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 Ragina Cooper Averella, Manager of Public and Government Affairs at AAA Mid-Atlantic. “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 nine percent increase from just two years ago.
Based on advance travel bookings, AAA predicts the top five most likely international destinations for families will be:
Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
Montego Bay, Jamaica
“We’ve seen increased demand for international travel overall, and that trend is now starting to appeal to families,” continued Averella.
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).
When planning a family vacation, which can be complex when the travel party is more than two, consider seeking the expert advice of a qualified travel agent. They have first-hand destination knowledge, can provide personalized service, and help to create a better vacation experience.
Travel agents work directly with travel providers and can often negotiate discounts and advise travelers on other savings or benefits that may be available, such as upgrades and shipboard credits. For more information and to begin planning a trip, visit AAA.com/Travel or the AAA Mobile app.
Travelers who are AAA members can make their vacation dollars go further with exclusive travel-related discounts including:
Lodging – Discounts at nearly 28,000 AAA Diamond-rated hotels throughout the U.S., Canada, and Mexico, including Best Western, Hyatt, Hilton, and Marriott. AAA categorizes their approved hotels on a scale of One to Five Diamonds to help travelers identify lodgings that meet their needs and budget.
Car Rentals – AAA’s partnership with Hertz offers members a wide variety of money-saving discounts and member-only benefits, plus the ability to earn free rental days.
Entertainment – AAA members save at more than 50 theme parks, museums, movie theaters, sporting events, and attractions.
Travel Necessities – Need to buy sneakers or a new bathing suit? AAA members shop online or in-store for discounts up to 30 percent at over 30,000 online retailers and more than 160,000 store locations, including Reebok Outlet Stores and Macy’s.
To find a complete list of AAA member-exclusive discounts, visit AAA.com/Discounts. Not a AAA member? Explore the various AAA membership levels at AAA.com/Membership.
Survey Methodology: 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 January 26-28, 2018. This study has an average statistical error of ±7 percent at the 95 percent confidence level for all U.S. adults.
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AAA provides automotive, travel and insurance services to 58 million members nationwide and more than 937,000 members in Maryland. AAA advocates for the safety and mobility of its members and has been committed to outstanding road service for more than 100 years. The not-for-profit, fully tax-paying member organization works on behalf of motorists, who can now map a route, find local gas prices, discover discounts, book a hotel and track their roadside assistance service with the AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. For more information, visit AAA.com.