Kids’ Vacation Priorities (as Well as Their Mothers’)

Spending time with parents is all well and good when kids go on a family vacation, but it doesn’t measure up to seeing new places. That’s one insight gleaned by a national Synovate survey of 7-12-year-olds and their mothers in households with income of at least $50,000, conducted for the Orlando/Orange County Convention & Visitors Bureau of Florida.

When asked what they “like most about vacationing with mom or dad,” a plurality of kids said it’s “going to places I haven’t been to before” (27 percent). The runner-up was “spending more time with mom/dad” (18 percent), followed by “staying in a hotel” (14 percent), “playing in a big swimming pool” (11 percent), “not having to go to school” (11 percent) and “roller coaster/other rides” (8 percent). Girls were more likely than boys to say the chief appeal is visiting new places (33 percent vs. 21 percent). Boys were more apt than girls to be mostly glad they’re not in school (17 percent vs. 6 percent).

When mothers plan a family vacation, what do they hope their kids will get out if it? The foremost wish (cited by 34 percent of mothers) is that the vacation will “provide new experiences.” Also high on the list are hopes the vacationing kids will relax and have fun (27 percent), get away from the stress of work, school and home (19 percent) and get more “one-on-one time” with their parents (14 percent).

Part of the appeal of a vacation for parents and kids alike is that the former feel able to say “yes” to the latter more often than at home. Nineteen percent of mothers reported saying “yes” to their kids “much more often” when on vacation, and another 50 percent said they do so “somewhat more often.” Among the matters about which they’re more indulgent are letting the kids stay up late, letting them have spending money and letting them eat sweets.