Many Spring Break Family Travel Plans Include "Like Family"
Do you bring friends on family vacations sometimes? Well, it turns out lots of families do. More than 16% of those who responded to our just released joint survey of Vacatia's social community, and readers of our family travel partners TravelingMom and TravelingDad, let us know that their 2017 Spring Break family travel plans will include their friends.
Since when does family travel have to be limited to families?
About 60 percent responding to the survey say their Spring Break will be the typical parents plus kids scenario, with another 10 percent also planning to bring grandparents. Eight percent say they are bringing grown kids or family members, and nearly 5 percent are hosting a multigenerational family gathering.
Last but not least, 8 percent note they are bringing both family and friends, and another 8 percent are planning to bring adult friends only!
Vacatia Guest Care frequently handles booking requests for family and friends who are planning to vacation together. Our CEO, Caroline Shin, coined the term for these close-knit groups - "like family”. The concept really resonated with our Vacatia team, and now we refer to our team culture as "like family." We've truly embraced the goal that we will always strive to treat each other, our guests, and business partners "like family".
Guests often book our larger resort rentals - two-bedroom, three-bedroom, four-bedroom or larger, and also book multiple resort residences at once, to accommodate their friends and extended family members. Recently, Vacatia launched "Family and Friends", its guest benefits program.
Families are looking forward to spending their Spring Break vacation together... but not all of it. On average, our responders say their families will spend 84% of this vacation together and 16% apart.
About 29% of our family travel planners tell us their families will spend their entire Spring Break together... but they are the minority. Close to 22% plan to spend up to a tenth of their family vacation apart, and another 29% plan to spend 10-25% of this Spring Break apart.
The kicker? Almost one in five responders expect their families to be apart for more than a quarter of this Spring Break vacation!
Our guests often tell us that this is one of the reasons they appreciate renting resort residences. Everyone has the opportunity to spend time together in the family room, the kitchen or dining area for meals, or perhaps at the pool. However, family and friends also have the opportunity to "do their own thing" using resort amenities or retiring to their own bedrooms.
Solving the family travel decision maker's challenge of making everybody happy is the key reason Vacatia was founded, and why we specialize in resort residence rentals that offer the space of a home plus the services of a hotel.
What else did we hear from our survey responders about their upcoming Spring Break family travel plans? Check out our survey for details, but here are some juicy family travel nuggets...
Planning family travel is way more complicated than business or personal travel. The “ickiest” challenges were reported to be coordinating everyone's schedules, and agreeing on a budget and how to pay for everything.
Thirty-eight percent of responders say coordinating everyone’s schedules is their biggest challenge, and 36 percent say it is agreeing on a budget and coordinating payment. Recently, Vacatia added a "hold for 72 hours" feature for many reservations so that the family travel decision maker - we call them the “chief vacation officer” - can check in with the group before locking down their booking. We have also added "flexpay" payment options, so that the booking can be paid for in multiple payments (sometimes interest-free), or can be easily split among family and friends.
Nearly 8% of survey responders specifically mention figuring out sleeping arrangements as their big challenge. Vacatia Guest Care hears this often in online chats or talks on the phone with guests. In fact, it's the key reason Vacatia has created custom floor and bed plans for each resort to assist in family travel planning.
More often than not, Moms are the primary family vacation planners, although sometimes with help from others.
About 47 percent of survey responders say Mom is making the call on family travel. Another one-third or so of responders say they are sharing the responsibility for planning their family's Spring Break. Eleven percent tell us everyone gets a vote.
What can we say? We talk to moms every day! ...and grandmothers, and sisters, and daughters. And of course dads as well! It's a key reason we appreciate the knowledge that our partners TravelingMom and TravelingDad share with their growing community of family travel enthusiasts - helpful tips and learning that come only from first-hand experience.
Most responding to our survey say accommodations are their top expected Spring Break expense. Others expect to spend more on travel or the fun stuff.
Almost half of Spring Break planners tell us accommodations will be their largest Spring Break travel budget item. Twenty-two percent say they will spend the most on travel. About 14 percent are splurging on activities during their vacation and, foodie alert, 7 percent intend to spend more on meals than anything else!
The great news is Vacatia has identified that nearly half of the time, our handpicked resort residence rentals cost less than local comparable quality adjoining hotel rooms. Our guests enjoy the space of a vacation rental, but without sacrificing hotel-like services. Add to that our family and friends rates, and multiple residence discounts, and we'll help you make sure you are getting the best combination of value and quality to assure a memorable family vacation.
Haven't Made Spring Break Plans Yet? Join the Club!
Our survey suggests many have not yet finalized their plans. Twenty-eight percent of our more spontaneous respondents tell us they aren't figuring out their Spring Break vacation details until the last minute—within a week or two before their trip. Close to 29 percent said they finalized their Spring Break plans about a month pre-trip, and 23 percent two months before. We are jealous of course of the buttoned-up 19 percent who say they completed their Spring Break vacation planning before the New Year. They probably already have received their tax refund as well!
If you need a recommendation or help booking your Spring Break family travel in one of our 627 resorts in 29 great destinations across North America, we are here for you online, or at (855) 858-3950 from 6AM to 10PM PT.