Vacation Destinations: Family and Individual


To understand travel preferences of single individuals versus families, specifically focusing on destinations or destination-types. This information will provide inform tourise client ad and marketing strategies.

Early Findings

Family Travel Destinations

  • Selecting a family travel destination is considered somewhat difficult, with 50% of parents saying it is harder to plan a vacation satisfying all family members than it is to get their children off social media.
  • Top 5 vacation trip types being planned by families are beach vacations (61%), city trips (46%), theme park vacations (48%), water parks (42%), and lakeside vacations (31%).
  • Ocean cruises (pre-pandemic) were being planned by 31% of families (though only 17% report having taken an ocean cruise).
  • Nearly half of families focused on outdoor trips said they were planning a trip to a local or national park.
  • 68% of those planning cultural trips focus on visiting museums, historical sites or other cultural locations.
  • Florida (47%), California (35%), and New York (21%) are the top destinations for US family vacations, according to a 2019 NYU and Family Travel Association survey of US families.
  • Top specific travel destinations being planned by families include Walt Disney World (33%), Universal Studios (21%), Orlando (20%), Disneyland (19%), and New York City (19%).
  • 54% said they were planning an international trip in the next 3 years, with top locations including Europe (22%), Bermuda (21%), Canada (18%), and Mexico (16%).
  • The UK (21%) was the most likely regional international destination, followed by the Bahamas (19%) and Italy (18%).
  • Respondents with income below $60,000 were more likely to decrease their spending on international trips, while families with income above $150,000 were more likely to claim they would be increasing their international trip spending.
  • The COVID-19 pandemic will likely result in some changes in family travel behavior soon after, but industry insiders predict that family and multi-generational travel will eventually trend upward after the pandemic. Jessica Griscavage, director of marketing at McCabe World Travel in McLean, Virginia, predicts a spike in family travel following COVID-19, saying, "I think we’re going to see a lot of family and multi-gen travel but in a different way, a safer way."

Single Travel Destinations

  • Solo travel is trending upward, increasing by 7% in 2019.
  • Relaxation (61%) is the primary driver of solo travel.
  • According to a 2019 Expedia survey among over 1,500 US solo travelers, solo travelers want to explore new cities (28%), learn something new (12%), and participate in a new experience (12%).
  • Top trip types include a "weekend break" (30%), an "island getaway" (23%), a "foodie trip" (16%), and "event travel" (14%).
  • Single travelers most prefer a United States (domestic) trip (74%), followed by travel to Canada (45%) or Europe (42%).
  • Destination preference varies by generation. Millennial solo travelers cite the United States (75%), Canada (40%), and Europe (40%) as their top destinations. Gen Z single travelers are most interested in visiting Europe (47%), the United States (42%), and the Caribbean (38%).
  • A Klook's Solo Travel global survey of 16,000 travelers across 16 countries found that that travelers from Asian countries were most likely to embrace solo travel, while interest in solo travel was somewhat less in Western countries.
  • Kondor Ferries reports the top international destination for UK solo travelers is Australia, with 71% having traveled to this location on an unaccompanied vacation.
  • Trending top locations for solo travel include the US, UK, Spain and Australia.
  • Additional solo destination and trip type trends (prior to COVID-19) include organized and escorted tours (preferred by 47% of solo travelers), sustainability-focused solo traveling, a shift toward adventure travel over urban travel, and walking holidays (most popular with British solo travelers).
  • It appears that while COVID-19 significantly impacted travel across the globe, expected travel (based on travel bookings analyzed by Adara) in the next 60 days is recovering more quickly for solo travelers (and couples) than families.

Summary of Early Findings Relevant to the Goals

  • In this first hour of research, we were able to establish very different destination preferences for families and individuals.
  • Families are more likely to focus on activity-based destinations, such as theme parks or cultural attractions in cities. Solo travelers base their destination choices on experiences, such as "foodie trips" or "island getaways."
  • In addition to uncovering destination and trip type preferences, we found additional resources highlighting specific destinations recommended for solo and family travel.
  • Recommendations are based on information uncovered in early research.

Proposed next steps:

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