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The rise of the “Familymoon” drives interest in Shared Parental Leave

The ‘familymoon’, an extended holiday of two weeks or more taken by new parents with their baby, is growing in popularity. Over a third (34 percent) of those surveyed say they’ve taken a ‘familymoon’1. A fifth (20 percent) would use their Shared Parental Leave to go travelling as a new family.
"familymoon"

The ‘familymoon’, an extended holiday of two weeks or more taken by new parents with their baby, is growing in popularity. Over a third (34 percent) of those surveyed say they’ve taken a ‘familymoon’1. Contributor Carolina Vicente, Travel Insurance Expert – Columbus Direct.

A fifth (20 percent) would use their Shared Parental Leave to go travelling as a new family. Three quarters of respondents (74 percent) feel there is still a stigma around men taking time off to look after children.

However, almost half of men (47 percent) believe colleagues, friends and family would understand them taking time to go travelling with their new family, rather than be a stay at home Dad.

Benefits of a ‘familymoon’ include: creating lifelong memories (29 percent,) it’s a rare opportunity to have an extended period off work (24 percent), escaping uninvited in-laws and well-wishers (5 percent).

Nearly two thirds (63 percent) didn’t know a new-born needs a travel insurance policy, despite their young age.

Government estimates place Shared Parental Leave take up at a disappointing 2 percent2. However, recent research from leading travel insurer Columbus Direct suggests interest amongst parents and parents to be is rising thanks to ‘familymoons’.

Over a third (34 percent) of those surveyed say they’ve already taken a ‘familymoon’, and this is set to rise. Two fifths (41 percent) say they are planning to use Shared Parental Leave in future, and a fifth (20 percent) would use the time to go travelling as a new family. One in 20 (5 percent) say they would set off exploring for their full allowance.

The data also reveals that ‘familymoons’ are encouraging more men to consider Shared Parental Leave. Three quarters of respondents (74 percent) feel there is still a stigma around men taking time off to look after children. However, almost half of men (47 percent) believe colleagues, friends and family would understand them taking time to go travelling with their new family, rather than be a stay at home Dad. A quarter (25 percent) of respondents wrongly believed their companies can turn them down for Shared Parental Leave, a legal right since 2015.

For those that have taken advantage of Shared Parental Leave the advantages are clear. Lee and his wife Erica from London used their Shared Parental Leave to travel for a month with their new baby boy around Croatia. Lee says, “Using our Shared Parental Leave to go travelling was a great decision, it’s unlikely we’ll ever get time off together like that again and seeing our little boy in the sea at such a young age was amazing. Even before we realised we were lucky to have a happy child we booked our flights, thinking that the sunshine would help.  I would say travelling with a new-born is a lot easier than having a toddler – at least a new-born can’t run around!”

Lee comments, “I was lucky, my work were really supportive of my decision. I always knew I wanted to take time off when we had children and my work and friends were even more excited for me when I told them about our coming adventure.”

Michelle and her husband Dan from Suffolk travelled around Hong Kong & New Zealand for six weeks with their eighteen month old daughter and strongly support taking time from work to travel as a new family, “Dan and I met whilst travelling, so to take off and see the world when Ella came into our lives made total sense, we’ve created memories that will last forever. We didn’t know much about Shared Parental Leave at the time, if we had we would have applied to use it. Next baby we’re definitely going to take advantage, how often is it that both of you can get 6 months off work together!”

Those surveyed say there are many benefits to using Shared Parental Leave together, 36 percent say it means both parents can bond with their new-born equally, 29 percent creating lifelong memories, 24 percent spending time together as a couple, 24 percent said it’s a rare opportunity to have an extended period off work, 10 percent highlighted the fact that it’s cheaper to travel with an infant, while 5 percent said it means escaping uninvited in-laws and well-wishers.

However, parents and parents-to-be did report some concerns around travelling with a new-born, such as lack of access to an English speaking doctor while travelling (22 percent), and the logistics of travelling e.g. what documents and insurance you need to travel with a new-born (19 percent). When given a list of five possible documents needed to travel with a new baby, over half of people got the answers wrong – 51 percent believed you needed a birth certificate and 41 percent a letter from your GP declaring your baby fit to travel. Nearly two thirds (63 percent) didn’t know a new-born needs a travel insurance policy, despite their young age, and 28 percent didn’t know their child would need its own passport.

Carolina Vicente, Travel Insurance Expert at Columbus Direct: “It’s exciting to see new parents maximising their Shared Parental Leave to jet off on the trip of a lifetime. We hope we see more people exercising their legal right to time off after they have children. It’s an amazing chance to turn the life changing journey of starting a family into an even bigger adventure.


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