Family Vacation 2014: Those adults who have children and plan to travel with them report that their children’s preferences strongly influence vacation destination decisions. For hotels it means that more properties are targeting families through new kid-friendly programs, initiatives and outreach.
A September 2013 family travel survey by the Holiday Inn Resort brand found a majority of the parents agreeing that pools, kids’ suites, kids eat free programs and special on-site children’s activities are all important features when considering a hotel for their family vacation.
While most parents expect Wi-Fi, parking and breakfast to be included with their hotel stays, fewer expect fun games for kids or special activity programs for children to be provided free of charge. (It turns out that the Holiday Inn Resort brand offers all of these amenities as standard and often throws in multiple food and restaurant options and nightly entertainment).
Other key findings in the survey:
Most parents plan to travel over the winter holidays, and car travel is more likely than air travel: Sixty percent of parents say they plan to take a trip that includes a hotel stay.
74% of parents surveyed are excited to take a family vacation, and surprisingly 64% say they unplug from work completely during the trip.
While many parents surveyed say they have some financial savings set aside specifically for vacation travel, more than half of parents in the survey (52%) noted that saving enough money was the biggest challenge to planning a family vacation, more so than coordination of family schedules (19%) or taking time off of work (12%).
New Family-Focused Hotels to Open in the U.S.
In 2014, a number of new hotels will be rolling out with a clear focus on reaching family travelers. The following are on the list.
Cabana Bay Beach Resort
Orlando, FL – March 2014
Family Appeal: Half of the resort’s 1,800 rooms will be family suites and half of the standard guest rooms will have connecting capabilities; 10-lane bowling alley; two swimming pools; complimentary transportation to Universal Orlando theme parks and Universal CityWalk, plus early admission to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
Great Wolf Lodge New England Fitchburg, MA – Spring 2014Family Appeal: Indoor play area with rope and golf courses; Majestic KidCabins and Grizzly Wolf Dens to sleep large groups in separate bedrooms and themed kids’ areas; kids’ spa with ice cream-themed manicures and pedicures; bowling alley; evening shows; and a 68,000 sq. ft. indoor water park.
Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort
Orlando, FL – Summer 2014
Family Appeal: A Royal Suite that expands to nine bedrooms for large families and groups; the five-acre Explorer Island with a game room, waterslides and lazy river; complimentary kids’ club and tennis and golf programs.
Hyatt Ziva Rose Hall
Montego Bay, Jamaica – Mid- to late-2014
Family Appeal: Taking over a prior Ritz-Carlton property, and focused specifically on families, the all-inclusive hotel will add about 100 suites; on-site restaurants and a kids’ club similar to its sister property in Los Cabos.
Hotel Pearl – A Kimpton Hotel
San Antonio, TX – Fall 2014
Family Appeal: 146 spacious rooms and Kimpton’s popular kids’ program, including child safety kits, a welcome gift, kid-sized robe, child equipment rentals and goldfish to “rent” during the stay.