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Parents want to create lasting memories of perfect summer vacations or weekend escapes with their children, and a new study shows how U.S. families are doing that.
Conducted by New York University and the Family Travel Association, the survey collected data and insights from 2,600 respondents who were parents, 63% of whom were between the ages of 30 and 44 and 43% had two children. All respondents had children aged 17 or younger and were U.S. residents. Affordability and value are the two most important factors for families considering where, when and how to travel, but because this is the first year this survey was done there’s no previous data to compare how vacation spending or preferred accommodation types have changed over time.
At a time when family travel and multigenerational travel is one of the fastest-growing segments of the travel industry, most respondents said they prefer to travel with their children when they’re between six and 12 years old. The following charts provide an overview of what families are thinking when planning travel and also how much vacation time they have to work with each year.
Chart 1: Some 28% of respondents said they spent between $2,500 and $5000 on family travel last year.
Chart 2: There’s no overwhelming consensus regarding how much vacation time families had last year, with 11 to 15 days and more than 20 days both getting 14%. The survey points out that the high percentage of respondents indicating they’re unemployed likely includes many stay-at-home moms or dads, for example.
Chart 3: Nearly half of respondents said they used all of the vacation days they said they had last year. However, that means more than 50% of respondents didn’t use all of the time allocated to them last year.
Chart 4: Hotels, followed by resorts, are respondents’ preferred accommodation types for family vacations which could be do to the familiarity of hotels and resorts versus vacation rentals which aren’t as well-known to families, according to the survey.
Chart 5: Search engines are one of the most important information sources for families planning travel, with recommendations from trusted sources such as family and friends, TripAdvisor and Yelp right behind.
Source: Family Travel Association and New York University