Many great days out start with: ‘Are we there yet?’

Parents wanting a stress-free day out with the kids should leave home at 8.37am and travel no more than 83km. These are the findings of a recent expert study into what makes a “great day out”.

Researchers found the ideal day out also requires six and a half hours at the beach or the zoo with the children taking part in at least three different activities.

The temperature during the day should be a balmy 20ºC and a party of two adults and two children around the age of eight will also ensure the day is enjoyable.

It also emerged that the family spends €6.10 on souvenirs such as a novelty pen, T-shirt, or cuddly toy, and should return home at 5.50pm.

The stats were compiled following a study of 2,000 families in Ireland and the UK by tyre maker Continental to launch its Great Days Out initiative which is hosted on

Peter Robb, head of research for Continental, said: "In Britain and Ireland, we embark on millions of family days out a year and spend more than €6.65bn in the process, so it makes sense to consider how to make a success of every trip we plan.

In trying to have the best time possible the choices we make about what time to leave, the stops we make, and the activities at our destination will all influence the outcome of the day."

Experts also factored in the number of toilet stops - one 27 minutes into the outbound journey and one 35 minutes into the trip home. And the actual perfect distance emerged as 83km – which was deemed far enough away to feel like a day trip, but not too far to travel with restless kids in the backseats.

One ice-cream each for the children and a total cost of no more than €65 as well as a total time for snack breaks of 47 minutes completed the criteria.

More than four in 10 (41 per cent ) said the ideal car for a great day out would be a family hatchback, with nearly half (47 per cent ) favouring pop music as their in-car sounds. Fruit pastilles were hailed as the ideal treat for the journey, followed by mints and hard-boiled sweets.

The majority (56 per cent ) of respondents opted for taking snacks to munch on and bought other food at their destination, while a third (32 per cent ) packed everything they would eat and drink for the day.

Peter Robb added: "The research proves that if we travel further and spend more we are likely to find more to do. The formula balances whether that extra time and cost is worth it.

"To help create the perfect day out, when Irish ‘day trippers’ buy one or more Continental tyres, they have access to a range of offers at including a two-for-one on green fees at their choice of 85 renowned golf courses around the country. The new website also has no purchase necessary offers that all motorists can benefit from," he concluded.

The survey finding reveals that on average, families have six days out together every year and children quiz parents with: ‘Are we there yet?' after just 28 minutes of being in the car.’ However, I seem to recall hearing it within five minutes on more than one occasion.


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