Distinction in travel journalism
Is independent travel journalism important to you?
Click here to keep it independent

1 May, 2012

Family Travel Experts Highlight 2012 U.S. Vacation Trends


Seattle, WA (PRWEB) April 30, 2012 — The Best Family Travel Experts, a network of U.S. travel bloggers, writers, book authors, marketing consultants, and journalists, today shared key trends and insights that reveal parents seek credible advice for more authentic and meaningful travel experiences. According to Ypartnership*, experience-based travel involving family and friends rules: the leading types of leisure trips remain visiting friends and relatives (50 percent) and family vacations (42 percent).

Families Want Authentic and Unique Experiences: According to the recent 2012 Virtuoso Luxe Report*, more and more travelers are seeking authentic experiences in new destinations, rest and relaxation and personal enrichment. “Travel can be transformational regardless of how far you go, how much you spend, or where you travel,” said Anne Taylor Hartzell, founder of HipTravelMama. “From Maui to wine country, our community craves unique places to stay and go and things to do, that maximize the quality and value of their vacation experiences.”

Travelers Seek Advice from Expert Travel Bloggers: One-third of travelers (33 percent) have visited an online community, travel forum or blog to seek and/or review information about a destination or travel-service supplier during the past 12 months.* “Families from around the world are using parent-authored blogs to plan vacations, because we test everything we recommend with real children in tow,” said Amie O’Shaughnessey, founder of Ciao Bambino. “This summer, our clients are increasingly willing to stray off-the-beaten path with kids, while seeking authentic, high-impact experiences from Belize to Croatia, to safaris in Africa, to up and coming destinations like Puglia in Italy.”

Family Travel Extends Beyond Traveling with Kids: Moms are also the primary vacation planners for the family, including trips as a family with kids, girlfriend getaways and trips with spouses. “As much as mothers enjoy traveling with family, they appreciate equally a chance to escape from ‘real life’ on a vacation with friends or spouse,” says Kara Williams, co-founder of The Vacation Gals. “Spending just one night alone in a hotel room is also an easy way for moms to rest and recharge.”

The Great American Family Road Trip is Making a Comeback: Expedia data* suggests the Great American Road Trip is making a comeback, despite rising gas prices. “Families opt to road trip to stretch their vacation dollar while enjoying meaningful family time,” says Amy Whitley, editor of Pit Stops for Kids. “They’re looking for quality resort and roadside experiences to discover as a family both at their final destination and along the way.”

Parents Want Practical Advice and Product Recommendations: Parents are seeing practical advice and tips for everything from how to survive a plane flight with kids to how to pack for a beach vacation. And once they find it, they’re ready to make purchase decisions based on the recommendations. According to the 2012 BlogHer Study of Women and Social Media,* “More than 61 percent of active blog readers have made purchases based on a blog recommendation.” According to Debbie Dubrow, founder of Delicious Baby, “Combining real world advice with road-tested products and services solves a real need, and more parents are seeking this advice. Traffic to Delicious Baby related to travel tips and product reviews has more than doubled over the past two years.”

Families Want to Share Educational Travel Experiences Together: According to a survey of United States residents by the U. S. Travel Association,* “opportunities to learn” was one of the top motivators for taking a leisure trip. “From museums, to reenactments, to historical tours, cultural vacations offer families a chance to unplug and learn together in an interactive and meaningful way,” says Mara Gorman, founder of The Mother of All Trips. “In an increasingly competitive global economy, what better way is there to prepare our kids for the future than by taking them on fun and enriching family vacations that teach them about the world?”

Families Dream of Planning Bucket List Trips: While many families dream of taking bucket list trips and round-the-world adventures, few know where to start planning. In Travelocity’s September 2011 study of family travelers, 88 percent of respondents stated they have a dream trip they would take with their kids if money was no object.* “Like many other parenting and travel choices, bucket list trips and round-the-world adventures may appear daunting in advance, but with the right preparation can be true once-in-a-lifetime experiences,” said Michelle Duffy, WanderMom and author of Traveling with Kids.

Traveling with kids can be as diverse as the families that take the trips. Despite volatile economic times, family travel blogs are thriving and families continue to seek the value and the advice of real moms and travel experts who can make traveling with kids a fun, affordable and enriching experience.

For more information visit http://www.bestfamilytravelexperts.com

Data Sources:
*1. hospitalitynet.org/news/4052551.html
*2. blog.virtuoso.com/return-on-life/2012-luxe-report-shows-travelers-crave-unchartered-territory/
*3. hospitalitynet.org/news/4052551.html
*4. mediaroom.expedia.com/travel-news/expedia-study-outlines-economic-impact-travel-america-americans-today-likelier-traverse-
*5. blogher.com/blogher-2012-study-blogs-beat-facebook-trust-test
*6. poweroftravel.org/leisure/
*7. phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml?c=75787&p=irol-newsArticle&ID=1606284&highlight=