Last updated: 05:00 AM ET, Wed July 15 2015

Report Sheds Light on Travel Trends for Families in Summer

Features & Advice | Ryan Rudnansky | July 15, 2015

Report Sheds Light on Travel Trends for Families in Summer

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Summer travel is expected to increase by 4.5 percent compared to last year, according to Airlines for America, the industry’s trade group.

And with summer travel inevitably comes traveling families.

A recent report by travel intelligence platform ADARA sheds some light on family travel, and what can be expected from traveling families this summer.

According to the ADARA Data-Driven Travel Report for July 2015, families travel much differently than other segments, based on data from the first quarter of 2015 and Presidents Day.

First-quarter data indicated that families plan earlier, for one. On average, families book flights two months in advance, versus five weeks for couples and less than a month for solo travelers. Only 13 percent of families of three or more members booked flights a week or less in advance, compared to 17 percent of couples and 32 percent of solo travelers.

Families also book hotels earlier. On average, they book this type of accommodation a month in advance, compared to two weeks for solo travelers. Thirty-eight percent of families booked hotels a week or less in advance, compared to 54 percent of solo travelers.

Families are also more likely to use online travel agencies, according to ADARA. One in four searches conducted by family travelers are on OTAs, versus 20 percent among solo travelers.

Numbers for the week of Presidents Day can be used to predict how families will travel during the summer, too.

On average, families booked nine days in advance of Presidents Day Week, compared to seven days for couples and six days for solo travelers. Bookings for families of three or more members spiked during the week of Presidents Day, continuing an upward trend that began in late February. ADARA expects family travel to spike in early August.

But where are families going this summer? And which member of the family is actually booking the family journey?

Well, it should come as no surprise that families will be seeking out warm destinations. During Presidents Week, seven of the top 10 domestic destinations for families (three or more people) were sunny and warm, including Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and five cities in Florida (Orlando, Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, Tampa, and West Palm Beach).

Who was making these bookings?

According to the report, 45 percent are female (you go, moms).

It looks like there are going to be a lot of families on the road this summer, too, especially during that peak in early August. During the first quarter of 2015, 71 percent of families traveled fewer than 500 miles to their hotel destination. Nearly half of families traveled fewer than 200 miles. ADARA speculated that low gas prices encouraged families to drive more.


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