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Family Vacations - US - December 2011

While vacation destinations felt the impact of the recession sharply in 2009, the family vacation market on the whole has shown resilience in 2010 and 2011. For many families stressful economic times appear to have made the emotional benefits of getting away more compelling, making even brief family vacations more of a necessity. The long-term consumer impact of the downturn on family travel may be less about cutting back on expenditures than it is about spending smarter.

This report features Mintel’s exclusive consumer research exploring a range of consumer attitudes and behaviors concerning family vacations. Among the questions addressed in this report are:

  • How frequently do families take vacations and which demographic groups are traveling most frequently?
  • How much do families spend on vacations?
  • Who in the family is in charge of the various aspects of family travel planning?
  • What influence do kids and teens have on the selection of destinations, restaurants and activities?
  • What online and offline resources are used to plan family vacations?
  • What features are most important in the selection of the family vacation destination?
  • What’s most important to families about family vacations?

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Table of contents

  1. Scope and Themes

    • What you need to know
      • Definition
        • Data sources
          • Consumer survey data
            • Advertising creative
              • Abbreviations and terms
                • Abbreviations
                  • Terms
                  • Executive Summary

                    • Family vacations remain a priority in spite of tough economy
                      • Two thirds of households with kids took a family vacation in last 12 months
                        • Vacation planning is a family affair
                          • Past experience tops a widening array of travel planning “resources”
                            • Research and planning don’t stop when the trip starts
                              • Shorter family getaways becoming the norm
                                • Family vacationers value together time but also want individual activities
                                  • Black and Hispanic vacationers more likely to travel with kids
                                  • Insights and Opportunities

                                    • Fun for all ages
                                      • Many happy returns
                                        • All about the experience…
                                          • …before and after as well as during
                                            • Games families play
                                            • Inspire Insights

                                                • Trend: Rise of the Screenager
                                                  • Trend: Who are the Joneses?
                                                    • Is there an average American family?
                                                      • Beyond categorization
                                                      • Market Drivers

                                                        • Overview—adjusting to a new economic landscape
                                                          • Figure 1: U.S. national park visits and visitor hours, 2006-11
                                                          • Figure 2: Number of domestic person-trips for leisure, 2007-14
                                                        • Spending smarter
                                                          • Household income slips
                                                            • Figure 3: Median household income in inflation-adjusted dollars, 2000-10
                                                          • Consumer confidence wavers
                                                            • Figure 4: University of Michigan’s index of consumer sentiment, January 2006-November 2011
                                                          • Travel prices rise
                                                            • Figure 5: U.S. average domestic air fares, 1st quarter 1995 to 1st quarter 2011
                                                          • Number of households with children declining
                                                            • Figure 6: Households, by presence of children, 2000-10
                                                          • Feelings of financial security drive vacation incidence and frequency
                                                            • Figure 7: Number of vacations taken in past 12 months/how many with children, by perception of current financial situation, August-September 2011
                                                          • Shifts in financial stress impacts vacationing
                                                            • Figure 8: Number of vacations taken in past 12 months/how many with children, by change in perception of financial stress, August-September 2011
                                                        • Competitive Context

                                                          • Key points
                                                            • Time, money, and desire all factor in to home or away
                                                              • Figure 9: Behavioral changes compared to last year, 2008-11
                                                          • Innovation and Innovators

                                                            • Disney’s newest family attractions
                                                              • Aulani resort recreates Hawaii…in Hawaii
                                                                • Disney Dream takes family cruising to another level
                                                                  • Wizarding World of Harry Potter gives new meaning to authenticity
                                                                    • Back to basics, down home on the farm
                                                                    • Marketing Strategies

                                                                      • Carnival’s category-building ads touch on key family vacation themes
                                                                          • Figure 10: Carnival Cruises TV ad, 2011
                                                                        • Carnival online
                                                                          • Disney theme parks, cruises, and adventure trips
                                                                            • Figure 11: Disney Aulani TV ad, 2011
                                                                          • Disney online
                                                                          • Incidence and Frequency of Family Travel

                                                                            • Key points
                                                                              • A little more than one in four adults report vacationing with kids
                                                                                • Two thirds of households with kids took a family vacation in last 12 months
                                                                                  • Figure 12: Number of vacations taken in past 12 months/how many with children, by presence of children in household, August-September 2011
                                                                                • Women vacation more overall and more likely to travel with kids
                                                                                  • Figure 13: Number of vacations taken in past 12 months/how many with children, by gender, August-September 2011
                                                                                • Parent-age adults most likely to take vacations with kids
                                                                                  • Multigeneration trips on the rise
                                                                                    • Figure 14: Number of vacations taken in past 12 months/how many with children, by age, August-September 2011
                                                                                  • Income has moderate impact on incidence of family vacationing
                                                                                    • Figure 15: Number of vacations taken in past 12 months/how many with children, by household income, August-September 2011
                                                                                • Duration and Cost of Family Vacations

                                                                                  • Key points
                                                                                    • Shorter family getaways becoming the norm
                                                                                      • Shorter family vacations take a wider variety of forms
                                                                                        • Younger vacationers take shorter trips
                                                                                          • Figure 16: Length of most recent trip, by age, August-September 2011
                                                                                        • Higher-income families tend to take longer vacations
                                                                                          • Figure 17: Length of most recent trip, by household income, August-September 2011
                                                                                        • Higher-income families spend far more on vacations
                                                                                          • Figure 18: Cost of most recent trip, by household income, August-September 2011
                                                                                      • Who’s in Charge of Vacation Planning?

                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                          • Vacation planning is a family affair
                                                                                            • Figure 19: Role in vacation planning by gender, August-September 2011
                                                                                          • Vacationers of all ages involved in destination selection
                                                                                            • Day-to-day activity planning more likely to fall to young adults and parents
                                                                                              • Figure 20: Role in vacation planning, by age, August-September 2011
                                                                                          • Teens’ and Kids’ Influence on Planning and Activities

                                                                                            • Key points
                                                                                              • Kids have significant influence in vacation decisions
                                                                                                • Kids value family time and opportunities to do their own thing
                                                                                                  • Opportunity to get kids more actively involved in day-to-day activity planning
                                                                                                    • Kids and teens claim moderate influence on destination section
                                                                                                      • Figure 21: Teenagers’ influence on destination selection, by gender and age, October 2009-December 2010
                                                                                                      • Figure 22: Kids’ influence on destination selection, by gender and age, October 2009-December 2010
                                                                                                    • Kids and teens often help choose where to eat
                                                                                                      • Figure 23: Teenagers’ influence on restaurant selection, by gender and age, October 2009-December 2010
                                                                                                      • Figure 24: Kids’ influence on restaurant selection, by gender and age, October 2009-December 2010
                                                                                                    • Kids and teens have greatest influence in choosing activities
                                                                                                      • Figure 25: Teenagers’ influence on activity selection, by gender and age, October 2009-December 2010
                                                                                                      • Figure 26: Kids’ influence on activity selection, by gender and age, October 2009-December 2010
                                                                                                  • Resources Used for Family Vacation Planning

                                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                                      • Family travel planners consult increasingly wide variety of resources
                                                                                                        • Previous experience the most commonly used planning “resource”
                                                                                                          • Coupons and promotions also popular, revealing desire for deals
                                                                                                            • Abundance of travel information creates need for single-source services
                                                                                                              • Research and planning don’t stop when the trip starts
                                                                                                                • Offline resources still consulted, but rarely ranked among top three
                                                                                                                  • Figure 27: Resources used for family vacation planning, August-September 2011
                                                                                                              • Attitudes Toward Family Travel

                                                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                                                  • Family vacations offer together time
                                                                                                                    • Fun for all ages
                                                                                                                      • Older adults place greater importance on togetherness
                                                                                                                        • Figure 28: Most important features of vacation destination, by age, August-September 2011
                                                                                                                      • The bigger the family the more important family together time
                                                                                                                        • Figure 29: Most important features of vacation destination, by number of children in household, August-September 2011
                                                                                                                    • Most Important Features of the Vacation Destination

                                                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                                                        • Variety of activities and cost most important destination features
                                                                                                                          • Figure 30: Most important features of vacation destination, August-September 2011
                                                                                                                        • Older travelers want activities that bring family members together
                                                                                                                          • Younger travelers more focused on price and new experiences
                                                                                                                            • Figure 31: Most important features of future vacation destination, by age, August-September 2011
                                                                                                                          • Higher income family travelers place value on variety of activities
                                                                                                                            • Figure 32: Most important features of future vacation destination, by household income, August-September 2011
                                                                                                                        • Impact of Race and Hispanic Origin

                                                                                                                          • Key points
                                                                                                                            • Black and Hispanic vacationers more likely to travel with kids
                                                                                                                              • Figure 33: Number of vacations taken in past 12 months/how many with children by race/Hispanic origin, August-September 2011
                                                                                                                            • Black and Hispanic families tend to take shorter vacations
                                                                                                                              • Figure 34: Length of trip, cost, and number of travelers, by race/Hispanic origin, August-September 2011
                                                                                                                            • Travel planning resources
                                                                                                                              • Figure 35: Resources used for family vacation planning, by race/Hispanic origin, August-September 2011
                                                                                                                            • Black and Hispanic family vacationers more value/deal focused
                                                                                                                              • Figure 36: Most important features of future vacation destination, by race/Hispanic origin, August-September 2011
                                                                                                                          • Custom Consumer Groups

                                                                                                                            • Education level
                                                                                                                              • Figure 37: Number of vacations taken in past 12 months/how many with children by education, August-September 2011
                                                                                                                              • Figure 38: Most important features of future vacation destination, by education, August-September 2011
                                                                                                                            • Employment status
                                                                                                                                • Figure 39: Role in vacation planning, by employment, August-September 2011
                                                                                                                                • Figure 40: Resources used for family vacation planning, by employment, August-September 2011
                                                                                                                            • Appendix—Other Useful Consumer Tables

                                                                                                                                • Figure 41: Resources used for family vacation planning, by age, August-September 2011
                                                                                                                                • Figure 42: Most important features of vacation destination, by race/Hispanic origin, August-September 2011
                                                                                                                            • Appendix—Trade Associations

                                                                                                                              Companies Covered

                                                                                                                              • Carnival Corporation
                                                                                                                              • Cruise Lines International Association
                                                                                                                              • Greenfield Online
                                                                                                                              • The Bureau of Transportation Statistics
                                                                                                                              • TripAdvisor LLC
                                                                                                                              • U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
                                                                                                                              • Walt Disney Company, The

                                                                                                                              Family Vacations - US - December 2011

                                                                                                                              £3,277.28 (Excl.Tax)