 parents surveyed said they actively tried to get their child to experience other places as much as possible.
They cited learning about other cultures as the biggest reason for encouraging travel. Expanding their offspring’s geographical knowledge and developing their sense of exploration were also deemed important.
The countries most visited by the under-16s were France, Spain and the US, with the classic summer holiday destinations of the Canary Islands, Majorca and Portugal not far behind.
Their parents were also likely to have visited France, Spain, Germany and Italy when they were young, but for many that was where the globetrotting ended.
Countries visited by youngsters included exotic destinations such as Zambia, Bali, and Thailand.
Children were also more adventurous when it came to eating local cuisine on holiday. The poll found that children had eaten an average of seven local dishes while abroad, whereas their parents had stuck to more recognisable food in their younger days, with 44 per cent saying they had either refused or barely tried new dishes.
Also interesting was that those aged less than 16 were more likely to have visited France or Spain than Devon or Cornwall.
Laurent De Chorivit, managing director of Club Med in the UK, said: ''If the accommodation is familiar and reliable, and the food can be trusted, parents are more likely to take their children to less conventional hotspots.''
The 11 most popular destinations visited by under-16s
1. France: 212 miles (Paris)
2. Spain: 785 miles (Barcelona)
3. USA: 3663 miles (Washington)
4. Canary Islands: 1701 miles (Lanzarote)
5. Greece: 1493 miles (Athens)
6. Germany: 578 miles (Munich)
7. Majorca 835 miles
8. Italy: 896 miles (Rome)
9. Portugal: 978 miles (Lisbon)
10. Belgium: 207 miles (Brussels)
11. Cyprus: 2234 miles
Average total miles travelled: 13,582