I Spy…a Family Vacation!

Alamo's Family Vacation Survey reveals U.S. families' top vacation spots, favorite travel games and more.

What does the American family vacation look like in 2015? Alamo Rent A Car recently surveyed families from across the U.S.* to find out.

First and foremost, families see vacations as an opportunity to reconnect and spend time together away from the day-to-day churn of work and school. Most American families surveyed opt to take vacations of a week or less in length at least a couple of times per year, and they are six times more likely to take a vacation in the summer than in any other season.

However, in today’s fast-paced world, vacation can also be accompanied by pre-vacation stress. Getting all pending work done is the biggest stress people experience before leaving for a trip. Overspending is also a worry for 46 percent of those surveyed. Women are twice as likely as men to worry about packing, while men are significantly more likely to report they do not stress out at all before a trip.

And once Americans reach their destination, there’s still no guarantee that it’s all play and no work – only about half of those who go on vacation completely unplug and do not work. The good news is 40 percent of those who do are more likely to come back from vacation being more productive.

So, where is everyone going?  Thirty-one percent of Americans prefer beach vacations, or somewhere sunny and warm, beating out theme parks, cruises and ski trips. More than half of families taking yearly vacations like to mix it up, choosing different locations most times or each time they travel.  When asked how far families are willing to travel, 46 percent said there’s no limit – they’ll travel anywhere in the world.

A high percentage of families use screen time (53%) to keep everyone entertained during the flight or drive, almost two-thirds of parents report they still play traditional car games with their family while driving to a vacation destination. “I Spy” remains a road-trip favorite, followed by the License Plate game and the Alphabet Game. Single parents are more likely to play car games with kids on vacation than married parents (73 percent vs. 59 percent).

While many things have changed about the American family vacation over the years, one thing remains the same: families continue to travel together as a way to strengthen bonds and create long-lasting memories.

*The 2015 Alamo Family Vacation Survey* was conducted from Jan. 20- 23, 2015, with 1,005 adults from the 50 states and the District of Columbia. The survey was fielded using the Research Now online consumer panel. At the time of the survey, participants had to have been at least 18 years of age or older, be married, have a domestic partnership or have a child under the age of 22, and taken one or more trips with their immediate family and/or their extended family in the past five years. Age data was weighted to the adult population based on U.S. Census data.