It seems family travel is getting more popular. According to a Chicago Tribune article, the Travel Industry Association reports that the number of vacations with children has risen nearly 14 percent since 2000, from 183 million trips to 208 million in 2006. The main reasons given for the increase are: (1) the psychological impact of 9/11 causing families to value quality time over money and (2) parents' endless work schedules keep them away from their kids more, prompting them to take mini-vacations with family when they can string three or four days together.
As to where we're going, the number one family getaway involves visiting relatives or friends. Probably not the most exciting vacation, but it can certainly make traveling with kids cheaper and logistically easier. No matter where you are, getting family help with small kids certainly gives the parents a little vacation.
That being said, tour company statistics indicate that families are taking more adventurous vacations together as well:
- Austin-Lehman Adventures, an outdoors adventure-oriented tour operator said that the family travel end of its business is up 30 to 40 percent, and makes up about 55 percent of its total business;
- Family Travel tour company Tauck Bridges said the family market has been growing by 15 percent a year. Beginning in 2008, it will offer 13 all-inclusive packages on four continents; and
- High-end travel company Abercrombie & Kent reports a 22 percent increase in families traveling with them over last year, with the biggest increases to the Galapagos and Egypt.
Want to follow the crowd? Check out the offerings from one of the tour operators linked above or just plan your own little trip. Whether going to the Galapagos or Grandma's, it's always nice to get away.