AP NEWS

88 million Americans plan to take vacations this year

March 16, 2018 GMT

BOISE — Family travel trends are changing, with more families planning multiple vacations and seeking unique experiences this year, according to AAA’s new survey.

“For the last two years, we’ve seen rising consumer confidence motivate more families to seek out a travel opportunity and the chance to make treasured memories,” says AAA Idaho spokesman Matthew Conde. “This year’s travel planners appear equally determined.”

How high has confidence climbed? One quarter of traveling families expect to take three or more vacations in the next year, an increase of 12 percentage points over 2016. About three out of four families also plan to skip the more traditional travel destinations in favor of locations they haven’t visited before. Most journeys will include a great American road trip.

“Many families tell AAA that they will select scenic spots with beaches, mountains, and opportunities for sightseeing,” Conde said. “Professional travel consultants and careful research can definitely help families come up with the right mix of activities to meet their goals.”

International travel will be on many family itineraries this year – about 35 percent plan to visit an international destination.

AAA’s latest research also notes that 44 percent of Millennials will plan a family vacation this year, eclipsing Generation Xers (39 percent) and Baby Boomers (32 percent). All signs point to another busy travel year, regardless of gas prices and other concerns.

“Travelers aren’t likely to be phased by higher gas prices – we’ve become acclimated to a degree,” Conde said. “Any relief will be a welcome sight, but higher pump prices aren’t going to hold most families back. We’re more likely to adjust our budget in other ways to make a trip possible.”

AAA inspectors evaluate 59,000 hotels and restaurants every year, including locations that offer unique family fun. For more information, go to AAA.com/traveltips or click here.

“Don’t be afraid to call a travel agent or a hotel property to discuss family-friendly options at your chosen destination,” Conde said. “Plenty of memorable experiences await – you just need to ask.”