Our family travel survey results are in!

Your family travel experiences matter to us © Studio Peace / Shutterstock
Your family travel experiences matter to us © Studio Peace / Shutterstock

We recently asked you, our globetrotting family travel community, to help us understand your travel habits and the way you like to see the world. The survey results will inspire us to create more content and resources that encourage parents to pack their suitcases and explore somewhere new with the kids.

Want to see how you compare to other traveling families out there? Here are the highlights from the survey.

Family travel survey: the results


⅔ of parents say they would take their kids on vacation where they went as a child

It turns out that cherished childhood memories can play a big role in our travel planning as we grow older. Taking the kids to a destination you visited at their age can be an eye-opening experience for them, and a trip down memory lane for you. Lonely Planet staffers often muse on their favorite childhood travel experiences – what trips would you like to relive with your little ones?


The vast majority of parents take their children abroad so they can experience different cultures

Whether it’s haggling in a Middle-Eastern market, enjoying Italian hospitality (and gelato), geisha spotting in Japan or all of the above and more, introducing youngsters to cultures other than their own is a major factor in family travel decisions.


One in four parents claim beach holidays make the best family memories

It comes as no surprise that beaches are eminently popular with parents. Pack the right kit, prepare to deal with any weather and a sandy excursion can entertain kids for hours if not days. But if you’re looking for something a little different, there are plenty of other water-based family adventures to try.

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67.7% of parents have stayed in a short-term rental

...while 40.9% of parents said they are most likely to choose a hotel over other types of accommodation

Accommodation options for families are more diverse than ever: 67.7% of families we surveyed have tried short-term rentals (in the US and Canada that number was 74% and in the UK, 70%); then there are home swaps, family-friendly hostels and even glamping. While short-term rentals are quickly catching up, hotels remain the most popular choice globally, with 40.9% of parents claiming they’d always opt for a hotel. Here are some unusual options for your next trip.

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Six in 10 parents say cost is the biggest challenge of traveling with children

Plus, most parents cited cheaper airfare, or cheaper accommodation, as the one thing they would choose to improve family travel. (⅕ said more vacation time.)

Travel ain’t cheap. Once your gaggle grows, the cost of transport, food and shelter – not to mention all that ice cream – can quadruple. So it’s no wonder money is on the minds of most parents and guardians. Consider a child-led staycation if you’re brave, or prepare for a future trip with our budget-friendly trip planning tips.


93.7% say options for family vacations are better now than when they were a child

Travel has transformed over the last few decades, with the advent of low-cost airlines, the sharing economy and the iPhone. For children, this means better opportunities to explore the world on- and offline, while grown-ups get to reap the benefits and enjoy better trips as adults.


Most parents take their children on vacation two or three times a year

From weekends away to epic long-term adventures, most of you are getting away at least twice a year. That’s good news for the kids, as they’ll be learning a whole lot along the way – especially if you add a skill-learning element to your travels.


Only ⅙ of parents book their vacation six months in advance

Last-minute planners, we salute you. Perhaps you’re waiting for the perfect spark of inspiration for your next family adventure; or maybe you’re pondering a city trip but don’t know how that’ll go down with the kids? Find everything you need to dream up your next escape on on lonelyplanet.com/family-holidays and the Lonely Planet Kids blog!

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