Parents go to extremes to save up for family vacations

The “dream vacation” for American families takes nearly a year to save up for, according to new research.

A study examining the lengths parents go to try to give their children perfect childhood memories found moms and dads have to save for 10 months on average in order to make it happen.

Whether dreaming of making memories at Disneyland, flying across the world or enjoying the luxury of a cruise, parents put an average of $416 dollars into their dream vacation fund each month.

From reducing their own spends on socializing or ordering take-out, to using coupons, foregoing date nights and shopping in discount stores, the research unearthed the biggest efforts parents make in trying to bring their kids that dream trip.

An infographic about American families and dream vacations.SWNS

It’s worth the trouble though – as the vast majority of parents (89 percent) believe it’s important for their children to travel.

Top reasons for this include the importance of experiencing a new area or culture (74 percent), strengthening family relationships (73 percent) and giving children both the opportunity to have fun and to learn new things (67 percent).

The study of 2,000 parents with school-aged children found that parents spend an average of six months carefully planning their dream vacation and working out how to make it a reality.

The survey, conducted by OnePoll and commissioned by Visit Anaheim in advance of World Tourism Day 2018 (Sep 27), found that two-thirds find it difficult to put money away – which is why 56 percent fear they’ll never be able to save enough for their ideal vacation.

What does the “dream vacation” look like to most? The average budget for a trip-of-a-lifetime is almost $5,000, and many parents budget and save diligently to make this happen.

More than six in 10 parents have worked longer hours in order to save money, while 55 percent have shopped at discount stores and cut back on time spent out with their friends.

An infographic about Americans and their dream vacations.SWNS

Some parents are willing to be a bit more extreme: three in 10 have canceled streaming services or other online accounts and 24 percent have forgone saving for retirement in order to save money for a family trip.

On the other hand, these sacrifices can pay off. Sixty-three percent of people say they’ve been on what they consider a dream vacation.

The ideal trip is nine days long, and parents say the most important aspects of a trip are the location (79 percent), the budget (71 percent) and the dates of travel (47 percent).

“Anaheim is recognized as one of the leading leisure destinations in the US. It is home to Disneyland Resort, Anaheim GardenWalk, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, Anaheim Ducks, as well as some of the best shopping, dining and entertainment found anywhere in Southern California,” said Jay Burress, president and CEO of Visit Anaheim.

“With four airports within a short distance and so many public transportation options, it’s not only easy to get to Anaheim – but also simple to get around and explore all that the city and surrounding areas have to offer.”

An infographic about Americans and their dream vacations.SWNS

Attractions during the stay (46 percent) and transportation to the destination (21 percent) round out the top five most important aspects of a trip.

For the dream vacation, parents would like to be near beaches (72 percent), restaurants (69 percent) and amusement parks (59 percent).

“Situated between Los Angeles and San Diego, Anaheim is the perfect home base for an all-encompassing dream vacation,” said Burress. “Anaheim is just a few minutes’ drive from an incredible 42-mile coastline with some of the best beaches in California: elegant Newport Beach, picturesque Laguna Beach and surfing mecca Huntington Beach.”

Seventy-nine percent of parents say their dream trip would be a mix between active and quiet, and 83 percent say their children have a say in the vacation destination.

In an effort to help make family vacations affordable, Visit Anaheim is currently running a discount through Expedia.