Photos: More Travelers Toting Tykes on Trips in 2009
PRNewswire NEWTON, Mass. (NASDAQ-NMS:EXPE)
Parents and non-Parents Weigh-in on TripAdvisor Family Travel Survey
Top 10 Bargain Family-Friendly Hotels and Best and Worst Brands for Families Identified
NEWTON, Mass., April 1 /PRNewswire/ -- TripAdvisor®, the world's most popular and largest travel community, today announced its family travel survey of more than 1,500 U.S. respondents. Ninety-two percent of travelers with children will be taking a family vacation in the next 12 months, up from 87 percent in the past 12 months. Sixty-four percent of travelers with children will be taking a family vacation this summer. Travelers with children expect to spend the same amount on family vacations this year compared to last, according to 44 percent, and 36 percent intend to spend less.
The allure of sun, sand and surf has made the beach the top destination type for travelers with children this year, according to a balmy 59 percent. Thirty-nine percent will take it to the city streets, 31 percent will make it a family affair and stay with relatives, and 27 percent will peg the fun meter at a theme park. Thirteen percent of families plan to rough it and go camping in the coming year.
Top 10 Most Popular Family Vacation Activities this Year
1. Relax at the beach- 63% 6. Visit an aquarium- 29%
2. Visit an historic site- 54% 7. Visit a zoo- 28%
3. Visit a museum- 41% 8. Go hiking- 28%
4. Visit an amusement/theme park- 39% 9. Attend a festival/concert- 23%
5. Visit a national park- 36% 10. Go fishing- 20%
Family-friendly attractions are the most important factor in making a destination ideal for families, according to 27 percent of respondents, and family-friendly hotels/accommodations is the next priority, according to 18 percent. Twenty-five percent said the top consideration for selecting family vacation accommodations is being close to nearby attractions.
Most Family-Friendly Hotel Brands Least Family-Friendly Hotel Brands
Embassy Suites- 11% Ritz-Carlton- 12%
Holiday Inn and Marriott (tie)- 8% Four Seasons- 6%
W Hotel and Motel 6 (tie)- 5%
Budget Busting and Bad Behavior
The hardest part of taking a family vacation is staying on budget, according to 22 percent of respondents, while 20 percent claimed it's traveling to your destination. The most frequent frustration with taking kids on a family vacation is when the kids don't listen, followed by when children expect expensive souvenirs. When asked who complains most while on vacation, 42 percent said their spouse complains as much as the children, and 21 percent said their spouse actually complains more than the children.
Free at Last
When asked if they would rather take vacation without their children, 47 percent said rarely, while 35 percent admitted often. Sixty-eight percent consider traveling with children equally relaxing and exhausting and 14 percent think it's more exhausting than relaxing. Twenty-eight percent sometimes enlist the help of childcare while on vacation.
What Travelers without Children are Saying
Steering Clear of Kids
Seventy-three percent have avoided hotels when they are heavily populated with families and children. Seventy-seven percent avoid traveling during popular school vacation weeks because more children will be on trips.
Thirty-one percent said they get "very frustrated" with unruly children when traveling, while 51 percent get "somewhat frustrated." Fifty-three percent said the most common child annoyance on an airplane is a kid kicking the back of their seat, while 21 percent cited crying. The most common child annoyance at a hotel is screaming and yelling that can be heard through the walls, according to 27 percent.
Broke the Camel's Back
Forty-seven percent of travelers without kids have been frustrated with the behavior of a stranger's child to the point where they took action--among that group, 24 percent spoke to the child, 23 percent spoke to the parent.
Off Limits for Little Ones
The majority of respondents believe mom and dad should keep junior away from the nightlife. Sixty-eight percent believe families with young children should avoid upscale restaurants, 66 percent said they should steer clear of bars and pubs and 50 percent think kids should be cast aside from the theater and plays. Sixty-nine percent think there should be child-free zones on airplanes.
Top Three Destinations Travelers with Children Plan to Visit in the Next 12 Months, According to the Survey:
Anaheim Desert Inn and Suites, Anaheim, California--Avg. Nightly Rate: $113
The Sea Hawk Motel, Ocean City, Maryland--Avg. Nightly Rate: $113
Black Hawk Motel, Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin--Avg. Nightly Rate: $72
"Parents appear to be committed to taking their family trips this year and bargain hunters can discover some eye-opening hotel and flight deals on TripAdvisor," said Michele Perry, vice president of global communications for TripAdvisor.
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