The average American’s ‘dream vacation’ takes just under a year to save for, study finds

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The “dream vacation” for American families takes nearly a year to save up for, according to new research.

A study examining the lengths parents go to try to give their children perfect childhood memories found moms and dads have to save for 10 months on average in order to make it happen.

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Whether dreaming of making memories at Disneyland, flying across the world or enjoying the luxury of a cruise, parents put an average of $416 dollars into their dream vacation fund each month.

From reducing their own spends on socializing or ordering take-out, to using coupons, forgoing date nights and shopping in discount stores, the research unearthed the biggest efforts parents make in trying to bring their kids that dream trip.

It’s worth the trouble though, as the vast majority of parents (89 percent) believe it’s important for their children to travel.

family vacation istock

And to provide them sunscreen, of course.

 (iStock)

Top reasons for this include the importance of experiencing a new areas or culture (74 percent), strengthening family relationships (73 percent) and giving children both the opportunity to have fun and to learn new things (67 percent).

The study of 2,000 parents with school-aged children found that parents spend an average of six months carefully planning their dream vacation and working out how to make it a reality.

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The survey, conducted by OnePoll and commissioned by Visit Anaheim in honor of World Tourism Day 2018 (Sep 27), found that two-thirds find it difficult to put money away — which is why 56 percent fear they’ll never be able to save enough for their ideal vacation.

What does the “dream vacation” look like to most? The average budget for a trip-of-a-lifetime is almost $5,000, and many parents budget and save diligently to make this happen.

More than six in 10 parents have worked longer hours in order to save money, while 55 percent have shopped at discount stores and cut back on time spent with friends.

Some parents are willing to be a bit more extreme: 3 in 10 have canceled streaming services or other online accounts and 24 percent have forgone saving for retirement in order to save money for a family trip.

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On the other hand, these sacrifices can pay off. Sixty-three percent of people say they’ve been on what they consider a “dream vacation.”

The ideal trip is nine days long, and parents say the most important aspects of a trip are the location (79 percent), the budget (71 percent) and the dates of travel (47 percent). Attractions during the stay (46 percent) and transportation to the destination (21 percent) round out the top five most important aspects of a trip.

For the dream vacation, parents would also like to be near beaches (72 percent), restaurants (69 percent) and amusement parks (59 percent).

family vacation istock

Meanwhile, 100 percent of kids in the middle seat of this photo would love to go to amusement parks on every single vacation.

 (iStock)

Seventy-nine percent of parents say their dream trip would be a mix between active and quiet, and 83 percent say their children have a say in the vacation destination.



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