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TripAdvisor Survey Reveals Growth Spurt in Family Travel

92 Percent of U.S. Travelers Taking Family Trips in the Coming Year, Up 4 Percent from Last Year

Today's Generation of Children More Worldly Travelers than Their Parents

NEWTON, Mass., March 25 /PRNewswire/ -- TripAdvisor®, the world's most popular and largest travel community, today announced the results of its annual family travel survey. Ninety-two percent of travelers with children plan to take at least one family vacation this year, up from 88 percent who did so last year, according to more than 1,100 U.S. travelers surveyed. 2010 may also see a trend for traveling further abroad, with 33 percent planning to take both domestic and international family trips, up five percent from last year.

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Generation Jet-Set

The youth of today are better-traveled than ever, according to TripAdvisor's survey.

  • 75 percent of travelers' children (those under the age of 18) have visited more than six U.S. states – only 37 percent of these children's parents had traveled as extensively by the same age.
  • 73 percent of travelers' young children have experienced international travel, compared to 44 percent of their parents by the same age.
  • Travel is very important to a child's education, according to 52 percent of travelers with children, while 35 percent believe it is somewhat important.

Family Finances

  • 28 percent of travelers with children expect to spend more on family trips in the coming 12 months than they did in the past 12 months, while 47 percent expect to spend roughly the same amount.
  • 30 percent anticipate spending $1,000 - $3,000.
  • 22 percent predict they will spend $3,000 - $5,000.
  • 19 percent foresee spending $5,000 - $8,000.
  • 10 percent of families expect to spend more than $10,000.

Popular Pursuits

  • The most enjoyable aspect of family vacations is spending quality time together, according to 48 percent of parents.
  • The five most popular activities that families plan to indulge in together this year are:
    1. Relaxing at the beach – 69 percent
    2. Visiting a historic site – 62 percent
    3. Visiting a museum – 50 percent
    4. Visiting a national park – 46 percent
    5. Visiting an amusement / theme park – 41 percent

Travel Tribulations

  • When it comes to traveling with children, airplanes are the most stressful mode of transport, according to 44 percent of parents.
  • 16 percent maintain that car journeys are the most difficult to endure.
  • 11 percent have tackled the challenges by giving their child an antihistamine before a journey, in order to help them sleep.
  • 31 percent of parents don't find traveling with children nerve-racking at all.

Plane Stressful

  • 56 percent of travelers maintain that in the event of a tantrum before take-off, the parents should be given an amount of time to settle their child, after which the family should be removed.
  • 6 percent believe the family should leave the plane immediately, while 38 percent believe they should be allowed to fly as planned.

In-Journey Entertainment

When it comes to avoiding the dreaded cries of, "Are we there yet?," technology beats more traditional pastimes hands-down.

  • 45 percent of parents turn to a TV or DVD player to entertain their offspring.
  • 23 percent encourage their children to read books.
  • 10 percent rely on the appeal of new toys.
  • Classic travel games hold a place in travelers' hearts, too. 'The License Plate Game' is the top choice for 32 percent, followed by 'I Spy', the preferred game for 19 percent, and memory games, favored by 11 percent.

Child-Free Vacation Zones

Many travelers would happily pay a premium to enjoy some child-free space on vacation.

  • 33 percent would shell out for a seat in a child-free section of an airplane.
  • 32 percent would foot the bill for a table in an adults-only section of a restaurant.
  • 26 percent would pay up for a lounger in a 'no kids' section of a pool.
  • 21 percent would fork out for a room in a tyke-free section of a hotel.
  • 21 percent would splurge on a spot on a child-free section of beach.
  • 9 percent would pay up for a visit to a child-free museum.

Family-Friendly Brands

According to travelers with children, the most family-friendly hotel brand is Embassy Suites.

The Family-Travel Survival Guide: Expert Tips from TripAdvisor.com

Lesley Carlin, Travel and Etiquette Expert for TripAdvisor.com, shares tried-and-tested tips on traveling with children:

  1. When planning your travel schedule, use common sense. If your baby usually fusses for two hours after dinner, don't fly then. If you expect your kids will have trouble sleeping on a flight, find an empty gate before boarding and have them run laps.
  2. Stop at a grocery store on the way from the airport to your hotel, in order to avoid packing a week's worth of diapers, wipes and more. Just bring what you'll need on the plane.  
  3. A hotel suite with a kitchenette might cost more than a regular room, but preparing most of your meals there instead of eating out could save money in the long run. A vacation rental can also be a great deal.
  4. While taking public transportation might be less convenient than renting a car, it can save you a lot of money – not to mention the hassle of dealing with car-seats.
  5. If you can, build in an extra "recovery" day before you have to return to work or school. At the very least, try not to fly home late at night if everyone needs to be up early the next day. It might mean no beach time on your last day, but it's worth it.

About TripAdvisor Media Network

TripAdvisor® Media Network, operated by TripAdvisor, LLC, attracts 45 million monthly visitors* across 15 popular travel brands: TripAdvisor®, www.airfarewatchdog.com, www.bookingbuddy.com, www.cruisecritic.com, www.familyvacationcritic.com, www.flipkey.com, www.frequentflier.com, www.holidaywatchdog.com, www.independenttraveler.com, www.onetime.com, www.seatguru.com, www.smartertravel.com, www.travel-library.com, www.travelpod.com and www.virtualtourist.com. TripAdvisor-branded sites make up the largest travel community in the world, with more than 32 million monthly visitors*, 15 million registered members and 30 million reviews and opinions. Featuring real advice from real travelers, TripAdvisor-branded sites cover more than one million destinations, hotels, restaurants and attractions and operate in the U.S. (http://www.tripadvisor.com), the U.K. (http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk), Ireland (http://www.tripadvisor.ie), France (http://www.tripadvisor.fr), Germany (http://www.tripadvisor.de), Italy (http://www.tripadvisor.it), Spain (http://www.tripadvisor.es), India (http://www.tripadvisor.in), Japan (http://www.tripadvisor.jp), Portugal and Brazil (http://www.tripadvisor.com.br), Sweden (http://www.tripadvisor.se), The Netherlands (http://nl.tripadvisor.com), Canada (http://www.tripadvisor.ca), Denmark (http://www.tripadvisor.dk), Turkey (http://www.tripadvisor.com.tr) and Mexico (http://www.tripadvisor.com.mx). TripAdvisor also operates in China under the brand daodao.com (http://www.daodao.com) and Kuxun.cn (http://www.kuxun.cn). TripAdvisor® Media Network provides travel suppliers with graphical advertising opportunities and a cost-per-click marketing platform. Collectively, the sites comprising the TripAdvisor Media Network have won hundreds of awards and accolades from press and industry worldwide. TripAdvisor and the sites comprising the TripAdvisor Media Network are operating companies of Expedia, Inc. (Nasdaq: EXPE).

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©2010 TripAdvisor LLC.  All rights reserved.

*Source: comScore Media Metrix, January 2010

SOURCE TripAdvisor