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Look Kids: Big Ben, Parliament! Majority of Parents Think It's Important to Expose Children to History and Culture on Vacation

British Airways Survey Finds London is #1 Most Desirable European Destination for Families

Summer is just around the corner and U.S. families are showing a desire to travel abroad. According to a new British Airways survey conducted by Harris Interactive(R) two-thirds of U.S. parents are planning a family vacation this year and nearly half (46%) of parents either have or would like to take their children on an international vacation in the future. London ranked as the #1 most desirable European destination for families, followed by Rome and Paris.

Parents are looking for more than just the "same old" family summer vacation. The British Airways survey found 61% of parents think it's important to expose their kids to history and culture on vacation and almost half (46%) believe that exposing children to other parts of the world through travel is a priority. An overwhelming majority of parents also consider traveling as an important opportunity to build memories (77%) and bring the family together (68%).

"International travel provides a great opportunity for parents to connect with their kids," says Marybeth Bond, travel expert and adventure editor for Travel Girl Magazine. "London is especially desirable; I have taken my kids there three times. Historical landmarks, kid-friendly attractions and the convenience of the same language make it one of the best places to travel with your family."

According to the British Airways survey, 54% of parents would like to take a family vacation to London and half of those would prefer to visit London in the summertime.

An overwhelming (72%) of family travelers would be interested in staying in an apartment where they had the option of cooking their own food to save money.

Marybeth offers the following tips for making a London family vacation both affordable and memorable:

* Plan Ahead for Best Results -- Research and make your travel plans as far ahead as possible to ensure the best value on your trip. Involve your children in the planning -- they will appreciate having a say in developing an itinerary.

* Visit Museums and Parks -- Take advantage of the many London museums that offer free/discounted admissions. Research ahead and incorporate them into you itinerary.

* Kids Stay Free -- Renting a flat can run as low as $150 per night, and kids can often stay for free. Freedom to cook can help save money on food, and travelers can enjoy the excitement of living like a local Londoner. Log onto www.baholidays.com for more information on "kids stay free" apartments and hotels.

* Pack Lunches -- Vendors at popular sites aren't the only food option while traveling. Pack some tasty sandwiches to feed the family after a few hours of site seeing, and also remember to pack plenty of water.

"We have found that summer bookings to London are up significantly this year and family travelers are making up a lot of that demand," said Elizabeth Weisser, Vice President of Marketing North America for British Airways. "Factors such as BA Holidays' kids stay free hotels and apartments, family-friendly amenities on board and a variety of affordable kid-friendly cultural attractions make London increasingly attractive for American families."

In addition to culture and history, convenience and family friendly amenities are important to family travelers. Half (50%) of parents like airlines that recognize that family travelers have special needs (e.g. kid- friendly meals, place to change diapers, etc.), while 39% of parents say it is very important that an airline know how to entertain their youngest passengers (e.g., movies music, games, etc.)

For additional information on booking a family vacation to London, log on to the British Airways website at www.ba.com.

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