The focus on family travel is huge: 81 percent of parents said it’s likely they’ll travel with their children in the next year. Many Globe Aware volunteer vacations are family-friendly, open all year round, and ready for booking.
What Families Want When Traveling in 2024
By Lacey Pfalz
October 26, 2023
The Family Travel Association (FTA) has released the findings of its 2023 U.S. Family Travel Survey, identifying an increased desire for families to travel more while being more budget-conscious as costs continue to be higher than average for travel.
The survey polled over 3,300 parents and grandparents and was conducted in partnership with the NYU School of Professional Studies Jonathan M. Tisch Center of Hospitality and Edinburgh Napier University.
The focus on family travel is huge: 81 percent of parents said it’s likely they’ll travel with their children in the next year. Thirty-eight percent of parents have booked at least one trip with a travel advisor in the last three years, while 71 percent are willing to do so in the next few years (an increase of over 20 percent from 2022).
While families want to travel more in the next year, 59 percent are concerned about affordability. Fifty percent of parents will avoid hotels and airlines that charge extra fees, 49 percent will pay attention to cancellation policies and 36 percent will choose more affordable accommodations in the next year to save money.
Families also shared their perspectives on how the travel industry could better address the needs of multigenerational families, including making it easier for families to sit together on flights, adding more connecting room options or family-oriented rooms in hotels and doing away with hidden fees and charges.
Still, families desire to travel farther in the next few years, despite the rising costs. About 76 percent of respondents want to travel internationally with their children, while Europe, Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean are the most popular international destinations for families.
The Family Travel Survey also found that the majority of parents agree that traveling helps their children recover from the pandemic, open their minds to new experiences and provides them with opportunities to learn outside of the classroom.
"Being a parent of two young kids, it's empowering to see that family travel has positive impacts on the social-emotional development of children, while also helping to offset many negative lingering effects of the pandemic,” said Anna Abelson, Adjunct Instructor at the NYU SPS Tisch Center of Hospitality.
“Parents deal with many anxieties in children and young people, and family travel is a valuable parenting tool for tackling these and other issues,” continued Abelson. “For example, the survey revealed that family travel makes children less isolated (58%), encourages them to be more adventurous with food (48%), and makes them more comfortable around strangers (44%). It's hard to overestimate the role of family travel."