BELLEVUE, Wash., Aug. 13 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- In a new national study released today, Expedia.com(R) found Americans overwhelmingly (94 percent*) agree that even in tough economic times, family vacations are worth the money. Why? Because they help build memories that last a lifetime and reinforce family bonds. Nearly 85 percent of Americans surveyed think the time they spent together as a family on their last great trip is what made the trip so special. Yet of the average family vacationer admits it has been five years since they had a truly great trip with their loved ones. The good news is that despite the challenging economy travel costs have come down, making family vacations the most affordable they have been in years.
"I've discovered that rather than forgoing a vacation this year, many people are taking shorter trips or hitting the road for a family car trip. There are particularly good values available on hotels right now, so creating family vacation memories does not have to be expensive. There's a lot you can do on a smaller budget," said Lee Woodruff, author, travel expert and mother of four. "If you're thinking about taking a road trip with your family this summer or fall, one of my favorite new travel tools is Expedia.com's Drive Getaway tool (www.expedia.com/drivegetaway). It gives you ideas for quick getaways from your home on a single tank of gas or less, and it's a great way to find ideas for fun, family-oriented places close to home."
While the majority of Americans surveyed who have vacationed with their family (more than 50 percent) likes to take trips during the summer, planning a vacation for Labor Day or after is a good way to stretch your dollars. To help travelers take advantage of this opportunity to save money, Expedia.com has expanded its Biggest Hotel Sale Ever (www.expedia.com/summersale), making a Labor Day getaway even more affordable. The sale includes more than 6,000 hotels worldwide offering deals on reservations booked by August 31 for travel through September 7, 2009.
Expedia's Family Travel Survey revealed a number of additional insights about what's most important to Americans when they're planning a family vacation.
Family Vacation is Overdue. The average American who has taken a family vacation at some point in their lives admits it has been five years since they had a truly great trip with their loved ones. Nearly thirty percent say it has been this long or even longer.
Kids Impact Choice of Destination. These days, nostalgia drives many American family vacations. Nearly two in three parents (64 percent) who have enjoyed family vacations in the past have taken their own families to a destination they visited as a child. More than three in five (61 percent) parents who have vacationed with their family make sure to select a destination that their children will enjoy as much as they will. And 28 percent focus just on what they think will make the kids happy.
You Don't Have to Spend Months Planning. More than a quarter (27 percent) of Americans who have been on family vacations feel a spontaneous trip is more fun for their family than one planned well in advance of the vacation date.
We Love Our Cars. Americans who've been on family vacations know there are many benefits of taking a trip by car. Nearly seven in ten (69 percent) appreciate that the family can make stops along the way, while just as many enjoy the great opportunity to see and experience interesting stops and road-side attractions en route to their destination.
For ideas about fun trips you can take close to home, check out Expedia.com's Drive Getaway tool at www.expedia.com/drivegetaway. The Drive Getaway tool allows users to filter results for each starting city by offering three "trip length" choices: full tank (151-300 miles), half tank (76-150 miles) or quarter tank (0-75 miles). In addition to the recommendations, the tool also provides TripAdvisor(R) user-generated photos of destinations and attractions. The launch of the Drive Getaway Tool is just another way Expedia.com is putting the traveler first and making it easier for families to plan travel that will create lasting memories.
* Among respondents who have been on a family vacation.
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