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Family Vacations Still a Popular Priority for Millions of Americans

February 10, 2017

New AAA survey reveals that 35 percent of Americans will travel as a family this year

Now is the time when millions of families across the country are planning getaways for spring break, summer vacation and long holiday weekends throughout the year. According to a recent AAA survey, more than one-third of Americans (35 percent) are planning to take a vacation of 50 miles or more away from home involving two or more immediate family members this year. The overall volume of travelers remains unchanged from last year, indicating that Americans continue to prioritize traveling as a family.

While most families (70 percent) are planning to take one or two vacations, there is a significant increase this year in the number of Americans who say they are planning to take three or more vacations. The 28 percent of Americans who will take three or more family vacations this year is 13 percent higher than in 2016.

“Families continue to see the value of traveling as a way to bond and reconnect in today’s busy world,” said Jennifer Cook, AAA Washington spokesperson. “The best way to wrap up a family vacation is to start planning the next one, as more and more Americans are starting to do.”

  • The old school family road trip (79 percent) and visits to national parks (51 percent) and theme parks (40 percent) remain the most popular types of vacations for families planning to travel this year.
  • Trips to international destinations (33 percent), going on guided or escorted tours (22 percent) and ocean cruises (20 percent) are also popular with family travelers.

For those craving family adventure locally, AAA Inspectors recommend the Semiahmoo Resort, Golf and Spa in Blaine, as their rooms situated just a glance away from the beach or play areas and the spa provides a restful sanctuary for busy parents, or The Great Wolf Lodge in Centralia caters to all ages with opportunities for fun activities from day to night.

Americans planning to pack up their cars for a road trip this year will be in good company. Compared to 2016, 10 percent more families are expected to take road trips this year, despite average gas prices that are 47 cents higher than they were this time last year.

The number of American families planning to take a guided or escorted tour is expected to increase 7 percent over last year. “While many Americans enjoy the flexibility of a road trip, there are some families who prefer the structure and convenience of a group tour,” continued Cook. “Many tours are specially designed for multi-generational groups, plus there’s no better way to learn about a destination than from a knowledgeable, local guide.”

Cruising is continues to be a strong trend for 2017. From Alaska to the Rhine Danube, cruisers can be transported from one destination to the next, while enjoying the many amenities ships have to offer with a scenic view. AAA Washington Travel experts recommend planning a trip to the Mediterranean now, while pricing is favorable. Our neighbors up north are celebrating their 150th anniversary, making it a festive time to book your next Canadian excursion.

To help families find the best hotels and restaurants, AAA’s professional inspectors have evaluated nearly 59,000 hotels and restaurants across North America. Their top picks for family-friendly AAA Approved and Diamond Rated hotels and restaurants can be found here.

And before setting out on a family vacation, travelers should contact their local AAA office for the expert advice of a trusted travel advisor who can provide personalized service and first-hand destination knowledge to create a memorable vacation experience. Also, download the free AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. The app can be used to map a route, find the lowest gas prices, access exclusive member discounts, find nearly 59,000 AAA Approved and Diamond Rated hotels and restaurants, request roadside assistance and more. For more information or to begin planning a trip, visit AAA.com/Travel.

AAA Washington has been serving members and the traveling public since 1904. The organization provides a variety of exclusive benefits, including roadside assistance, discounts, maps and personalized trip planning, to its million plus members. In addition, its full-service travel and insurance agencies provide products and services for members and the public. Additional information is available through the company’s offices in Washington and northern Idaho, at www.AAA.com, or by calling 1-800-562-2582.

Media Contacts

Jennifer Cook (425) 646-2055
JenniferCook@aaawa.com