This post was written in collaboration with Expedia.com. All opinions are my own.
When I look at all the places my daughter has visited over the past 13 years, it makes me proud as a parent.
When my daughter turned two, I began to make family travel a priority, but it didn’t start with elaborate trips abroad or even ones that required a plane ride. Our first getaway was to Orlando, FL for a week at Walt Disney World...one of the most common dream vacations destinations according to Expedia’s American travel habits study.
Slowly, our yearly vacations throughout Florida, where we’re based, began to expand, and we started to venture out to other destinations. When we discovered cruising as a family, it was a big turning point because it took us out of the U.S. to Mexico and the Caribbean.
Those first Caribbean cruises led to “bigger” family cruises, including Alaska and the Mediterranean.
I suppose once we experienced Europe as a family, it was on— we collectively shared that we wanted to see as much of the world together as possible. And that’s where we are today.
Making family travel a priority has SO MANY BENEFITS.
The biggest, for me, is the educational value for my daughter. When she reads about an event in history class and has a personal point of reference because she has actually visited the site, that’s the best education that money can buy.
Pompeii with Mt.Vesuvius in the background.
Travel at a young age also leads to a greater understanding of other cultures, which I believe is very important during these times.
But even beyond all that, taking vacations together is HEALTHY and FUN. If anything, it’s the one time of the year when you can relax and enjoy your time together without the stress of work or school.
According to the travel habits and trends in 2017 among Americans, my family is a bit outside the norm. That most likely has to do with my job which gives me more flexibility with traveling. But I do find the study interesting, including a few of these statistics, according to Expedia:
- The most popular U.S. destinations for travelers polled were Miami, FL; Las Vegas, NV; New York City, NY; Austin, TX; Los Angeles, CA; New Orleans, LA; and Boston, MA.
- No matter the age or gender of travelers, their friends and family and relaxing were rated the most important factors when arranging a trip.
- Overwhelmingly, the majority of those polled would like to book a cruise as their next vacation, which isn’t surprising considering our research shows that relaxation is one of the top reasons for travel.
- An interesting thing to note was that travelers with children were also more interested in a backpacking trip than those without kids.
- The number of children a traveler has may determine the number of days they travel, too. Single travelers and families with only one child responded that they usually travel for five to seven days, but those with two or more children travel for a shorter period of just three to four.
Some time ago I heard the phrase “18 Summers” and it really resonated with me. It basically means that, as parents, we only have 18 summers of vacations with our children— then they’re off on their own. Time is precious…so start making those travel memories!