Posts Tagged ‘travel with children’

Move Over Baby Boomers, Millennials Embrace Family Travel

March 15th, 2018 by AAA Public Affairs

Julie HallAAA survey reveals an estimated 88 million Americans will take family trips this year.

ORLANDO, Fla. (March 15, 2018) – Led by millennials, some 88 million Americans plan to take family vacations this year. According to the latest research from AAA Travel, 44 percent of millennials are planning a family getaway, more than members of Generation X (39 percent) or baby boomers (32 percent).

“Just like generations before them, millennials see a family vacation as one of the best ways to create memories and reconnect with loved ones,” said Bill Sutherland, AAA senior vice president of Travel and Publishing. “No matter their age, families are going on not just one, but multiple vacations throughout the year to revisit favorite destinations and experience new places.”

Additional Resources

  • Infographics: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4

As travelers seek new sights, AAA expects family trips abroad to be a hot trend in 2018. Of families who will take a trip this year, 35 percent plan to visit an international destination – a nine percentage point increase from just two years ago. Based on advance travel bookings, AAA predicts the top five most likely international destinations for families will be:

  1. Cancun, Mexico
  2. Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
  3. Montego Bay, Jamaica
  4. Rome, Italy
  5. Dublin, Ireland

“We’ve seen increased demand for international travel overall, and that trend is now starting to appeal to families,” continued Sutherland.

For families staying stateside, expensive gas prices – the highest prices seen since 2014 – are not stopping vacation planners from packing up their cars for a road trip. They remain the most popular option for family vacations, with nearly two-thirds (64 percent) of those planning a trip expected to hit the roads.

Additional AAA family travel highlights for 2018:

  • Families are taking more trips per year. One in four (27 percent) traveling families is planning to take three or more family vacations in the next 12 months, 12 percentage points more than in 2016.
  • Family travelers are looking for new experiences. Three-quarters (73 percent) of families that are planning a vacation this year are seeking a destination they have not previously visited.
  • Families are seeking R&R. When looking for these new experiences, families are choosing destinations with attractions such as beaches and mountains (61 percent), opportunities for sightseeing (59 percent) and relaxation (56 percent).

AAA’s travel experts recommend that families plan their trips with AAA’s Diamonds in mind. AAA’s professional inspectors assess nearly 59,000 hotels and restaurants across the United States, Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean to assign AAA Diamond Ratings. Every AAA Inspected & Approved hotel and restaurant is acceptable for the type of experience it provides. Ratings, from One to Five Diamonds, help travelers find the level of services, facilities and amenities they’re looking for on their vacation. Travelers can find Diamond Rated establishments in the AAA Mobile app, AAA Travel Guides and TripTik Travel Planner.

To help families even further, AAA’s inspectors have identified some of their favorite family-friendly hotels for 2018. To learn more and begin planning a trip, visit

AAA’s family travel research is the result of a telephone survey (landline and cell phone) consisting of 1,005 adults living in the continental United States. Interviewing for this survey was conducted January 26-28, 2018. This study has an average statistical error of ±7 percent at the 95 percent confidence level for all U.S. adults.

As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides more than 58 million members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1902, the not-for-profit, fully tax-paying AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. Motorists can map a route, identify gas prices, find discounts, book a hotel and access AAA roadside assistance with the AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. Learn more at AAA clubs can be visited on the Internet at

AAA Travel experts advise that traveling without the proper documentation for children can complicate or ruin travel plans

ORLANDO, Fla., (April 30, 2012) – Summer remains the most popular and eagerly anticipated season for family travel according to AAA Travel experts.  Options for family travel are varied and may include children traveling alone to visit geographically separated family members, travel with a solo parent or kids leaving parents behind to cruise the world with grandparents.  Some family travel options may require additional and perhaps unexpected travel documentation when both parents are not accompanying the child, the child is traveling with adults other than parents or the child’s last name differs from the parent’s name.                    

“Family travel plans could be interrupted or even ruined if necessary documentation requirements for children catch adults by surprise,” said Bill Sutherland, vice president, AAA Travel Services.  “It is critical that parents identify and obtain the required documents for their specific family or child’s travel.”          

AAA Travel experts offer these children’s travel tips:

Passports for Children – All U.S. citizens including infants and children must have a valid passport to travel internationally by air.  A passport card can be used for automobile and cruise ship travel to Canada and Mexico from the United States.  Both parents must provide consent authorizing passport issuance for a minor under age 16.  AAA Travel experts recommend that citizens of all ages use a passport for all international travel, including auto and cruise travel to Canada and Mexico, in the event an emergency requires reentry to the United States by air. 

Current passport holders should examine the passport expiration date, and if the document is due to expire within six months of travel, renew it prior to travel.  While adult passports are valid for ten years, passports for children under age 16 are valid for five years.  Parents should carefully examine all passport and child travel documentation requirements at, or seek the assistance of a knowledgeable travel agent.  To locate the nearest AAA Travel Agency, visit

Cruising with Children – Cruise lines generally require at least one legal adult (age 21 or higher) to occupy every stateroom to eliminate children cruising alone. This person also needs to be a legal parent or guardian.  Cruise lines also require a notarized letter of authorization to travel if a child is sailing with only one parent, other non-custodial adults, or has a different last name than the responsible legal adult.  For more information visit the applicable cruise line website or a knowledgeable travel agent. 

International Solo Parent Travel – When visiting a foreign country – including Mexico and Canada – as a lone adult with a minor child under age 18, additional travel documentation is required.  To help prevent cases of parental abduction and international child trafficking, many countries now require proof of the lone adult’s relationship to the child and the legal right to travel in and out of the country with that child.  In addition to the child’s valid United States passport, and entry visa where required, a letter of permission from the absent parent(s) signed before a notary public is needed. 

The letter should include a statement of authorization for the child to travel, details of the trip and legal names and contact information for the child and accompanying adult.  Single parents, grandparents, stepparents, guardians and any adult with a last name different from the child needs to be prepared with the additional documentation to present at border crossings, airport immigration check points and cruise line check-in desks. A travel agent can assist in securing the appropriate documents.  

Children Flying Solo – Most airlines offer fee-based Unaccompanied Minor programs that facilitate air travel for children without an accompanying adult.  These programs provide an affordable travel option to link geographically separated family members with the children they treasure.  Airline Unaccompanied Minor programs, policies and procedures vary.  Most require that an authorized adult escort the child to the departure gate and an authorized adult take custody of the minor child at the arrival gate.  In flight, unaccompanied minors are under the care of the cabin crew.    

If planning an itinerary for a child traveling by air solo be sure to carefully check the specific requirements for each airline you are considering. Check age requirements, fees and all details which can vary greatly. For example some airlines require travel must be on a nonstop flight, while others might allow one or more stops if a plane change does not occur.  Specific details of each airline’s program can be found on the airline website.    

Child Medical Care Authorization – When a child is traveling without a parent, receiving emergency medical care could be complicated or refused by the medical facility, unless the emergency is deemed life-threatening.  The adult accompanying the child should carry a medical proxy, an original notarized letter from the non-traveling parent(s) granting permission to authorize emergency medical care for the child.  The letter should include the permission statement, child’s health insurance information, social security number and full legal names of the child and accompanying adults.  If the child remains at home while a parent travels, this important medical authorization documentation should be supplied to the child’s caregiver.      

As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides more than 53 million members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1902, the not-for-profit, fully tax-paying AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. AAA clubs can be visited on the Internet at



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