Last updated: 01:00 PM ET, Tue May 19 2015

Survey: Kids Rule in Choice of Vacation Location

Destination & Tourism | Patrick Clarke | May 19, 2015

Survey: Kids Rule in Choice of Vacation Location

While budget factors heavily in a family's vacation decision, so do the desires of children, especially when it comes to choosing a destination and building the itinerary.

According to a recent survey conducted by vacation rental site in partnership with market research firm YouGov via, nearly nine in 10 parents (87 percent) across the U.S., Spain, France, the U.K. and Germany consider their kids' wishes when planning a getaway.

The survey of 2,800 kids and parents across the U.S. and Europe also revealed that more than one-third (34 percent) of millennial parents let their children make the final decision on the family's vacation destination, compared to just two percent of parents over the age of 55.

For children ages six to 12, the preferred destination is a theme park. Meanwhile, teenagers are more likely to want to venture farther from home. 

While a beach destination is beloved by all, teens are more likely to prefer the big city than younger children. 

But a child's influence extends beyond the vacation destination. The study found that 77 percent of parents let their kids determine the vacation activities.

"We are surprised the survey shows kids have such an extreme influence on family travel decisions," said HomeAway co-founder and CEO Brian Sharples via "The whole family is now invested in the experience, with kids bringing their own travel preferences to the table."

More than half of child respondents (63 percent) acknowledged that they want to engage in activities on vacation that they otherwise wouldn't be able to do at home. That sentiment is reflected in where they want to stay, with 37 percent favoring a castle, and 29 percent singling out a tree house as their preferred means of accommodation.

Interestingly, more than half of U.S. parents said the reason they involve their kids in the planning stages of the vacation is to get them excited ahead of time. 


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