Little girl going for a walk with her parents on the beach (photo via gradyreese / Getty Images)
The Family Travel Association (FTA) and partner NYU School of Professional Studies Jonathan M. Tisch Center of Hospitality published its annual 2022 US Family Travel Survey, highlighting the impact of the pandemic and its recovery on family travel trends.
The results of the survey suggest that demand for travel is higher than it was pre-pandemic; that more families are utilizing travel advisors than they did in the past; that they are more interested in travel that offers flexible cancellation policies and in purchasing travel insurance; and that some pre-pandemic trends, like city stays, are becoming more popular once more.
The survey was conducted in June and July of this year and surveyed over 1,000 parents across the nation. Eighty-five percent of those respondents are very likely to travel with their children in the next 12 months, with 57 percent feeling more confident and comfortable traveling. A smaller though still large percent of parents still feel cautious about traveling (43 percent).
“With the global Covid pandemic now mostly behind us in 2022, we have seen that family and multigenerational travel has been an important force in the tourism industry’s recovery,” said Rainer Jenss, FTA Founder. “This speaks volumes to the priority families are now placing on spending time together and traveling. Now is the time to double down on family travel.”
While inflation is making families look for cheaper accommodations and ways to get where they want to go, one trend remains strong: the need for a travel advisor. Fifty-two percent of parents are willing to use a travel advisor or have already used one, a sharp increase from last year, when only 17 percent reported using a travel advisor.
The top three family vacation styles are also changing. The interest in nature-focused or more active family vacations is waning in preference towards beach vacations (66 percent), city vacations (65 percent) and visiting friends and family (61 percent).
Families continue to worry about affordability and dealing with potential cancellations the most, over and above any other travel-related considerations.
“This year’s survey shows that while the pandemic impacts family travel less than last year, the last two years have also led to changes that are likely to last,” said Dr. Lynn Minnaert, former clinical associate professor at the Tisch Center. “Families are excited to get back out there, but peace of mind and value for money are key priorities when they make travel decisions.”
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