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1 May, 2013

FREE Download: Survey Reveals Top Reasons for Family Holiday Stress


AUSTIN, Texas–(BUSINESS WIRE)– April 29, 2013 – According to a special family travel edition of the Vacation Rental Marketplace report from HomeAway® – the online marketplace of vacation rentals – 56 percent of Americans say they find components of taking a family vacation stressful. Even worse, 46 percent admitted stress actually prevents them from enjoying the vacation itself.

With nearly three-fourths of Americans (73 percent) planning to take a vacation this summer, HomeAway is encouraging travelers to “Reclaim the Family Vacation” by opting to stay in vacation rentals, like those found on HomeAway.com, which foster togetherness and ease the stress of family travel. The survey claims that 80 percent of travelers agreed that staying in a vacation rental has helped reduce their stress on vacation.

According to the report, there are two primary sources of irritation for traveling families, each drawing 23 percent of the vote for the biggest cause of stress during a family vacation – the expense of eating out every meal and wasting time (e.g. waiting for restaurants to open, waiting for people to get ready, trying to meet up with friends/family, etc.). Other vacation stressors include:

  • The lack of privacy from friends/family members and/or other travelers not in their group (20%)
  • Having to pay for extras, such as Internet access, resort fees or parking (15%)
  • Staying in accommodations that are cramped or lack living spaces to spend time with family/friends (10%)
  • The need to pack books, toys and games to keep everyone entertained (5%)
  • The lack of a washer/dryer (4%)

The survey also found the biggest disputes – other than budget – among families when planning a vacation are based on where to go (40%), what to do when they get there (25%), and where to stay (18%). Minor disputes involve how to get there (7%), who gets the best bed (6%), and who sits where in the car or on the plane (5%).

“Summer vacation is a time-honored tradition for Americans, and families pack a lot of expectations for relaxation and reconnection into those one or two weeks,” says Brian Sharples, CEO of HomeAway. “Unlike in hotels, where families have to sleep on top of each other and pay exorbitant fees for things like bottled water and snacks, vacation rentals give families more time and flexibility to focus on the most important part of traveling together – reconnecting.”

Families Are Committed to Vacations, and Vacations Re-Commit Family Members to Each Other

Family remains at the heart of summer vacations, according to the HomeAway survey, which found almost one-third of travelers want the focus of their upcoming vacation to be spending time with family or friends.

And despite the common stress associated with traveling, the vast majority (78%) of travelers say they wouldn’t trade their family vacation for anything – not even for permanent weight loss of 20 pounds or a year’s worth of housekeeping services.

“The best family vacations are about striking a balance between time and space,” notes Sharples. “Families need time to unwind and enjoy each other’s company without over-scheduling activities on vacation, and they need space not only to come together, but to pursue their own interests or find some quiet time on their own.”

‘Reclaiming Your Family Vacation Sweepstakes’ Helps Five Families Ease the Stress of Family Travel

HomeAway is setting out to find five families who best demonstrate – visually and in words – a need to “reclaim” their family vacation.

The two most-deserving families, as voted on by the public, receive a $2,500 and $1,000, respectively, stay at the HomeAway vacation rental of their choice. The three remaining families receive alternative prizes that can help ease the stress of family travel: the third place-winning family receives a $500 gift card; and the fourth and fifth place-winning families each receive an iPad mini to help keep the kids entertained while traveling this summer.

Consumers can enter HomeAway’s ‘Reclaiming Your Family Vacation Sweepstakes’ by visiting the sweepstakes page on Facebook® and uploading a photo along with a caption of up to 500 characters that explains why they need to reclaim their family vacation. The sweepstakes is open from April 29 to May 17, 2013, with the public invited to vote for the best photos and stories from May 18 to May 31, 2013. Winners will be announced in early June.

To view the complete HomeAway Vacation Rental Marketplace Report: Family Travel Edition, click here.

About the HomeAway Summer Travel Survey

Data for the HomeAway summer travel survey was collected via surveys that polled travelers on vacation rental and travel-related issues. Based on HomeAway, Inc. internal customer satisfaction research, results comprised 2,031 responses received between 4/15-18, 2013 and 2,041 responses received 1/11 – 18, 2013, as well as 1,033 responses received in an omnibus survey conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs on April 18, 2013.

For more information about HomeAway, please visit www.HomeAway.com.