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Lifestyle

Guilt stops parents from kids-free vacations: survey

NEW YORK (Reuters Life!) - Most parents would love to go on vacation without the children -- but guilt stops them, according to a survey released on Tuesday.

Travelers queue to check in at LaGuardia International Airport in New York, April 15, 2007. Most parents would love to go on vacation without the children -- but guilt stops them, according to a survey released on Tuesday. REUTERS/Eric Thayer

An online poll of 400 U.S. parents by Kelton Research found nearly one half, or 47 percent, would be willing to take off for a week or more without their children while 23 percent would go but limit their time to two days or less.

However the survey, commissioned by online travel site Kayak.com, found one in three parents, or 32 percent, had never taken a holiday alone while their children were aged under 18.

“It sounds like everyone wants to go on a trip without the kids but they are just having trouble getting over that hump -- be it guilt or getting someone to look after the children,” said Kayak.com spokeswoman Kellie Pelletier.

The survey, conducted between Oct 3-9, found 21 percent of parents would feel guilty the whole time if they left the children behind although fathers would find it easier to go.

More than a third of men -- 34 percent -- said they wouldn’t feel guilty at all at taking a child-free vacation compared to only 16 percent of mothers.

Fathers are also less likely to call home regularly when away with only 26 percent likely to check in twice a day compared to 35 percent of women.

Four in 10 parents would check in once a day.

But when parents do get away, the survey found most -- 67 percent -- listed their main priority was to relax and spend time with their partners.

Only one in 10 said sex would be what they were looking forward to the most.

Pelletier said the number of parents taking child-free vacations had dropped after Sept 11, 2001, but was starting to pick up again with rising number of “adults only” resorts catering for them.

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