Skift Take

If former president George Bush thought of himself as "the decider," children, and particularly the offspring of U.S. millennial parents, are increasingly exerting their power in deciding where the family will go for vacation. Travel marketers -- take note.

It’s been well-documented that mom plays a dominating roll in deciding the family vacation destination but a new survey finds that parents — particularly millennial parents in the U.S. — are increasingly letting their children pick the family vacation spot.

A YouGov survey, commissioned by vacation rental company HomeAway, of 2,813 kids (ages six to 18) and parents in the U.S., UK, France, Germany and Spain found that while the overwhelming majority of parents give their kids some say in vacation planning, parents in Germany and Spain gave the kids the most sway. The tallies were U.S. (85 percent), UK (76 percent), France (86 percent), Germany (95 percent) and Spain 94 (percent).

But millennial parents are going to new lengths toward letting the kiddies commandeer vacation decision-making.

In fact, the survey found, 34 percent of U.S. millennial parents give their kids the freedom to “make the final decision” on where to head for vacation compared with just 8 percent of parents 55 years and older in the U.S.

Making the final decision included parents who responded that they let the kids “make the choice” or “I/we give them ideas and they make the final choice.”

Going a step further, 19 percent of U.S. millennial parents — that’s about one in five — are “the most likely to give kids full control” of where to vacation with the family, the survey found, compared with just 2 percent of parents 55 years old and older.

Giving kids full control was defined in the survey as parents who responded that the children “make the final decision.”

Advertisers of consumer goods, particularly fast-food restaurants, have long targeted their advertisements to appeal to children. It appears as though travel marketers, particularly those hawking destinations, attractions and lodging, may want to increase their efforts along these lines, as well.

It is clear that the woman of the household hasn’t been displaced in making vacation decisions but kids seemingly are increasing their influence, too.

HomeAway is running a marketing campaign on how vacation rentals are appealing for the whole family. Children’s influence in picking the vacation destination would be an important learning for the vacation rental company.

The survey found that the most important lodging feature to both kids (37 percent) and parents (75 percent in the U.S.) is a swimming pool. However, that’s not enough for 21 percent of kids, who want a water slide, too.


The Daily Newsletter

Our daily coverage of the global travel industry. Written by editors and analysts from across Skift’s brands.

Have a confidential tip for Skift? Get in touch

Tags: vacations

Photo credit: A family looks at the interactive giant globe set up in the departure lounge in Terminal 4 at Heathrow Airport in July 2012. Heathrow Airport

Up Next

Loading next stories