SAN FRANCISCO and GREENWICH, Conn., Oct. 17, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Ah, the holidays. It’s that special time when the whole family comes together around a festive table to reconnect and renew. Or is it?

A new survey of readers of the leading family travel website TravelingMom, TravelingDad, a family travel website written by dads for dads, and the social community of Vacatia, the resort marketplace for vacationing families and friends, suggests that going home for the holidays is no longer a family travel tradition for many. More than 26 percent of survey respondents say they will be staying home or vacationing – not with extended family – this year.

Even when spending holidays with extended family, these days the destination varies.
One third of respondents (33 percent) still say tradition rules and they will be “traveling back ‘home’ for the holidays to see family.” Another 24 percent will be playing holiday host for their extended families, saying “help me now, they’re all coming to my house.” About 17 percent of respondents are headed to neutral ground, reporting they will be “meeting up with family at a destination.”

“Many of our guests have a tradition of spending the holidays with extended family at a beach or ski destination,” says Caroline Shin, CEO and co-founder of Vacatia. “Often those guests book our bigger resort rentals – two-, three-, or four-bedroom residences or larger to accommodate their family members, insisting on a family room for get-together time, and a kitchen for preparing holiday meals.”

For those who do go home for the holidays, modern lifestyles mean we don’t always celebrate the holiday on the holiday.

One-third (33 percent) of survey respondents say that “remarriages, demanding in-laws, and/or large families mean we juggle multiple gatherings and commitments.” Another 23 percent note “work schedules and conflicting commitments mean we celebrate the holiday on a different day.”

“If you look at the holidays as ‘holiday time’ rather than getting together on a specific day, it gives you more options,” says Kim Orlando, founder of TravelingMom. “For example, if you want to travel together to a destination, it’s less crowded and more affordable to travel before or after the holiday itself.”

Nearly 25 percent of respondents say that if the emotional weight of family obligations didn’t exist, they likely would “pick somewhere to go as a family, and do a trip instead of gifts.”

More than 37 percent reported, given a choice, “we would see the family members we enjoy“ only. Almost 8 percent said they would just stay home, stating “we would save the money and hassle of holiday travel.”

“We’re seeing more and more families choosing to give experiences rather than things as gifts,” Orlando says. “Last year for Christmas, I gave my family airline tickets. It gave us something to talk about and look forward to for 6 months until the trip.”

“Travel is the greatest gift of all – it makes incredible memories and bonds families like nothing else can,” Orlando adds.

Family travel is a $140 billion year-around business, which still tends to peak when the kids are out of school. Shin noted Vacatia was founded specifically to serve the family travel market by providing convenient access to resort residences. Shin says, “As the demographic trends evolve, and family members become more mobile, following school, career, or passions, we are happy to help bring families together for the holidays in whichever of the best North American leisure destinations they choose, whenever they choose to meet.”

Respondents say their family’s holiday routine has changed significantly since their childhood.

More than half (59 percent) say the biggest holiday changes over the years are in family “gift giving” practices. Another 57 percent say the biggest changes are around the “activities and traditions” of the holidays (respondents could select more than one choice). Almost 42 percent mentioned “sleeping arrangements” have changed most, while 28 percent noted that “eating arrangements” were most different. About 17% specifically mentioned “the day when we actually celebrate the holiday” as the routine that has most changed.

Lesson learned from this survey? Flexibility makes for the best holiday experiences. For everyone.

Survey results were compiled between September 12th and 30th, 2017.

About Vacatia:
Vacatia is the resort marketplace for vacationing families and friends. Our mission is to make family vacations better and to help family resorts thrive. We make it easy for guests to find and instantly book their perfect resort residence, combining the space of a home and the services of a hotel. Vacatia provides real-time rental listings, large photos, floor plans, and detailed resort information, supported by Vacatia Guest Care and multiple flexible payment options. We work with 600+ select professionally managed resorts and resort residence owners at leading hospitality, vacation ownership (timeshare) and premier independent resorts. No private homes or hotels allowed! Vacatia also partners with select brands to operate vacation ownership marketplaces. Vacatia is a member of the Family Travel Association and the American Resort Development Association (ARDA), which named Vacatia the winner of the "ACE Innovator Award: Industry Partner" category of the 2017 ARDA Awards. Vacatia is venture-backed, was founded in 2013, and is headquartered in San Francisco, CA.

About TravelingMom and TravelingDad:
TravelingMom is the leading family travel content and influencer network, and a multi-platform media company. The TravelingMom and TravelingDad Influencer Network is a vibrant, supportive community of 90+ prolific travel writers and social media influencers who are moms and dads, grandmoms and granddads, sisters, brothers, daughters, sons, and significant others with the authority that comes from ongoing extensive family travel.  TravelingMom influences a community of 1.1 million+ highly motivated family travel decision makers through its network of affiliated web sites, and a trusted social presence across a dozen platforms, most notably Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, and Google+. In 2016, TravelingMom was named to Parents Magazine’s “50 Best of the Web.” In addition to the TravelingMom and TravelingDad websites, TravelingMom also operates SheBuysCars. Headquartered in Greenwich CT, TravelingMom was founded by Kim Orlando in 2006.

Media Contact - For additional data, charts, quotes or comments please contact:
Mike Janes, Chief Marketing Officer
Phone: +1 855 382 7100

Kim Orlando, Founder
Phone: 203-912-9099