Eighty-three percent of respondents plan to take at least one vacation with family members this year, up 4% — a statistically significant difference — from 79% who did so in 2010, according to TripAdvisor. The company announced the results of its annual family travel survey of more than 1,600 U.S. travelers on March 3, 2011.
In other noteworthy findings, more than half of respondents said the beach was their destination of choice for a family vacation. Two-thirds said they are happy to treat the kids to a vacation together, no matter their age or stage in life.
In confirmation of a trend we've been seeing, more than a quarter of those surveyed are willing to pay extra for facilities and amenities that exclude young children, such as adults-only flights and child-free sundecks at resorts.
Additionally, multi-generational is up to 37% this year, in comparison with the 33% noted by several 2010 surveys. Here are the survey findings in detail.
Family Vacation Spending Trends
- 39 percent of respondents with children expect to spend more on family trips in 2011, compared to last year – while a further 36 percent plan to spend the same amount.
Families are planning to spend more in 2011 than in 2010.
- 24% plan to spend $1,000 – $3,000
- 22% plan to spend $3,000 – $5,000
- 19% plan to spend $5,000 – $8,000
- 18% plan to spend $8,000 or more
- 26% of parents with children in school plan to take a vacation when school is in session, in order to save money on a trip this year.
Treating the Kids
Forty-three percent of travelers with children admit they would “often” prefer to take vacations without their offspring. Nonetheless, many are happy to pay for their kids to partake in the family fun.
- 67 percent maintain that children are never too old to treat to a family trip.
- 21 percent believe it’s appropriate to stop footing the travel bill when kids graduate from college.
Top Destinations for Relations to Gather
- 58 percent of travelers with children plan to take domestic-only family trips in 2011, while 32 percent plan to travel both within the U.S. and internationally, and a further 10 percent will take international-only trips.
- The top five types of family vacations planned in 2011, according to the survey:
- Beach destination – 57%
- City trip – 39%
- Amusement park / theme park – 23%
- Cultural trip – 21%
- Camping / outdoors trip – 17%
More Adults Seeking Child-Free Zones
From adults-only airplane seating, to child-free dining options, many travelers would happily pay a premium to enjoy some kid-free kicks on vacation.
- 31 percent would shell out for a seat in a child-free section of an airplane.
- 28 percent for a lounger by an adults-only section of the pool.
- 28 percent for a table in a kid-free section of a restaurant.
- 27 percent for a room in a child-free section of a hotel or resort.
- 22 percent for a spot on a “no kids” section of the beach.
- 7 percent for a seat in a child-free section of an airport.
Who's Going on Vacation & Why
- 37 percent of respondents plan to take a multi-generational family trip this year.
- The biggest challenge of taking a family vacation is finding activities that the whole family likes, according to 21 percent of respondents – more challenging than the travel itself (19 percent), or staying on budget (12 percent).
- 29 percent plan to travel for a major family event this year, such as a reunion or wedding.
“Travelers may not be able to pick their families, but they can certainly choose whether or not to plan trips with them – and Americans intend to do so in their droves this year,” said Karen Drake, senior director of communications for TripAdvisor. “Family vacations are no longer the preserve of young kids and their parents, but a time for relations of all ages to come together for quality time.”
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