Student Travel Abroad Grows Among U.S. Teenagers Says Family Travel Forum - My Family Travels

FTF's annual Student Travel Trends Report, derived from thousands of blogs submitted to the FTF Teen Travel Writing Scholarship competition, reveals that international travel among the young remains surprisingly strong, even during the Great Recession

(Media only, New York, Feb 2, 2012) – Family Travel Forum, the global family vacation planning resource, released findings on student travel trends today from FTF's 5th annual Teen Travel Writing Scholarship. More than 5,500 teens ages 13-18, in American and Canadian junior high and high schools, American schools abroad, or in a U.S. homeschool program, competed for the cash grant.

Key Findings from the Family Travel Forum 2011 Teen Travel Trends Report include:

— 51% of teen applicants traveled outside the United States by their 18th birthday, the first time that the majority has done so since the U.S. recession began in 2008.

— 11% of teens traveled on Service trips in 2011, a relatively steady number since a sharp increase between 2007 and 2008. These trips, many of which are subsidized by faith-based organizations, continue to be within the financial reach of families.

— 6% of teens (slightly more than recent years) traveled far on Heritage trips to the countries their families emigrated from, despite the cost.

— 69% traveled with family members, however only 59% indicated the primary reason for their trip was “vacation.” FTF credits this 10% to parents placing a greater emphasis on travel together for Cultural, Educational or Community Service reasons.

Notes Senior Editor, Fran Falkin, "Teen travel has adapted to the family budget, even during difficult economic times. Though we’ve seen travel with private tours decrease, families continue to value exposing their teens to other cultures and experiences through travel."

— Popular travel blog topics included family cruises, especially in the Caribbean, and participation in school-sponsored academic or leadership programs.

— Hot destinations for 2011 applicants included Haiti (volunteer work), South Africa, Honduras (the new Costa Rica), Spain, the National Parks, and Washington, DC.

Family Travel Forum's annual teen scholarship in conjuntion with the Society of American Travel Writers is hosted on, the best source for parents and grandparents planning fun family vacations. For the complete report, visit Family Travel Forum Teen Travel Trends Report 2011 to download a PDF version.

About Family Travel Forum
Family Travel Forum (FTF), the family vacation media company, has served all who "Have Kids, Still Travel" with expert vacation planning advice since 1996. FTF print and online guides, including the "Complete Idiot's Guide to the Best Family Destinations" (Penguin), have won many awards for reviews of global family vacations ranging from multi-generational cruises to eco-adventures; the Top 10 Getaways survey of resort-based infant programs; a robust Flee Market™; pediatric travel health and more.


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