Recently released family travel research shows robust demand for family and multigenerational group travel and positive industry trends
The Family Travel Association (FTA) recently released the findings of its 2023 U.S. Family Travel Survey on the latest trends in family travel. The research was produced in partnership with the NYU School of Professional Studies Jonathan M. Tisch Center of Hospitality and Edinburgh Napier University and summarizes travel trends in the industry. The survey polled more than 3,300 parents and grandparents this year to learn about their travel plans, behaviors and attitudes toward family travel.
Here are some of the survey’s key findings:
The Family Travel Market Continues To Be Strong
The much-anticipated FTA research survey reveals high family travel intent, with more than 80% of parents stating they are very likely to travel with their children during the next 12 months. Nearly 80% of parents indicated they plan to increase or maintain their level of spending on travel over the next year. Despite these strong forecasts, 59% of parents cited stated affordability as a challenge for family travel. Nearly 45% of parents also mentioned finding a destination everyone will enjoy as a significant challenge.
Multi-day trips within the United States continue to be the most common type of family trip, mentioned by nearly 70% of parents. The study indicates that international travel is making a substantial comeback, with 46% of respondents stating they plan to take multi-day international vacations during the coming year.
Multigenerational Groups Are Fueling The Surge In Family Travel
The Family Travel Association’s survey shows robust demand for travel in large family groups, which is a major contributor to the market’s growth. According to the report, 55% of parent respondents are planning a multigenerational trip during the next year, and 50% of grandparents have taken a multigenerational trip over the past three years. The composition of large groups varies, as 41% of families plan to take a group trip with extended family members such as siblings and cousins. Forty percent of parents are planning to take a trip with unrelated family groups, such as neighbors and school friends.
Grandparents are significant drivers of family travel, with nearly 55% saying they plan and organize their multigenerational group travel experiences. Grandparents and their children work together to arrange 35% of multigenerational family trips. Half of the grandparents indicated that they pay for multigenerational trips, while 48% share the cost with their children.
Families Are More Willing To Use Travel Advisors To Book Trips
Family travelers are increasingly interested in working with travel advisors when planning their trips. The FTA research results showed that 38% of parents used a travel advisor to book at least one family trip during the past three years. In a positive trend, 71% of parents indicated they are willing to use a travel advisor in the future, which is a significant increase from last year’s finding of 52%. Seventy percent of grandparents are interested in engaging a travel advisor for family trips during the coming years.
Hotels And Resorts Are Preferred Family Travel Accommodations
When asked about their planned family vacation accommodations for upcoming trips, nearly 85% of parents surveyed indicated they intend to stay in hotels. Half of the parents plan to stay in resorts, and 47% mentioned staying in vacation rental properties. Almost 25% of parents said they are planning to take a family cruise during the next 12 months, which is a significant increase from the previous year. According to the FTA study, the most common booking period for family trips is two to three months before departure.
Family Travel Delivers A Wealth Of Positive Benefits
The Family Travel Association’s survey results showed that parents and grandparents associated positive outcomes with family travel beyond enjoying the trip itself. Over 80% of parents and 76% of grandparents say travel is a great way to bond as a family. Nearly 80% of parents said family travel enriches their children’s education, and almost 75% believe travel makes their children better global citizens. The research showed that 65% of parents prioritize travel experiences over material possessions.
Grandparents also cited significant multigenerational travel benefits, with 63% saying they enjoy spending extended time with their grandchildren. More than 60% of grandparents surveyed also said travel is their way of giving their children and grandchildren a special treat and that multigenerational trips create shared family travel experiences and traditions across generations.
According to Peter Bopp, director of research for the Family Travel Association, families are increasingly aware of the additional positive impacts of travel. “This year, we probed parents on their children’s recovery from the pandemic and what role family travel plays in helping that recovery – 88% of parents reported that family travel is helpful to their children in overcoming some of the lingering results of the pandemic,” said Bopp. “In addition, 84% of parents reported family travel helps make their children more adaptable and open to new experiences, 62% say it gives them a more positive outlook on life, and 61% say it helps them with their social skills.”
At Destination Reunions, these research findings are music to our ears. Destination Reunions makes it easy to plan epic family reunions and multigenerational vacations the whole family will love. These shared travel experiences create priceless memories and strengthen family ties. Download the latest issue of Destination Reunions magazine for in-depth information on incredible family reunion destinations and exceptional family trips.
By Nancy Schretter, Contributing Editor
Header Photo Courtesy of Pexels