Led by millennials, some 88 million Americans plan to take family vacations this year. According to the latest research from AAA Travel, 44 percent of millennials nationwide are planning a family getaway, more than members of Generation X (39 percent) or baby boomers (32 percent).
“Millennials are picking up where the generations before them left off,” says Bevi Powell, senior vice president, AAA East Central. “They’re beginning to utilize family vacations to create new memories, and they’re planning multiple trips throughout the year to find their new favorite destinations.”
As travelers seek new sights, AAA expects family trips abroad to be a hot trend in 2018. Of families who will take a trip this year, 35 percent plan to visit an international destination – a nine percentage point increase from just two years ago.
“We’ve seen that popular destinations for millennials from our area range from exotic locales such as the beaches of Punta Cana and backpacking trips through Europe, to American favorites like Universal Orlando,” Powell says.
For families staying stateside, expensive gas prices – the highest prices seen since 2014 – are not stopping vacation planners from packing up their cars for a road trip. They remain the most popular option for family vacations, with nearly two-thirds (64 percent) of those planning a trip expected to hit the roads.
Additional AAA family travel highlights for 2018:
Families are taking more trips per year. One in four (27 percent) traveling families are planning to take three or more family vacations in the next 12 months, 12 percentage points more than in 2016.
Family travelers are looking for new experiences. Three-quarters (73 percent) of families that are planning a vacation this year are seeking a destination they have not previously visited.
Families are seeking R&R. When looking for these new experiences, families are choosing destinations with attractions such as beaches and mountains (61 percent), opportunities for sightseeing (59 percent) and relaxation (56 percent).
AAA’s family travel research is the result of a telephone survey (landline and cell phone) consisting of 1,005 adults living in the continental United States. Interviewing for this survey was conducted Jan. 26-28. This study has an average statistical error of ±7 percent at the 95 percent confidence level for all U.S. adults.