Florida still reigns when it comes to family vacations, according to two new surveys: one by TripAdvisor and the other out by Family Fun Magazine.
TripAdvisor’s recent 2014 survey of more than 2,700 U.S. respondents revealed that 92 percent plan to travel with family this year, up from 85 percent from last year. Of those taking family trips, 55 percent will travel with their spouse and children, and 20 percent will travel with their extended family.
Summer Beach Trips are the Favorite for Families
The most popular season for family trips is summer as 78 percent of respondents noted plans to travel between June and August, with July being the most popular month at 30 percent. Sixty-six percent of family travelers plan to soak up the sun at the beach, while 46 percent will visit the city and 33 percent will make their way to a national park. Eighty-five percent of U.S. respondents admitted interest in taking time to “escape” family during their trip. The most popular activities for that are reading (53%), walking (45%), and napping (32%).
Meanwhile, Family Fun launched its annual survey to determine the best kid-friendly locations and vacation spots. For the second year in a row, U.S. family travel destinations were ranked in a variety of categories, including kid-friendly cities, zoos and aquariums, and theme parks.
Orlando, Florida, swept this year’s family travel destinations, with Disney’s Magic Kingdom Park, Universal’s Islands of Adventure, and the City of Orlando taking the top three overall spots. The Strong Museum, located in Rochester, New York, and Mount Rushmore National Memorial, in South Dakota, rounded out the top five Museums, historic sites, and national parks and preserves.
Top 5 Family Museums
- The Strong Museum (NY)
- Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago (IL)
- The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis (IN)
- American Museum of Natural History (NY)
- Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History (DC)
Top 5 Historic Sites for Family Vacation
- Mount Rushmore National Memorial (SD)
- National Mall and Memorial Parks (DC)
- The White House (DC)
- Lincoln Home National Historic Site (IL)
- World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument (includes Pearl Harbor Visitors’ Center and 8 other sites in 3 states) (HI, AK, CA)
Top 5 National Parks and Preserves
- Great Smoky Mountains National Park (NC, TN)
- Yellowstone National Park (WY, MT, ID)
- Mammoth Cave National Park (KY)
- Yosemite National Park (CA)
- Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (MN)
Where are Family Travelers Staying?
According to TripAdvisor, the majority of U.S. respondents (71%) plan to stay at a hotel, 41 percent will enjoy the comforts of a vacation rental, and 20 percent will stay at the home of family or friends.
Survey’s Top 10 Hotels for Families in the U.S.:
- Floridays Resort Orlando, Orlando, FLA
- Woodloch Pines Resort, Hawley, PA
- Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, Orlando, FLA
- Candy Cane Inn, Anaheim, CA
- Red Jacket Mountain View Resort, North Conway, NH
- Best Western Premier Saratoga Resort Villas, Kissimmee, FLA
- Rocking Horse Ranch Resort, Highland, NY
- West Inn & Suites Carlsbad, Carlsbad, CA
- Howard Johnson Anaheim Hotel and Water Playground, Anaheim, CA
- Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, Orlando, Florida
What Do Family Travelers Want?
- Freebies and right location top the amenities wish list for family travelers at hotels. The top five are:
- Complimentary breakfast
- Close proximity to local attractions
- Free Wi-Fi
- Swimming pool
- Room service
What Family Travelers Don’t Want
- Extra Luggage and Gear to Lug
- A squeeze on quiet time for parents
- Restless, noisy children in the car