SAN FRANCISCO, CA and GREENWICH, CT--(Marketwired - March 17, 2017) - Still planning your Spring Break family vacation for 2017? Don't panic. You aren't alone. A new joint survey of readers of the leading family travel website TravelingMom, TravelingDad, a family travel website written by dads for dads, and the social community of Vacatia, the resort marketplace for vacationing families, suggests that 28 percent of respondents will figure out their Spring Break vacation details at the last minute -- within a week or two before they head off. About 29 percent report finalizing their Spring Break plans about a month before their trip and 23 percent two months before. Only a very organized 19 percent say they had their trip details nailed down before year end 2016.
The definition of "family travel" continues to expand beyond mom, dad and kids: one in six survey responders will bring friends along as well.
While 60 percent report they will be doing a traditional Spring Break trip with the kids, another 10 percent are planning to bring the grandparents along as well. Eight percent plan to bring grown kids or family members, and nearly 5 percent say they will "bring everyone in our big, multigen family." Not everyone needs be related to join in the fun; 8 percent say they will bring family and friends, and another 8 percent say they will bring adult friends only.
"We receive these requests all the time," says Caroline Shin, CEO and co-founder of Vacatia. "We call them 'like family" trips. Our guests increasingly are booking our larger resort rentals - two-bedroom, three-bedroom or larger -- or booking multiple resort residences to accommodate their friends and extended family members."
There are plenty of challenges to Spring Break family travel planning, but the "ickiest" of all are coordinating everyone's schedules and figuring out a budget.
When we asked about the "ickiness" of family travel planning, survey responders were not shy about noting the challenges. Thirty-eight percent say coordinating everyone's schedules is the worst, while 36 percent say it is agreeing on a budget and coordinating payment. And then there's the challenge of making everyone happy -- 32 percent say the ickiest part of planning is finding a destination that makes everyone happy and 24 percent say it's choosing accommodations that will make everyone happy (with 8% specifically calling out assigning sleeping arrangements).
"It can be a real challenge to plan a family vacation, especially when the kids get older," says Kim Orlando, founder of TravelingMom. "But we know that it's worth the effort. There simply is no substitute for that family bonding time you get on a family vacation."
Moms are still the main family vacation planners, but they are getting some help. It means moms can share the work -- and the blame.
While 47 percent of respondents say Mom has the power (and gets the blame if things go wrong), nearly one-third of our respondents say they share the responsibility for planning the family Spring Break vacation. Eleven percent say family vacation planning is a team sport -- they use a democratic approach that gives everyone a vote. Only 3 percent say dad is the primary decision maker. In 3 percent of the families, the kids have major input. Finally, in 4 percent of the families "whoever pays decides."
"We know that moms do much of the planning," says Orlando. "But we always recommend sharing the responsibility as much as possible-even with the kids. That means mom doesn't have to do all the work, and she doesn't get all of the blame if something goes wrong."
Shin says that solving these challenges for the family travel decision maker -- she calls them "chief vacation officers" -- is the key reason Vacatia was founded. The company specializes in resort residence rentals-offering the space of a home plus the services of a hotel. Shin says, "The right accommodation -- with enough room to make everyone happy and comfortable, and amenities -- minimizes planning challenges."
How Spring Break plans will differ most this year vs. last: more than one-third of respondents say they plan to go someplace new.
More than one-third of the Spring Break planners say they will be heading to a new destination this year, while 11 percent say they do the same thing every year. Thirteen percent say they will spend less this year, while 5 percent plan to spend more. Nearly 7 percent will drive instead of fly this year, while 3 percent will fly instead of drive. Seven percent are planning a multigen trip, 5 percent will be bringing friends along, and 6 percent plan to stay longer this year than last. As growing proof of the trend towards non-traditional accommodations, 6 percent report they plan to stay in something other than a hotel -- including a resort residence.
Accommodations are the top planned expense of Spring Break by most, but many family vacation planners expect to spend even more on travel or having fun at the destination.
About half of Spring Break planners report accommodations comprise the largest part of their Spring Break travel budget. Twenty-two percent will spend the most on travel to their destination. About 14 percent are prioritizing spending on activities during the vacation, 9 percent will spend the most on transportation while at the destination, and the final 7 percent plan to drop big dollars on meals.
Families want to spend time together--and apart. On average, decision makers expect their families to spend 84% of their vacation together and 16% apart.
While 29% of Spring Break planners expect their families to spend their entire Spring Break vacation together, another 22% plan to spend up to 10% of their time apart, 29% plan to spend 10-25% of their time apart, and nearly one in five plan to be apart more than 25% of the time.
Survey results were compiled from 700+ responses between February 22 and March 10, 2017.
Vacatia is the resort marketplace for vacationing families and friends. Our mission is to make family vacations better and to help family resorts thrive. We make it easy for guests to find and instantly book their perfect resort residence, combining the space of a home and the services of a hotel. Vacatia provides real-time rental listings, large photos, floor plans, and detailed resort information, supported by Vacatia Guest Care and multiple flexible payment options. Vacatia works with 600+ select professionally managed resorts and resort residence owners at leading hospitality, vacation ownership (timeshare) and premier independent resorts. No private homes or hotels allowed! Vacatia also partners with select brands to operate vacation ownership marketplaces. Vacatia is a member of the American Resort Development Association (ARDA) and the Family Travel Association, is venture-backed, was founded in 2013, and is headquartered in San Francisco, CA.
About TravelingMom and TravelingDad:
TravelingMom is the leading family travel content and influencer network, and a multi-platform media company. The TravelingMom and TravelingDad Influencer Network is a vibrant, supportive community of 90+ prolific travel writers and social media influencers who are moms and dads, grandmoms and granddads, sisters, brothers, daughters, sons, and significant others with the authority that comes from ongoing extensive family travel. TravelingMom influences a community of 1.1 million+ highly motivated family travel decision makers through its network of affiliated web sites, and a trusted social presence across a dozen platforms, most notably Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, and Google+. In 2016, TravelingMom was named to Parents Magazine's "50 Best of the Web." In addition to the TravelingMom and TravelingDad websites, TravelingMom also operates SheBuysCars. Headquartered in Greenwich CT, TravelingMom was founded by Kim Orlando in 2006.
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