Recently over 1,000 parents with kids ages 5-17 participated in a Disney Time Survey and what was revealed is a whole lot of families are in need of some major family bonding time.
The average American family doesn’t think they spend enough time together (guilty). We don’t know about you, but between school, work, sports, and extracurricular activities it’s no surprise that we are all feeling disconnected and burnt out. The best way to reconnect with your loved ones is to get away. No distractions and no excuses: just you and your kids spending quality time, enjoying each other’s company. Can’t we all use some family bonding time? It doesn’t have to be far away, exotic or super expensive as long as you are together. It won’t be long before spring break is upon us, and summer is just around the corner. Now is the perfect time for you to make plans, pack your bags, board planes, trains, automobiles, and head out to your destination of choice. It’s time to start “dating” your own family, rediscover and learn new things about each other.
There’s nothing more important to us then family. As sisters we have so many wonderful memories of family vacations we took with our parents while growing up, many of them were yep, you guessed it — Disney family vacations. Last year while attending the Disney Social Media Moms Conference, we heard the chilling statement that continues to pull at our mama heart strings every time we think of it. Amy Foster from Disney Parks Consumer Insights shared “You only have 18 summers with your children.” Every parent in the room took a collective sigh sob and depending how old your kids are, some of us have a lot less time than that. That one little sentence reminded us all that our kids are growing up in the blink of an eye. Before we know it they will go off to college, become adults, and have families of their own. Right now is the time to enjoy your family and stop putting off that vacation that you’ve been dreaming about. We’ve taken this advice as our parental wake up call. We are making a conscious effort to honor the precious, yet limited time we have with one another. Check out some of the alarming stats about quality time and how the average American family doesn’t get enough of it in their daily lives.
The Time Is Now!
20 Reasons To Take Your Family Vacation Sooner Rather Than Later
Time-Starved American Families Look to Vacations to Rediscover Each Other, Survey Shows!
Between long work hours, school and other distractions, the average American family doesn't think they spend enough quality time together. The Disney Time Survey conducted by Kelton asked families to think about and share their thoughts on quality time spent at home, versus on vacation. Overall, the survey revealed shocking statistics!
Disney Parks Survey on Family Vacations Reveals A Lot!
Disney asked Kelton to conduct the survey to better understand the value parents believe vacations bring to their families. For many parents, time spent with their kids is precious and often scarce. In fact, according to the survey, parents admitted...
Out of 52 weeks a year, on average, parents surveyed admit that they have only 15 "free" weekends i.e. "no plans." Further, 13 percent say they have no free weekends.
We’re Willing To Sacrifice!
Ninety-six percent of parents would give up at least one thing for a year to spend just one extra hour with their children every week, such as a favorite TV show/sports/game (78 percent), the internet (74 percent), shopping (74 percent), sleeping late (69 percent), a favorite hobby (64 percent), even coffee (59 percent).
We Want More Time With Our Children!
Seventy-one percent of parents would love more time with their kids up to nine hours more a week, specifically.
Solution? Go on Vacation!
The findings present vacations as a key way to cultivate family bonding and strengthen quality time.
Quality Time At Home Is Hard To Come By!
Almost one in two parents feel that out of all the time they spend with their children, only half of it, at most, could be classified as "quality time."
Quality Time On Vacation Is Plentiful!
However, while on vacation, parents report that 82 percent of time would fall in the "quality time" category.
It’s Good To Learn New Things About Each Other!
Ninety-seven percent of parents say that their children have gotten to know new things about them while taking family trips, including more about their parents' childhoods (86 percent) or facts about other family members (74 percent).
On Vacation… We’re More Excited!
When they do vacation together, the whole family is inclined to be more excited (77 percent).
On Vacation… We’re More Relaxed and Calm!
When they do vacation together, the whole family is inclined to be more relaxed (75 percent) and more calm (54 percent).
On Vacation… We’re More Affectionate!
When they do vacation together, the whole family is inclined to be even more affectionate (54 percent).
On Vacation… We’re More Silly!
When they do vacation together, the whole family is inclined to be more silly (68 percent).
We Eat Together as a Family Much More While On Vacation!
Parents report eating an average of 10 meals with their children in a typical week at home. However, when on a seven-day vacation, families say they almost double the number of meals they eat together (19 meals vs. 10 meals) and 68 percent claim they would eat all 21 meals (three meals per day) as a family.
Family Travel: Looking Ahead!
As part of the study commissioned for Disney Parks, parents were asked to share some vacation habits and places of interest. Family travel is set for growth over the next five years, findings showed.
The Importance of Family Vacations!
More than eight in ten (82 percent) respondents who have taken family vacations reveal that they will take the same amount of, if not more, vacations in the next five years. Further, 94 percent of parents think it's important for families to take vacations together on a regular schedule.
What Types of Vacations We Like to Take!
When asked to pick one specific location where they felt their family would have the best time on vacation, top responses in terms of type were theme park, beach, cruises and camping, respectively.
Where We Like to Go!
Parents also highlighted Florida, specifically Orlando, Hawaii and California as top destinations for family vacations.
Disney Parks: Celebrates Limited Time Magic With Families!
This year, Disney Time gets an extra sprinkling of pixie dust as Disney Parks celebrates Limited Time Magic, featuring special and new experiences every week aimed at creating memories to last a lifetime.
So What Are You Waiting For?
Parents more affectionate, family togetherness at dinnertime doubles on the road,
according to findings. Even more reason to start planning your next family vacation.
Take a Trip…
Your Memories Are Waiting!
Disclosure: Most photos used in this post were taken during our DisneySMMoms Trip to Walt Disney World last year, which for the record was one of the BEST family vacations we’ve ever had. We were invited and offered special rates to attend this magical conference that included parties, sessions and swag. It also included memories that will last a lifetime. Thanks Disney!
All Photos: Taken by Disney Sisters
All Statistics: Provided by Disney Parks, according to the Disney Time Survey: a blind study conducted by Kelton a leading research firm
We’d rather be at Disneyland.