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RISMEDIA, May 7, 2010—TripAdvisor, one of the world’s most popular and largest travel communities, announced the results of its annual family travel survey. Ninety-two percent of travelers with children plan to take at least one family vacation this year, up from 88% who did so last year, according to more than 1,100 U.S. travelers surveyed. 2010 may also see a trend for traveling further abroad, with 33% planning to take both domestic and international family trips, up 5% from last year.

Generation Jet-Set
The youth of today are better-traveled than ever, according to TripAdvisor’s survey.
-75% of travelers’ children (those under the age of 18) have visited more than six U.S. states—only 37% of these children’s parents had traveled as extensively by the same age.
-73% of travelers’ young children have experienced international travel, compared to 44% of their parents by the same age.
-Travel is very important to a child’s education, according to 52% of travelers with children, while 35% believe it is somewhat important.

Family Finances
-28% of travelers with children expect to spend more on family trips in the coming 12 months than they did in the past 12 months, while 47% expect to spend roughly the same amount.
-30% anticipate spending $1,000 – $3,000
-22% predict they will spend $3,000 – $5,000
-19% foresee spending $5,000 – $8,000
-10% of families expect to spend more than $10,000

Popular Pursuits
The most enjoyable aspect of family vacations is spending quality time together, according to 48% of parents.

The five most popular activities that families plan to indulge in together this year are:

Relaxing at the beach — 69%
Visiting a historic site — 62%
Visiting a museum — 50%
Visiting a national park — 46%
Visiting an amusement/theme park — 41%

Travel Tribulations
When it comes to traveling with children, airplanes are the most stressful mode of transport, according to 44% of parents.
-16% maintain that car journeys are the most difficult to endure. 11% have tackled the challenges by giving their child an antihistamine before a journey, in order to help them sleep.
-31% of parents don’t find traveling with children nerve-racking at all.

Plane Stressful
-56% of travelers maintain that in the event of a tantrum before take-off, the parents should be given an amount of time to settle their child, after which the family should be removed.
-6% believe the family should leave the plane immediately, while 38% believe they should be allowed to fly as planned.

In-Journey Entertainment
When it comes to avoiding the dreaded cries of, “Are we there yet?” technology beats more traditional pastimes hands-down.
-45% of parents turn to a TV or DVD player to entertain their children.
-23% encourage their children to read books.
-10% rely on the appeal of new toys.
-Classic travel games hold a place in travelers’ hearts, too. ‘The License Plate Game’ is the top choice for 32%, followed by ‘I Spy,’ the preferred game for 19%, and memory games, favored by 11%.

Child-Free Vacation Zones
Many travelers would happily pay a premium to enjoy some child-free space on vacation.
-33% would shell out for a seat in a child-free section of an airplane.
-32% would foot the bill for a table in an adults-only section of a restaurant.
-26% would pay up for a lounger in a ‘no kids’ section of a pool.
-21% would fork out for a room in a tyke-free section of a hotel.
-21% would splurge on a spot on a child-free section of beach.
-9% would pay up for a visit to a child-free museum.

Family-Friendly Brands
-According to travelers with children, the most family-friendly hotel brand is Embassy Suites.

The Family-Travel Survival Guide: Expert Tips from TripAdvisor.com
Lesley Carlin, Travel and Etiquette Expert for TripAdvisor.com, shares tried-and-tested tips on traveling with children:

-When planning your travel schedule, use common sense. If your baby usually fusses for two hours after dinner, don’t fly then. If you expect your kids will have trouble sleeping on a flight, find an empty gate before boarding and have them run laps.

-Stop at a grocery store on the way from the airport to your hotel, in order to avoid packing a week’s worth of diapers, wipes and more. Just bring what you’ll need on the plane.

-A hotel suite with a kitchenette might cost more than a regular room, but preparing most of your meals there instead of eating out could save money in the long run. A vacation rental can also be a great deal.

-While taking public transportation might be less convenient than renting a car, it can save you a lot of money – not to mention the hassle of dealing with car-seats.

-If you can, build in an extra “recovery” day before you have to return to work or school. At the very least, try not to fly home late at night if everyone needs to be up early the next day. It might mean no beach time on your last day, but it’s worth it.

For more information, visit www.tripadvisor.com.

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