ORLANDO, Fla.—Some 88 million Americans plan to take family vacations this year. According to a AAA Travel survey of more than 1,000 U.S. adults, that number is driven largely by younger families—44 percent of millennials are planning a family getaway, more than members of Generation X (39 percent) or baby boomers (32 percent).
“Just like generations before them, millennials see a family vacation as one of the best ways to create memories and reconnect with loved ones,” Bill Sutherland, AAA senior vice president of travel and publishing, says. “No matter their age, families are going on not just one, but multiple vacations throughout the year to revisit favorite destinations and experience new places.”
More Trips to New Places
Families are increasingly taking more trips each year. More than one in four traveling families plans to take three or more family vacations in the next 12 months—12 percentage points more than in 2016. Family travelers are also looking for new experiences—73 percent of those planning a vacation this year are seeking a destination they have not previously visited. They’re also looking for places where they can rest and recuperate, choosing destinations with attractions such as beaches and mountains (61 percent), opportunities for sightseeing (59 percent), and relaxation (56 percent).
As travelers seek new sights, AAA expects family trips abroad to be a big trend in 2018. Of families who will take a trip this year, 35 percent plan to visit an international destination–a 9 percentage point increase from just two years ago. Based on advance travel bookings, AAA predicts the top five most likely international destinations for families will be: Cancun, Mexico; Punta Cana, Dominican Republic; Montego Bay, Jamaica; Rome, Italy; and Dublin, Ireland.
“We’ve seen increased demand for international travel overall, and that trend is now starting to appeal to families,” Sutherland adds.
Families Hit the Road
For families staying stateside, expensive gas prices–the highest prices seen since 2014–are not stopping vacation planners from packing up their cars for a road trip. This remains the most popular option for family vacations, with 64 percent of trip planners expecting to hit the road.
AAA’s family travel research is the result of a landline and cell phone telephone survey of 1,005 adults living in the continental United States. Interviewing for this survey was conducted January 26-28, 2018. This study has an average statistical error of ±7 percent at the 95 percent confidence level for all U.S. adults.
Photos courtesy of AAA