While a child today will have visited an average of 14 different countries by the age of 16, their parents had visited an average of seven countries by the same age ? a 100% increase in travel in just a generation. According to the research, less than 1% of under-16s today have never left the UK, while almost 10% of their parents had never been abroad by the same age ? showing that exploring as a child is becoming more and more popular.

A child in 1978 would possibly have travelled 15,552 miles by the age of 16, while a child today could notch up 39,803 miles, enough to circumnavigate the earth one and a half times*.

And while the rise of European city and beach breaks has contributed to British children venturing overseas, today?s under-16s are also heading further afield. The Hotels.com research showed that one in five children (18%) have travelled to Asia before their sixteenth birthday, whilst one in six (16%) have been to destinations in Africa. According to Hotels.com research, almost every child in Britain (98%) has made a trip across the Channel visiting European destinations before they reach 16.

Alison Couper, Director of Communications at Hotels.com, says: ?Children today are better-travelled than ever with almost every under-16 having made a trip beyond our borders according to our research.

?While a generation ago, one-in-ten of us hadn?t ventured overseas by 16, now the same percentage of youngsters have been to more than 14 countries by the time they reach their sixteenth birthday, which is a huge turnaround between parents and their own children.?

Parents? desire for their children to experience a range of countries and cultures early is the driver behind their offspring?s travels. More than nine-in-ten parents (92%) who responded to the Hotels.com survey said that experiencing different countries and cultures was important for their child?s education. Learning another language was cited as a key reason for taking children overseas by one-in-three parents (61%).

The research found that parents consider their children seeing the world so important that almost nine in ten allowed the youngsters in the family to influence where to go on holiday.

Alison Couper concludes: ?This survey shows that the backpacker generation is passing on its wanderlust and love of travel to their children. Our research shows that despite cut backs in other areas, people see their holiday as a right not a luxury and spending time as a family is always important.?