A new Expedia survey has found that, despite the significant challenges in the way, more than three-quarters of families who take vacations find it to be the worth the hassle.
Over 1,000 randomly selected U.S. adults with children under 17 were questioned for the Family Travel Study, covering how often families travel, the issues they face in planning trips, and, most important, what family vacations mean to them.
The study, released yesterday, found that the majority of parents who have travel with children do so at least once per year. Twenty-seven percent take two trips per year and 10% take three or more.
Overwhelmingly, parents said they felt compelled to take their families on vacations because of their own positive experiences growing up: 70% said their favorite childhood memories involve a family vacation. Almost 9 out of 10 (89%) feel it is more important for their children to have fun than themselves.
The survey also revealed the significant time commitment that it takes just to book a vacation, let alone actually go on one. Previous data from Expedia found that it takes the average American 48 searches for airfare across 12 different sites before booking and it takes most Americans between two and five hours just to find a suitable flight.
Families are also planning farther in advance because of the difficulties coordinating a family trip. Only 12% of parents said they book their trip a month in advance while twice as many (25%) plan a full year in advance.
In terms of which destinations families prefer, beaches, theme parks, and camping were the three most popular, followed by all-inclusive resorts, road trips, and cities. And marketers take note: nearly one-third of parents surveyed let their children pick the destination.
So sure, traveling with children means bracing yourself for jet lag, temper tantrums, and picky eating. But in the end, 76% of parents say taking the kids along is "more play than work."