Reminiscing the Summer of 2009 for Family Travel

2009 has been a tough year for everyone. Unemployment is at an all time high. Family budgets are tighter and “staycations” were deemed as the popular vacation of choice for families.


According to Trekaroo’s 2009 Summer Travel Survey, families were still out in full force. Even against all odds, 75% of respondents didn’t stay home and took their kids on vacation. They took them to the beach, the Wisconsin Dells (haven’t been, but it sounds amazing!), Walt Disney World, out into the wilderness and beyond. We love that you guys love spending time with your families and will go to great lengths to make it happen even on the smallest of budgets. Our hearts go out to the families that weren’t able to afford a summer trip this year. Our vision is to enable families to get out into the world on any budget. We love how anniepants was able to take her family of six down to San Diego for just $576.

“We recently went to San Diego, road trip with 4 kids. We did not go to any large attractions, our plan was to keep it as close to free other than hotel and meals. We did go to Scripps Aquarium which set us back a little over $30 for all of us so that was cheaper than one kids admission to Sea World.

I searched here on Trekaroo for Tide Pools and outdoor fun in San Diego and found many great free ideas. It was wonderful to visit 3 beaches, enjoy the beauty of the outdoors and spend next to nothing for really fun quality time with my kids. We spent $300 for hotel, roughly $100 a night for a nice room with kitchen, ate the free breakfast and grabbed some fruit apples oranges and bananas for the road as they were free with the breakfast and that covered snacks. We would pack sandwiches for the beach and had plenty of food with the fruit for the day and would only eat dinner out. We have a favorite mexican place we go each time we are in San Diego.

We spent $576 this trip for 6 people as our last trip to Disneyland we got out of there for roughly $3500. Sometimes the nature trips are the best ones as you really do enjoy each other and get to take advantage of what is available to us for free!!”

WOW! Here’s the rest of our findings from the survey.

Seventy-Five Percent of Families Took a Vacation this Summer

New Research from Trekaroo Shows Parents Focus on Families First; Budget Calculator and Parent Recommendations Most Visited, Needed Resources

San Francisco, CA (PRWEB) September 9, 2009 — Seventy-five percent of families were able to take a vacation this summer, despite a poor economic climate. This insight is one of many garnered from a new research study conducted by Trekaroo to measure summer travel trends among families in the United States.

“It seems like rumors of the death of family vacations has been greatly exaggerated,” said Esther Lee, CEO of Trekaroo. “As families across the country work to get back on their feet, our new research shows that there’s a continued focus on family. Evidence of continuing family traditions like summer vacations is proof.”

Parents across the country look forward to summer vacation as a time when they can be together with their families, without the stress of work or school schedules getting in the way. As households across the country deal with reduced budgets, parents remained focused on spending time together as a family, while maximizing their dollars on everything from travel expenses to vacation activities.

According to the Trekaroo Summer Travel 2009 Survey:

Budgets were top of mind.

  • At least 54% of families were on a budget;
  • At least half were more concerned with this year’s budget than last year’s;
  • Budgets were on average $1,200;
  • Lodging, travel, and food were the top three vacation activities most impacted by budget;
  • About 62% found planning activities in advance was the key to staying on budget;
  • Nearly 60% used sites like Trekaroo to research budget friendly vacation activities, and
  • Approximately 59% used coupons or other travel incentives.

Families didn’t just stay local.

  • Approximately 62% of families traveled to another state or abroad. The top 3 destinations were
  • Florida, California and international.

  • Beach vacations and theme parks were the top preferred vacation destinations;
  • Cars were the vehicle of choice. Nearly 68% of families preferred driving to flying or train travel; and
  • Canada was the number one international destination for families this summer.

Time wasn’t a factor.

  • Nearly 40% of families planned vacations of five days or more.

Trekaroo, the first review site dedicated to family travel, is helping families build memories and save money, by enabling parents to connect, share resources, and offer tips on how to plan family travel in a recession.

About Trekaroo
Trekaroo is the first review website that is designed specifically to help parents overcome the stress of traveling with kids. The site launched in January 2009 as the brainchild of Brennan and LiLing Pang, fanatic travelers who were determined not to let parenthood stop their quest to see the world locally and further afield. Trekaroo combines interactive tools and resources with the power of an engaged, fast-growing online community of moms and dads, to connect users to a network of families who have traveled to popular destinations all over the United States. It is a 2009 recipient of StartUpNation’s Top 200 Leading Moms in Business award. Trekaroo is headquartered in Palo Alto, California, and can be reached at

About the author

Esther Lee is one of the co-founders of Trekaroo. She is also the mom to a 6 year old boy and 1 year old baby girl.

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