Last updated: 03:09 PM ET, Tue September 29 2015

Expedia Survey Reveals Current State of Family Travel in US

Features & Advice | Patrick Clarke | September 29, 2015

Expedia Survey Reveals Current State of Family Travel in US

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Despite the sizable list of challenges that parents face when traveling with their children, more than three-fourths (76 percent) consider family travel more play than work, according to an Expedia-commissioned survey of American parents with children under the age of 17.

The leading travel booking website announced the results of its Family Travel Study Tuesday, revealing U.S. parents' sentiments toward traveling with kids.

Unsurprisingly, parents often put their children first when traveling, with 89 percent of survey respondents indicating that their child's experience is more important than their own.

Meanwhile, only one in 10 said that the parent's fun takes priority. 

And while many airplane passengers are quick to roll their eyes at the parents of a crying baby, the survey found that four in five parents feel they've grown more sympathetic toward other parents traveling with children since having kids of their own. 

Interestingly, 76 percent indicated they've received unwanted parenting advice from strangers at some point during a vacation. 

So how do parents deal with those challenges?

Expedia's survey reveals that they often plan ahead, with 61 percent of respondents reporting that they begin planning for a family trip several months in advance.

Approximately one-quarter plan as far ahead as one year in advance, while only 12 percent admit they wait until the last minute (less than one month) to book family travel.

When planning a family trip, nearly one in three parents (31 percent) admit they have let their children pick the destination. Either way, beaches are the preferred destinations among American families, being selected 23 percent of the time.

Theme parks (19 percent) and outdoor trips (18 percent) round out the top three, while all-inclusive resorts (13 percent), cruises (nine percent), road trips (seven percent) and cities (five percent) were found to be in the minority. 

The Expedia Family Travel Study was conducted by global market research company GfK earlier this month and comprises the responses of more than 1,000 American parents. 

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