Stats: 85 Percent of Americans to Travel as Family in Next 12 Months

The “2022 US Family Travel Survey,” conducted by the Family Travel Association (FTA) in collaboration with the NYU School of Professional Studies Jonathan M. Tisch Center of Hospitality, has just been published and focuses on the extent to which the COVID-19 pandemic and recent economic uncertainty are affecting family travel behaviors, with notable trends and themes throughout.

Among the major trends, the survey found:

Eighty-five percent of parents are very likely to travel with their children in the next 12 months, with travel intent this year higher than in 2019. In fact, the respondents’ children emerged as a big source of inspiration for family travel (76 percent); this was followed by friends (53 percent) and other family members (52 percent). Almost half of the respondents are inspired by travel bloggers (49 percent). In terms of types of trips, beach vacations (66 percent), city vacations (65 percent), and visiting friends and family (61 percent) were the top three indicators. Conversely, the interest in nature/active vacations seems to be waning. According to the survey, priorities for family travel include having children discover new places and new experiences, bonding and growing closer as a family, and having time to relax and unwind.

As for COVID’s effect on travel, while 57 percent of respondents feel that the pandemic is mostly contained and are comfortable traveling, 43 percent remain cautious when making travel decisions. Along these lines, the influence of the pandemic is receding: International vacations are more popular this year, city vacations are on the rebound and more families are now looking to stay in hotels (pausing the continuous rise of vacation rentals of the past years). 

Looking forward, inflation and the rise of gas prices and hike in interest rates will likely influence travel behavior in the coming year: Families particularly indicated that they will look for cheaper prices on lodgings. Despite being on the lookout for cheaper prices, travel spending as a whole is robust.

Another trend that remains strong is interest in travel advisors for trip-planning. Willingness to use a travel advisor for family travel is 52 percent, a significant increase over reported behavior from 2021, when 17 percent used a travel advisor. The challenges created by COVID has increased consumer interest in using advisors to help plan and book their family vacations.

The 2022 U.S. Family Travel Survey represents responses from more than 1,000 parents in June and July 2022 and was conducted by the Family Travel Association (FTA) and the NYU School of Professional Studies Jonathan M. Tisch Center of Hospitality, in collaboration with the Shubert Organization and Telecharge. This is the seventh year for the annual survey, and this year’s sample included a larger percentage of respondents in higher income brackets with more advanced educational backgrounds than in prior editions.

Source: Family Travel Association

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