The recession may have given rise to the term stay-cation but more people are planning to travel this year. And family travel is on the upswing as well. The Ypartnership/Harrison Group Portrait of American TravelersSM indicates that  the definition of family travel deserves to be expanded. In the U.S., about 1/3rd of households have children, however, up to 44% of all travelers have taken family trips in the past year. Ypartnership analysts say it’s all about the rise in the average age of the U.S. population and well-to-do grandparents.

Here are the kind of trips popular with family travelers:

  • Both weekend trips (4 nights or less – 73%) and longer trips (5 nights or more – 71%)
  • Beaches/lakes (33%), theme parks (26%) and all-inclusive resorts (9%) are top destinations
  • Cruise vacations (32%) are on the horizon for the next 2 years
  • Vacation homes/rentals (24%) are seen as good alternatives to traditional hotels/resorts

To reach these prospective clients, travel marketers should focus their efforts online and on children. Over 80% of family travelers use online resources to find information and book reservations. In addition, nearly half of all family travel households indicate that children have a say in where the vacation will take place and what activities the group will participate in.

Looking ahead to next year, travel marketers may want to boost their offerings for specific destinations. Family travelers indicate an interest in the Hawaiian Islands (73%), national parks (71%) and Orlando (59%). And it might help to emphasize the grandparent-grandchild relationship in marketing campaigns. About 20% of grandparents took a vacation with a grandchild in the past year.

[Source: Yesawich, Peter. Insights July 2010. YPartnership.com. 29 Jul. 2010. Web. 8 Aug. 2010]