The vast majority of American parents are planning trips with their kids in the next year, though they’re increasingly worried about the costs tied to travel. That’s according to results from the 2023 U.S. Family Travel Survey conducted by the Family Travel Association.

Eighty-one percent of parents who responded to the survey said they would likely travel with their children in the next 12 months. While the figure is high, it’s lower than the 85% who responded the same way last year. Thirty-one percent of parents expect to spend more on domestic travel in the next year while another 48% plan to keep their domestic spending about the same. Forty percent of those planning international travel expect to spend more in the coming year, while 27% of international travelers are looking to keep costs the same.

The survey polled more than 3,300 parents and grandparents and was conducted in collaboration with the NYU School of Professional Studies Jonathan M. Tisch Center of Hospitality and Edinburgh Napier University.

Affordability is a major consideration for traveling families. Fifty-nine percent said they are concerned about prices, with 50% saying they will avoid hotels and airlines that charge extra fees and be vigilant about cancellation charges.

Despite the cost concerns, roughly 76 percent of respondents plan to travel internationally with their children. Europe, Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean are the most popular international destinations for families surveyed.

Multigenerational travel continues to grow among Americans. Fifty-five percent of parents said they are planning a multi-generational trip in the coming year. Forty-one percent of respondents say they are planning a trip with family members beyond parents and in-laws and 40% of respondents say that they are planning a trip with other families who are not related to them.

Each year, the survey asks respondents to rate the travel industry on how well it serves the needs of traveling families. In 2023, respondents gave a grade of B+, between good and excellent, a significant improvement over the last 2 years, when that score was C+.

Despite this positive evaluation, respondents note that there are several areas that they would like to see the industry address, including:

  • The challenge and added cost of being seated together on flights
  • The scarcity of family rooms or connected rooms in hotels
  • The high cost of family travel, and the desire for lower-cost options and discounts
  • The need to improve quality and level of service across the industry, with regular references to the labor shortage across the sector
  • The dislike of hidden fees and charges that make pricing lack transparency

(pictured: Galapagos Island habitat at the Houston Zoo) 

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