Summer vacations were once an annual tradition for millions of families across the globe. Warm weather getaways to idyllic beaches and welcoming resorts have long helped families make lasting memories, and revisiting that trend can be good for everyone.
Family vacation plans were put on the back burner during the COVID-19 pandemic. According to a survey from IPX 1031®, 40 percent of respondents canceled vacation plans during the pandemic, while an additional 29 percent didn’t plan a vacation at all. But the pandemic alone cannot be blamed for people’s unwillingness to take time off from work, as pre-pandemic studies noted how professionals had increasingly begun to work longer hours and take fewer vacation days. For example, data from the U.S. Travel Association indicates that American workers failed to use 768 million vacation days in 2018.
Pandemic-related cancellations and postponements proved a bitter pill to swallow, and that sour taste could be one reason why travel bounced back in a big way in 2021. The hotel market data firm STR, Inc. reported that hotel occupancy reached nearly 70 percent in July 2021. That’s no doubt due to the successful rollout of coronavirus vaccines. This summer could be even better for the travel and tourism industry, as children as young as five are now eligible to be vaccinated, and there’s hope that children younger than five will be soon. That means more families will likely be on the lookout for vacation spots, and the following are some qualities they can look for as they search for the perfect place to spend their summer vacations.
• Affordability: Travel costs have spiked in the aftermath of the pandemic, and that may stretch families’ budgets thin. Data from the energy and commodities information provider S&P Global Platts. indicates that jet fuel prices have been rising somewhat steadily since mid-2020, and that spike could lead to higher airfare costs this summer. In addition, families should compare the cost of hotel lodging versus single-family homes on sites such as Airbnb or Vrbo. The latter might have more budget-friendly inventory.
• Accessibility: Families won’t want to travel only to find out local attractions are closed or open on a more limited basis. Before booking a trip, confirm the rules and regulations in a given locale and contact local tourist attractions, such as theme parks, to confirm that they’ll be open for business as usual this summer.
• Kid-friendly activities: After more than two years locked up at home, parents may be dreaming of spending a week doing little more than sitting on a beach. However, kids may grow antsy after a day or so with their toes in the sand. Many all-inclusive resorts include kid-friendly activities, such as sailing lessons or arts and crafts sessions, that give moms and dads a break and keep youngsters engaged in a fun way.
• Dining: Research local restaurants when perusing destinations to confirm there’s plenty of dining options. Parents have done more than their fair share of cooking at home since the onset of the pandemic, so a great vacation spot is one that includes an array of dining options to give parents time off from cooking detail.
As families prepare for their first vacations in more than two years this summer, parents can look for locales that cater to their needs without breaking the bank.