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Everything you need to make the right decisions

Providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date information and analysis of the Family Vacations market, and the behaviours, preferences and habits of the consumer.

Mintel has the answers you’re looking for

What are the key challenges facing the industry? Who is the consumer and what do they want? Where are the opportunities, where are the risks and what lies ahead?

Key points included

  • Family vacations are seen as a teaching opportunity for kids of all ages
  • Younger parents are more likely to turn to social media for destination inspiration
  • Parents treat family vacations as an escape from their daily routine, but time is a constraint

Covered in this report

Family travel is defined as a trip taken in the last 12 months with one of the following family members


  • Significant other
  • Child(ren)
  • Parents
  • Grandparents
  • Siblings
  • Other family members

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

Written by Mike Gallinari, a leading analyst in the Travel & Leisure sector, his extensive knowledge delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

Parents of children under the age of 18 in the household want both escape and enrichment from their vacations. Families feel economically secure enough to spend money on vacations, though parents feel their ability to take vacation is constrained by their work schedules. As such, they look for efficient ways to not only have fun with their families, but also educate their kids. Their search increasingly looks to current travel trends and social media outlets to give them the best information about vacation destinations Mike Gallinari
Travel & Leisure Analyst

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What's included

What's included

Table of contents

Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Definition
      • Executive Summary

        • Market overview
          • Top takeaways
            • What parents want in a vacation
              • Family visits and theme parks are popular vacation activities
                • Figure 1: Activities done on family vacations, November 2019
              • Sea lions, tigers and Big Bear, oh my!
                • Figure 2: Views of vacation activities as being good for both kids and adults, November 2019
              • Parents are willing to weather crowds to meet destination goals
                • Figure 3: Attitudes about travel trends, November 2019
              • The more you go, the more you know
                • Figure 4: Attitudes about conscious travel, by age group of all children, November 2019
              • What drives parents’ vacation choices
                • Parents increasingly find inspiration from social media
                  • Figure 5: Inspiration through social media, by age group of parent, November 2019
                • Vacations are all about escape
                  • Figure 6: Top motivations for traveling with kids, November 2019
                • Time is more of a travel constraint than money
                  • Figure 7: Attitudes toward family vacation logistics, November 2019
                • What it means
                • The Market – What You Need to Know

                  • More robust family vacations start at $75K HHI
                    • Beaches are a bingo
                      • Travel is a high priority, and travelers spend like it
                        • Declining fertility rates contribute to changing definition of family
                          • PTO usage is increasing
                          • The Family Vacationer

                            • Middle-class suburbanites are prototypical domestic vacationers
                              • Figure 8: Vacationer demographics, November 2019
                            • Parents travel with more than their partners and kids
                              • Figure 9: Vacation companions, November 2019
                            • Traveling with kids is more feasible for high income households
                              • Figure 10: Children as travel companions, by household income, November 2019
                            • Multigenerational travel most attractive to young parents
                              • Figure 11: Extended family as travel companions, by age of parent, November 2019
                          • Market Perspective

                            • Parents are very positive on beach vacations
                              • Figure 12: Parental perceptions of vacation types, October 2019
                            • Travel is a popular way to spend extra money
                              • Figure 13: Spending extra money on travel, parents vs non-parents, 2018-19
                            • Per-vacation spending is up among parents
                              • Figure 14: Per-vacation spending among parents, 2015-19
                          • Market Factors

                            • Declining fertility rates contributes to redefinition of “family”
                              • Figure 15: US general fertility rate, 2010-18
                              • Figure 16: Percentage of each generation that celebrates “Friendsgiving,” March 2019
                            • Workers are taking more time off
                            • Key Trends – What You Need to Know

                              • Emerging destination trends are applicable to families
                                • Disney has a very effective upcoming project
                                  • Homeshare companies target families
                                    • Parks may be in trouble
                                      • A look ahead into the future of family vacations
                                      • What’s Happening

                                        • Destination trends
                                          • New Disney hotel is a destination far, far away…
                                            • Homeshares and vacation rental companies going after families
                                              • Figure 17: Vrbo YouTube ad, retrieved December 2019
                                              • Figure 18: Airbnb “Healthy Tourism. Stronger Cities.” online ad, retrieved December 2019
                                            • TikTok, time for vacation
                                              • Figure 19: San Diego Zoo and Monterey Aquarium TikTok Duet
                                            • NPS: Nature Privatized Soon?
                                            • The Future of Family Vacations

                                                • Driver: Experiences
                                                  • 2020
                                                    • 2025
                                                      • 2030
                                                        • Driver: Identity
                                                          • 2020
                                                            • 2025
                                                              • 2030
                                                                • Driver: Technology
                                                                  • 2020
                                                                    • 2025
                                                                      • 2030
                                                                      • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                                        • Family visits and theme parks top vacation activities
                                                                          • Social is growing as an inspiration source
                                                                            • Vacationers like the universal appeal of public areas
                                                                              • Escape and learning are primary reasons to take time off
                                                                                • Time is a bigger factor than money
                                                                                  • Travel trends are parent trends
                                                                                    • Vacations serve as field trips
                                                                                      • Tech is seen as problematic
                                                                                      • Vacation Activities

                                                                                        • Family visits, theme parks are big travel to-dos
                                                                                          • Figure 20: Activities done on family vacations, November 2019
                                                                                        • Different vacation habits for different incomes
                                                                                          • Opportunity to market activities at lower price points
                                                                                            • Theme parks have a strong proposition across income levels
                                                                                              • Live events appeal to higher income travelers
                                                                                                • Figure 21: Activities done on family vacations, by household income, November 2019
                                                                                              • Teens and young kids go to theme parks, but alternatives exist
                                                                                                • Figure 22: Activities done on vacation, by age group of all children, November 2019
                                                                                            • Activity Enjoyment

                                                                                              • Public areas are universal attractions
                                                                                                • Figure 23: Views of vacation activities as being good for both kids and adults, November 2019
                                                                                              • Parents think kids want to be educated, hydrated
                                                                                                • Figure 24: Views of vacation activities as being for kids, November 2019
                                                                                              • Parents think kids aren’t into shopping and tours
                                                                                                • Figure 25: Views of vacation activities as being for adults, November 2019
                                                                                              • How to keep your teen interested
                                                                                                • Figure 26: Views of vacation activities, by age group of all children, November 2019
                                                                                              • The great outdoors is child’s play
                                                                                                • Figure 27: Views of national/state parks, by age group of all children, November 2019
                                                                                            • Family Vacation Inspiration

                                                                                              • Personal networks, social media are the most important sources of inspiration
                                                                                                • Figure 28: Sources of family vacation inspiration, November 2019
                                                                                              • Social is increasingly important in the future
                                                                                                • Figure 29: Inspiration through social media, by age group of parent, November 2019
                                                                                              • Moms want more personal recommendations
                                                                                                • Figure 30: Sources of family vacation inspiration, by gender of parent, November 2019
                                                                                                • Figure 31: Qualities of a good influencer, by gender of parent, December 2018
                                                                                              • Big groups turn to Facebook
                                                                                                • Figure 32: Usage of Facebook for vacation inspiration, by number of children under 18 in household, November 2019
                                                                                            • Reasons for Vacationing with Kids

                                                                                              • Vacations are, above all, an escape
                                                                                                • Figure 33: Top motivations for traveling with kids, November 2019
                                                                                              • Gifting travel higher among parents under 35 and larger families
                                                                                                • Figure 34: Gifting as a travel motivation, by age group of parent, by number of children, November 2019
                                                                                              • Kids develop travel lists as early as 6
                                                                                                • Figure 35: Choosing destinations based on kids, by age group of all children, November 2019
                                                                                                • Figure 36: Kids' influence on vacation decisions, by age of children in household, November 2017
                                                                                              • Learning on-the-go is more appealing with parent (and child) age
                                                                                                • Figure 37: Desire to use vacations to teach, by age group of parent, November 2019
                                                                                              • Passing experiences down is important early
                                                                                                • Figure 38: Sharing experiences, by age group of all children, November 2019
                                                                                            • Attitudes toward Vacation Logistics

                                                                                              • Work creates funding, but not time, for vacations
                                                                                                • Figure 39: Attitudes toward family vacation logistics, November 2019
                                                                                              • Dads feel more pressure
                                                                                                • Figure 40: Attitudes toward family vacation logistics, dads vs moms, November 2019
                                                                                            • Attitudes toward Travel Trends

                                                                                              • Families follow overall travel trends
                                                                                                • Figure 41: Attitudes about travel trends, November 2019
                                                                                              • Pop culture is a hook for kids and pre-teens
                                                                                                • Figure 42: Pop culture as a destination influence, by age group of all children, November 2019
                                                                                              • TikTok users are the biggest pop tourists
                                                                                                • Figure 43: Interest in pop culture destinations, by social platform visited daily, November 2019
                                                                                            • Educational Value of Family Travel

                                                                                              • Family trips are learning opportunities
                                                                                                • Figure 44: Attitudes about conscious travel, November 2019
                                                                                              • Never too old or young to learn a lesson
                                                                                                • Figure 45: Attitudes about conscious travel, by age group of all children, November 2019
                                                                                              • Internet for me but not for thee
                                                                                                • Figure 46: Attitudes toward connectivity on family vacations, November 2018
                                                                                              • Younger parents feel more need to converse with their social audiences
                                                                                                • Figure 47: Attitudes toward connectivity, by age group of parent, November 2018
                                                                                              • Tech is sticky
                                                                                                • Figure 48: Attitudes toward kids and tech, by age group of all children, November 2018
                                                                                                • Figure 49: ClubMed email, sent November 2019
                                                                                            • Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

                                                                                              • Data sources
                                                                                                • Consumer survey data
                                                                                                  • Direct marketing creative
                                                                                                    • Abbreviations and terms
                                                                                                      • Abbreviations
                                                                                                      • Appendix – The Market

                                                                                                          • Figure 50: Annual births and general fertility rate, 2009-18
                                                                                                          • Figure 51: Per-vacation spending among parents, 2015-19

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