Higher Gas Prices Won't Keep Family Vacationers Off the Road This Year

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Higher Gas Prices Won't Keep Family Vacationers Off the Road This Year

family road trip
Road trips remain the most popular option for family vacations, according to AAA.

ORLANDO, Fla. — Led by millennials, nearly 88 million Americans plan to take family vacations this year, according to the latest research from AAA Travel.

Approximately 44 percent of millennials are planning a family getaway, more than 39 percent of Gen Xers and 32 percent of Baby Boomers, the survey found.

"Just like generations before them, millennials see a family vacation as one of the best ways to create memories and reconnect with loved ones," said Bill Sutherland, AAA senior vice president of Travel and Publishing. "No matter their age, families are going on not just one, but multiple vacations throughout the year to revisit favorite destinations and experience new places."

AAA expects trips abroad to be a hot trend in 2018. Of families who will take a trip this year, 35 percent plan to visit an international destination — a 9-percentage point increase from two years ago.

Based on advance travel bookings, AAA predicts the top five most likely international destinations for families will be: Cancun, Mexico; Punta Cana, Dominican Republic; Montego Bay, Jamaica; Rome, Italy; and Dublin, Ireland.

"We've seen increased demand for international travel overall, and that trend is now starting to appeal to families," Sutherland added.

For families staying stateside, expensive gas prices — the highest prices seen since 2014 — are not stopping vacation planners from packing up their cars for a road trip. They remain the most popular option for family vacations, with nearly two-thirds (64 percent) of those planning a trip expected to hit the roads, according to AAA.

Additional AAA family travel highlights for 2018 include:

Families are taking more trips per year. 

One in four traveling families (27 percent) is planning to take three or more family vacations in the next 12 months, 12 percentage points more than in 2016.

Family travelers are looking for new experiences. 

Three-quarters (73 percent) of families that are planning a vacation this year are seeking a destination they have not previously visited.

Families are seeking R&R. 

When looking for these new experiences, families are choosing destinations with attractions, such as beaches and mountains (61 percent), opportunities for sightseeing (59 percent) and relaxation (56 percent).

AAA's family travel research was conducted by a telephone survey of 1,005 adults living in the continental U.S. Polling was conducted Jan. 26-28.

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