Stats: 88% of Families Are Likely to Travel in Next 12 Months

Nearly nine in 10 parents (88 percent) are likely to travel with their children in the next 12 months, according to the 2021 U.S. Family Travel Survey, conducted by the Family Travel Association (FTA) in collaboration with the NYU School of Professional Studies. Just 44 percent of families took a vacation in 2020.

The study, which focuses on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on family travel behaviors, preferences and attitudes, also found that 80 percent of respondents have made changes to their travel plans due to the pandemic. The report adds, however, that as long as there continues to be clear communications and flexible cancellation policies, families will be making travel plans—and are using travel advisors more now than ever before.

Even better: Sixty-five percent of those surveyed say they would consider using a travel advisor for their family travel needs in the next two years.

Not surprisingly, domestic travel continues to rebound in 2021, while international travel remains weaker.  To note, 83 percent of respondents plan to take a multi-day vacation in the U.S., whereas only 19 percent plan to take an international trip. In terms of the types of trips families are taking, the top two responses were visiting family and friends (62 percent) and going on beach vacations (61 percent); these were followed by theme/water parks and state/national parks.

A change induced by the pandemic is that families reported that they are paying more attention to cancellation policies and to health and safety considerations when choosing travel destinations. Eighty percent of respondents said they will only book travel with companies that have flexible cancellation policies in place. Similarly, COVID-19 continues to cause travel concerns: Limitations on activities and amenities and concerns about vaccine and health protocols adherence in the destination are top of mind for parents. In fact, on the question of vaccine passports, 53 percent agree or strongly agree with them, while 28 percent disagree.

Regarding air travel, respondents were asked if they were willing to fly at the time of taking the survey. Seventy-twi percent of respondents said they are willing to fly on a domestic trip and 40 percent on an international trip. Only 15 percent of respondents are unwilling to fly on an international trip, as 45 percent of respondents say they are not planning international travel at this time.

The 2021 U.S. Family Travel Survey represents responses from 2,365 parents in June and July 2021. The survey was circulated via the mailing list of MacaroniKid, a publishing platform that provides local activity guides and news for more than 3 million families across the U.S.  The study’s sponsor was Celebrity Cruises. This is the sixth year for this annual survey. 

Source: Family Travel Association

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