A survey conducted by Choice Hotels International and FamilyFun Magazine found that the improving economy will result in a boost in family travel this summer. More than four out of five respondents (83 percent) said they plan to take an overnight leisure trip of more than 100 miles roundtrip this summer, up from last year’s survey (78 percent). The majority of these travelers (53 percent) expect to take two or more leisure trips this summer.
Nine in 10 respondents (90 percent) planning summer holiday trips will make the journey by car, the survey found. “The great American road trip is back,” said Steve Joyce, president and CEO, Choice Hotels, in a prepared statement. “I believe people are becoming more confident about their jobs, and they’re planning to hit the road this summer. At the same time, travelers are looking for value, like free breakfast and free Wi-Fi, so they can spend that extra money on theme park tickets or an additional meal out with families and friends.”
Priorities on getting good value, taking charge and bonding with family are among the key reasons for choosing road trips, according to the survey. Identifying the main influential factors in their decision to drive instead of fly, most families said driving is less expensive (54 percent). Nearly half the respondents pointed out that driving gives them more control over their schedule (46 percent), while more than two in five noted car trips lets them take as much luggage/gear as they want and explore scenery/attractions along the way (42 percent and 41 percent respectively). Among the other reasons cited: Driving is easier” (30 percent), and it “gives us better family bonding time” (22 percent).
Beach vacations rated No. 1, selected by a majority (58 percent) of families. Nearly half (48 percent) plan to take theme/amusement park vacations, others plan to visit family and friends (43 percent), state and national parks (30 percent) and lakes (30 percent). Cities were chosen by nearly three in 10 families (28 percent).
The 2013 Choice Hotels/FamilyFun Summer Travel Study was conducted during May of more than 1,200 American adults and a statistically projectable target sample of more than 500 families who plan to travel with children, ages three to years during the summer.