The 2017 Importance of Family Travel Study also uncovered important traits from Thai parents, confirming a long-lasting impact of family values among the locals.
Expedia's Family Travel Study in Thailand consisted of 300 parents, 200 teens and 100 non-parents.
"Family travellers tell us all too often that travelling with your children involves more mystery and mayhem than magic," said Expedia General Manager of Southeast Asia and India, Simon Fiquet.
Family Vacation Frequency and "High level" Attitudes
Almost everyone in the countries surveyed goes on vacation at least once a year with their family, but in some countries, most teens and their parents go twice a year, or even more. Non-parents tend to only go once a year. Regional differences are striking, with those in Asia, Southern Europe, and Mexico, the most likely to prioritize getting away with their family as often as they can.
- South Korean travellers win the award for being the most committed to traveling with their family, with 74 percent of teens getting away more than twice a year, along with 68 percent of parents and 57 percent of non-parents.
- Hong Kong travellers were the least likely to get out more than once a year, with just 29 percent of teens, 25 percent of parents, and 21 percent of non-parents taking a family vacation more than once a year.
Teens across the world go on family vacations quite frequently, with many Asian countries reporting large majorities of teens who go on family vacation twice a year or more.
- Thai and South Korean teens were much more likely to travel twice a year or more with their family (74 percent) than any other country surveyed.
- Looking at our Asian counterpart, Hong Kong was one of the countries that ranked the least likely of all countries to take a family vacation twice a year or more at 29 percent.
Parents are also quite likely to travel twice a year or more on family vacation, led by Asian parents.
- South Korean (68 percent) and Mexican parents (60 percent) are the most likely to report going on family vacation twice a year or more.
- Parents in Hong Kong (25 percent) and Denmark (30 percent) were the least likely to go on more than one family vacation each year.
- Compared to its Asian counterparts, Thai parents travel much less frequently than their teenagers with 74 percent Thai teens travelling a lot more than their parents at 58 percent.
Siblings are brought closer during family vacations
Family vacations are clearly a strong force to bring siblings together, with large majorities of teens in all countries who have siblings agreeing that it brings them closer. Asian teens are much more likely to say family vacations bring them close to their siblings with all eight countries near or well above 90 percent, led by four countries with an astounding level of agreement (98 percent): South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and Hong Kong.
Family Fun Time for Teens
To measure relative interest in family vacations or holidays, we asked teens to describe what they did on these trips, and what they've done at school recently. In all countries, teens had more to say about what they did on family vacations, but in some, the difference was much larger than in others.
- Teenagers in Japan (12.3 seconds longer) and Malaysia (10.8 seconds longer) had the largest difference in time spent describing their family vacations compared to what they are doing at school.
- New Zealand had the smallest difference in median length of time at just 4.3 seconds – 32.5 seconds on family vacations and 28.2 seconds on school.
Family Vacation Memories
Family vacations play a very big role in creating people's favorite memories. Most travellers say that most of their favorite memories occurred during a family vacation. Teens tend to be the most enthusiastic about family vacation memories, followed by parents and non-parents. Most teens in nearly all countries say that a majority (more than 50 percent) of their favorite memories occurred on family vacations, with two exceptions:
- Hong Kong (48 percent) and Japan (44 percent), where fewer than half agreed.
- Thai teens (79 percent), Malaysian teens (78 percent) and Brazilian teens (76 percent) were the most overwhelming in agreement with the belief that most of their favorite memories occurred on family vacations.
Most parents in nearly all countries say that most of their best memories occurred on family vacations, but levels of agreement vary widely. Among the parents, European travellers are much more divided about the statement that most of their favorite memories occurred during a family vacation, with fewer than half of parents in the following countries agreeing: Norway (46 percent), Ireland (45 percent), Sweden (44 percent%) and United Kingdom (43 percent).
Parents in Asia were much more likely to agree that a majority of their favorite memories occurred on family vacations, led by parents in Thailand (82 percent), Malaysia (81 percent), South Korea (74 percent) and Taiwan (69 percent).
Non-parents took a similar view to parents, with most agreeing that their favorite memories had occurred on family vacations. The countries where the largest number agree that most of their favorite memories occurred on family vacations include: Thailand (74 percent), Brazil (70 percent) and Mexico (64 percent).
Bending the Rules during Family Vacation
In most countries, about half of parents say they let some of the rules and chores go when on family vacation with their children.
- Parents in India (63 percent), Thailand (57 percent) and New Zealand (55 percent) are the most relaxed in letting some of the rules and chores go while on family vacation.
- In Taiwan (26 percent), Hong Kong (26 percent) and Italy (28 percent) parents are the least likely to cut their children a break while on vacation
Some parents, but certainly not all, choose to let their children stay up late on vacation.
- Parents in many European countries are most likely to let their children stay up late while on vacation, led by Swiss (67 percent), French (64 percent) and German parents (58 percent).
- The strictest parents with regard to bed times tend to be found in Asia, with Taiwanese (25 percent), Hong Kong (30 percent) and Malaysian parents (33 percent) being the least likely to give their kids extra leeway on vacation.
"It is interesting to note that Thai travellers are still very family-centric when it comes to family vacations. It brings out a sense of togetherness as a unique trait among the Thai's. At Expedia, we are focused on bringing the best choices and savings, to help people go places," said Fiquet.
Speaking at the press event, Cindy Sirinya-Bishop, Thai supermodel, actress, host of Asia's Next Top Model and mother of two shared, "Planning a family holiday can be very exciting but exhausting when you have a young family. You have to factor in the convenience of looking for child-friendly locations, distance and flight options, while worrying about packing, planning an itinerary and dealing with house hold arrangements. Having to balance my work schedule, lifestyle and being a better mom which I thoroughly love, I appreciate brands like Expedia who has made all things possible, in bringing the multitude of travel options to suit my needs. When you look at Thai nationals, we have always been courteous and value our family time and I wouldn't trade it for anything else in the world."