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According to the U.S. Travel Association, in 2018, Americans left 768 million days of paid vacation time unused, up 9% from 2017. Of those unused days, 236 million were forfeited completely — which amounts to $65.5 billion in lost benefits, not to mention the incalculable missed opportunities for families to build lasting memories through travel.
The annual Family Travel Association (FTA) NYU 2019 Family Travel Survey shows that 55% of parents who have paid vacation days didn’t use all their time off in the previous year. The No. 1 reason was other household budget priorities (43%). The second highest response was concern for the care of pets at home (32%), followed by the perception that family vacations are too expensive (31%).
What are families missing out on when they don’t take all their paid time off and prioritize vacations? According to FTA research, they forfeit their aspiration to create more family travel memories; they miss out on taking their children to places they want them to see before they grow up; and they don’t fulfill their hope to have their children understand different cultures.
That’s why this year the FTA is launching #TakeFamilyTime, an advocacy campaign designed to penetrate the family dining room — and the corporate conference table. The FTA wants parents and kids discussing household budgets and family schedules.
The FTA also wants travel industry suppliers, destination offices and other industry parties — especially travel advisors — to consider advocating for and supporting services that solve the biggest vacation challenges families face. The goal is to have families form the habits of lifelong vacationers.
You can learn more about #TakeFamilyTime, and watch a PSA video that the FTA recently produced, on the FTA website.
FTA members have already begun discussing these issues and how the industry can help, and your input is valued as well.
The FTA will also be hosting regular live discussions on Facebook with travel advisors, family travel bloggers and influencers, industry experts, family psychologists and others who can help get families vacationing more.
Who knows: Maybe one day your voice will be added to the discussion.
Please join the #TakeFamilyTime movement. Help us help families build lasting bonds and discover the life-changing experiences that made all of us fall in love with travel long ago.
The DetailsFamily Travel Associationwww.familytravel.org