What Kids Really Want From a Family Vacation

Let this be the summer you can sit back and have the kids decide on where your next family vacation should be. You may be pleasantly surprised!

School’s almost out for summer! And that means two words: family vacation. While your clan may have its go-to spots (beach house, please!) or yearly traditions (check another national park off the bucket list!), the new Kidpinions survey from vacation-rental website HomeAway and FamilyFun magazine found that many kids are getting involved in every step of planning their family’s vacations.  A whopping 87% of the more than 500 parents surveyed let their kids weigh in on where to go, with 8% of kids actually getting to make the final choice. What’s more, the majority have a say in deciding which activities to do and where to eat during the trip.

Now, it may seem a little daunting to give the kids so much power over how you spend your precious vacation, but it turns out a lot of what they want parents want, too: “Kids aren’t looking for a fancy around-the-world trip,” says Melanie Fish, a spokesperson for HomeAway. “They really just want their own room, a swimming pool, and time away with their parents.” However, you will get major bonus points if said time is spent at a theme park or beach, the top two destinations they’d choose for their next family vacation. Other things on their wish list include staying in a vacation home (the #1 accommodation choice for both kids and parents), inviting their friends along, and getting to try new things. They also don’t mind the relaxed rules during trips: 58% say they get to stay up late while on vacation, while 55% are allowed to indulge in junk food they don’t get at home. “I would have assumed that kids want the crazy adventures, and parents want the peace and quiet,” added Fish. “But that’s not what this showed, the survey found that we all want a little adventure and a little relaxation.”

But that doesn’t mean a family can’t dream! Case in point: Both parents and kids ranked private islands, castles, and tree houses among their top three unique places to stay. What’s the most heartening of all, though, is that this generation of kids already seems to understand what makes traveling so special. Perhaps that’s why 43% would choose a trip over gifts for their next birthday.

For more on the survey results visit HomeAway.com, and check out our 2017 FamilyFun Travel Awards Winners for family vacation inspiration and advice.