Document Type



Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence


Social topics, Family studies

Publication Details

In Leisure Studies, Vol. 29, no.1, 2010 pp.29-52. This is a preprint of an article whose final and definitive form has been published in the Leisure Studies ©2010 Copyright Taylor and Francis; Leisure Studies is available at:


There is a general assumption in contemporary society that holidaying is beneficial in many ways. Yet, even in affluent societies, access to holidaying opportunities continues to be constrained by a variety of factors relating to inter alia income, gender, health and race. This is problematic because it means that sizeable minorities within advanced societies are being denied the benefits that researchers have attributed to the practice of holidaying. Recently, there has been a renewed interest in problematising the exclusionist nature of holidaying with researchers arguing that a lack of holiday opportunities may compound social deprivation, reinforce social problems and heighten social exclusion. A number of knowledge gaps have been identified including the extent to which holidaying benefits children and youth and those experiencing social exclusion. This paper aims to redress this knowledge deficit by reporting the findings of a study that examined the benefits of holidaying accruing to a group of children, and their families, experiencing social exclusion in Dublin. Using a variety of qualitative methods, the study found that access to holidaying opportunities contributed to quality of life and enhanced well‐being for the children studied. The benefits of the holiday extended beyond the time period of the holiday itself, and also extended beyond the children themselves into the wider family unit. A number of avenues for further research are identified.