Undeterred by the economic slowdown, burden of high inflation and rising interest rates, Indian families are gearing up to have at least two vacations during 2013, according to a latest survey.

The study conducted by world’s leading travel advisory site TripAdvisor.com said 89 per cent of the families who were surveyed planned to take at least two vacations in 2013. The ‘India Family Travel Survey’ also said families may spend over 50 per cent more on their holidays compared to last year. As many as 48 per cent said their children had already taken at least one international holiday. The survey was conducted on 1,400 online respondents.

TripAdvisor India country manager Nikhil Ganju said the family travel survey reveals that families will maintain their vacation plans this year even though 50 per cent anticipate they will spend more compared to 2012. While this could imply an increase in average family holiday budget, realistically it is likely to be symptomatic of the prevailing trend of higher airfares, fuel prices, room rates and more recently even train travel. “An encouraging trend, the survey indicates that parents see travel as part and parcel of holistic learning with as many as 97 per cent respondents saying they consider travel important for their children's education with 70 per cent among these claiming it to be very important,” he added.

Children coming under the privileged Gen-Y appear to be more privileged with far more opportunities than their parents had. As much as 48 per cent respondents said their children had already taken at least one international holiday, and 81 per cent respondents acknowledged they got to go on their first international tour at an age much older than what their children’s age was on their first overseas trip. Though ‘train’ emerged as the most stressful mode of transport with children, 38 per cent respondents said they don’t find travelling with their kids stressful at all. While pacifiers may work for infants, travelling with older kids may call for other means of distraction. What comes as a pleasant surprise is that parents still find music (44 per cent) followed by books (40 per cent) to be the top two most effective things to keep kids busy on a journey, with iPads, portable DVD players and video games trailing behind.

Also, spending time with children obviously is a large part of the agenda of family holidays as 69 per cent respondents said they don’t use childcare/babysitting services at their hotels and keep their children with them all the time. Only 11 per cent parents said they take advantage of kids clubs, play areas and other supervised activities for kids when holidaying.

Indian families confessed that one thing they enjoyed the most about staying in a hotel on a family holiday was the complimentary breakfast which 56 per cent rated as their top indulgence. The other things they enjoyed most about a hotel stay were the ‘change in scenery from home’ (57 per cent) and ‘visiting the pool’ (40 per cent).

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