The Anatomy of Kids’ Vacation Memories

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The Anatomy of Kids’ Vacation Memories

A nationally projectable survey of kids between 6-17 years of age conducted by Ypartnership, the travel service marketing company headquartered in Orlando, has revealed how and where kids’ best vacation memories are formed, as well as their favorite ways to record and share them.
Vacations taken with parents and siblings were cited as the “most awesome” by kids. The most frequently mentioned were either a religious retreat (27%) or theme park vacation (26%). And underscoring the yearning most kids have to spend quality time with their parents, the most memorable aspect of these vacations was simply spending time with family.
Theme parks and cruises top the list of kids’ dream vacation destinations. Specifically, 83% want to go to Walt Disney World Resort and 77% are interested in taking a cruise.
And as if we didn’t already know, KIDS RULE, both at home and while on vacation. Just over eight out of ten (81%) help plan what the family does and where the family dines out; nearly 7 in 10 help plan where to go and what to do on vacation.
The kids also identified the way in which new technology has influenced the manner in which they “memorialize” vacation memories. Digital photography and postings “in real time” on social media websites and blogs top the list. Souvenirs also play an important role in the recall of vacation memories, mentioned by almost half of kids (47%), second only to taking digital photos (69%).
Reminiscent of that old Art Linkletter Show “Kids Say The Darndest Things,” the kids who participated in the survey also shared the upsides and downsides of vacationing with the family:

Kids Enjoy Special Privileges On Vacation:

  • Stay up late (86%)
  • Watch TV in bed (69%)
  • Sleep late (65%)
  • Eat dessert before dinner (38%)

The Downside of Driving to a Vacation:

  • Sharing car with brother/sister (37%)
  • Sitting too long (15%)
  • Not having control of the stereo (14%)
  • Dad threatening to turn around (7%)
  • Dad not asking for directions (2%)

The Downside Of Sharing a Hotel Room:

  • Sharing bed with brother/sister (36%)
  • Dad snoring (21%)
  • Sharing bathroom (19%)

Preferred Things to Bring on Vacation:

  • iPod (22%)
  • Cell phone (20%)
  • Video game (20%)
  • Stuffed animal (18%)
  • Pet (7%)

Biggest Chicken on Thrill Rides:

  • Mom (38%)
  • Me (16%)

A total of 615 children from across the U.S. participated in the survey, which was commissioned by Walt Disney Parks & Resorts. 64% of respondents took at least one vacation with both parents and siblings last year; 19% with one parent and siblings. All statistical estimates have an error interval of less than 2% at the 95% level of confidence.

The Anatomy of Kids’ Vacation Memories


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Chip is the owner, editor, and writer of Chip and Company. When he is not writing about Disney News or Planning Tips, you will find him counting down the days to his next Disney Vacation.
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