Image via Shutterstock

Free Wi-Fi is seen as the third most important aspect of a family holiday after the beach and restaurants to dine in, a consumer poll for Sovereign reveals.

Complimentary internet access also topped the list for more than half of the children surveyed (52%), with the choice particularly overwhelming among those aged 10-18 years.

More than 44% of children said that an iPad or other tablet device was the most essential item that they always pack when travelling on holiday.

This was echoed by the majority of their parents, with 27% also choosing an iPad.

The survey of 2,000 parents and children also found that the majority of parents still cited spending time all together as the best thing about going on holiday with their family. Most children enjoy having a break from school best.

Of those surveyed, 61% of parents and 56% of children agreed that their dream hotel room would include their own private pool above anything else.

David Beckham was an overwhelming choice as an ideal holiday companion. Katy Perry was a popular choice of holiday companion among fathers.

The Caribbean was the top choice for all as the destination people would visit if they were to go on holiday tomorrow, closely followed by Mediterranean island destinations such as Greece, the Canaries and Balearics.

Youngsters aged 5-9 years showed a strong preference for more active getaways, with a water park, kids club and a lovely beach topping their list of the most important things on a holiday.

Sovereign managing director, Stephanie Pritchard, said: “While technology and the internet certainly have a part to play in modern life, the survey demonstrates that we are perhaps placing too high of an importance on these things, losing sight of some of the reasons for taking a holiday in the first place – to relax and enjoy experiences that we wouldn’t necessarily have at home.

“Holidays for many of us are what we look forward to and offer some tranquillity away from busy lifestyles. It’s important to take a step back sometimes and really take some quality family time to immerse yourself in a new culture and beautiful surroundings.

“We all love a little luxury on our holidays, experiencing new food and soaking up some sunshine and while we all accept that modern technology is now a regular part of our livelihoods – abroad or at home, we must take a step back before booking any holiday and reap the benefits of really considering what is a more important part of a family holiday.”