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 are planning a family getaway, more than members of Generation X (39 percent) or baby boomers (32 percent).
"Just like generations before them, millennials see a family vacation as one of the best ways to create memories and reconnect with loved ones," said Bill Sutherland, AAA senior vice president of Travel and Publishing. "No matter their age, families are going on not just one, but multiple vacations throughout the year to revisit favorite destinations and experience new places."
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 9 percentage point increase from just two years ago. Based on advance travel bookings, AAA predicts the top five most likely international destinations for families will be:
- Cancun, Mexico
- Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
- Montego Bay, Jamaica
- Rome, Italy
- Dublin, Ireland
"We've seen increased demand for international travel overall, and that trend is now starting to appeal to families," continued Sutherland.
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 is 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 travel experts recommend that families plan their trips with AAA's Diamonds in mind. AAA's professional inspectors assess nearly 59,000 hotels and restaurants across the United States, Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean to assign AAA Diamond Ratings. Every AAA Inspected & Approved hotel and restaurant is acceptable for the type of experience it provides. Ratings, from One to Five Diamonds, help travelers find the level of services, facilities and amenities they're looking for on their vacation. Travelers can find Diamond Rated establishments in the AAA Mobile app, AAA Travel Guides and TripTik Travel Planner.
To help families even further, AAA's inspectors have identified some of their favorite family-friendly hotels for 2018. To learn more and begin planning a trip, visit AAA.com/TravelTips.
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