Road trips are a top choice for group travel this year. // © 2017 iStock
Feature image (above): Many families plant to visit a national park in 2017. // © 2017 iStock
According to a new AAA survey, 35 percent of Americans aim to take a vacation with their families this year to destinations at least 50 miles away from home. The numbers match up to survey findings from the previous year, reinforcing the fact that travel continues to be a top priority for families.
In terms of vacation quantity, 70 percent of family travelers report that they will take one or two trips this year, while 28 percent say they plan to take three or more vacations — a jump of 13 percent since the 2016 survey.
“Families continue to see the value of traveling as a way to bond and reconnect in today’s busy world,” said Bill Sutherland, senior vice president of travel and publishing for AAA. “The best way to wrap up a family vacation is to start planning the next one, as more and more Americans are starting to do.”
Helpful information for travel agents pertains to where these families intend to go. The data shows that 79 percent of respondents plan to take a road trip (a 10 percent jump from last year), while 51 percent will pick a national park as their destination, and 40 percent will head to a theme park. That means that domestic attractions are front-of-mind for today’s families.
About 33 percent of survey takers said they’d take the family to international destinations. Guided tours and ocean cruises were named as picks by 22 percent and 20 percent of respondents, respectively. Sutherland says that the number of families going on guided trips likely points to their preference in having structure and plenty of convenience.
“Many tours are specially designed for multigenerational groups,” Sutherland said. “Plus, there’s no better way to learn about a destination than from a knowledgeable, local guide.”