Is Your Family Vacation Normal? New Survey Highlights Summer Travel Behaviors

family travel airport
Flickr, Kevin Shorter

With the Fourth of July fast approaching, summer family travel is in full swing. A new survey from Liberty Travel highlights several overarching trends (everyone loves technology, but being together is always the most important part of a trip) along with budgeting and planning information.

We’ve highlighted some of our favorite results below. We’d love to have you weigh in in the comments, too. Are you normal when it comes to family travel?

Nearly 80 percent of survey respondents say that they take at least one vacation a year, and the planning process begins between three and nine months out. Travel agents aren’t a thing of the past, either – 69 percent have used an agent to plan a family vacation.

Families aren’t just going on weekend getaways; 51 percent of respondents go away for seven or more days and 44 percent go for six days. Of course, most (65 percent) wish they could stay longer.

Here’s what else families talked about:

Low-tech, high togetherness
It is no secret that technology, from iPads to gaming systems, can often get in the way of togetherness. Vacations, however, seem to be an exception as nearly 58 percent of respondents said children use technology much less than when they are at home (27.49 percent) or only in transit (plane, car, etc.) to the destination (30.24 percent). Very small percentages reported going tech-free (6 percent) or kids are glued to something the entire time (1 percent), with the remainder reporting the same usage (or not having children).

Let’s give them something to talk about
It’s no surprise that over 52 percent of travelers said they find themselves talking to one another more when on vacation. Approximately 45 percent of respondents said they talk about the same amount and less than 2 percent find themselves talking less. We hope that means that they’re deeply engrossed in a book and is not a sign of family discord!

In-Laws are not the out-laws
In-laws often get a bad rap, but the reality according to the survey results is that (most) in-laws are welcome along for the ride. Nearly 35 percent said “the more the merrier,” 41 percent said “sure; we need to have some alone time and ideally rooms on different floors,” with 24 percent opting for the in-laws “vacationing in a different country, preferably on a different continent.” The later option is kind of sad, don’t you think?

Who calls the shots
Overwhelmingly, it seems that parents can agree on one thing: where to vacation. Over 51 percent of parents report that both parents decide where to go. Coming in next was mom calling the shots (31 percent) with dad trailing far behind at just over 5 percent. Just under 3 percent say the kids decide, while just over 3 percent can’t remember who picked the place because they have been going to the same spot year after year.

What do you think, readers? Do you like vacationing as a family, and do you agree with the survey results? Furthermore, are you planning to go somewhere for the upcoming holiday, or will you stay local?