Traveling together as a family is something so special. It lets you spend some quality time with one another and make some incredible memories you can reminisce on for years to come. It’s funny, though, because how families vacation has changed significantly over the years. For example, commercial air travel was only introduced in 1914, so before that, most families stayed close to home when taking a vacation. But nowadays, many families make it a point to take one or two big vacations a year, with some of those trips even being international.
And with the meaning of family travel constantly changing, we wanted to do a deep dive and look at family travel in the past versus how it is now. For example, what vacation trends were popular back then versus now? How often did people travel back then versus now? How much did travel cost back then versus now?
Well, be prepared to hop in your time machine because we are ready to discover the answers to all of these questions and take a look at what family travel was like back then versus now. Let’s get started!
Popular Family Vacation Trends: Then Vs. Now
Back then, vacations weren’t necessarily a priority for most families, and if they did go on a trip, it was more lowkey. Popular trends included going camping, taking a road trip somewhere close to home, or visiting family and friends. Nowadays, though you will still see families taking similar trips, many people will make it a point to take one or more “big” vacations a year as a family, which may involve taking a plane ride to a different state or even a different country.
Family Travel Cost: Then Vs. Now
One significant difference between family travel now versus then is the cost. The cost of travel has gone up immensely, especially over the past few years. However, you may be surprised to hear that domestic airline tickets are cheaper on average now than in the 1980s. For example, in the 1980s, the average round-trip domestic airline ticket cost $592.55, whereas the cost for a round-trip domestic airline ticket in 2022 was only $404.84 on average.
When it comes to accommodations, prices have risen immensely since the 1980s. For example, the average cost to rent a hotel room in the 1980s was $45.44 a night, whereas, in 2022, the average nightly price of a hotel room was $148.83. The cost of hotel rooms nowadays can be a huge burden on families, as some families may need to rent more than one hotel room to accommodate their whole group.
Popular Family Travel Destinations: Then Vs. Now
Many families now make it a point to take numerous trips a year, with some of those trips even being to international destinations. Whereas back in the day, most families would try and stay close to home or travel to a nearby state. As of 2023, some of the most popular travel destinations for families include:
- New York
- Costa Rica
- United Kingdom
Family Travel Tips
Get Your Travel Documents Early: If you’re taking a family trip and plan on going out of the country, make sure that you obtain your travel documents as soon as possible. Passport processing is taking longer than usual, and you may not get your new passport or passport renewal in time if you don’t apply right away. Further, be sure to check if you and your family will need to obtain visas for your destination.
Pack Activities and Snacks: Travel days can be long, especially for children. If you know you will be driving a long distance or taking a plane to your destination, pack some activities and snacks. This way, you and your family will be entertained, the time will pass by more quickly, and you won’t have to worry about anyone becoming hungry.
Be in the Moment: Although taking photos of your vacation and capturing moments with your family is great, try to stay off your phone and electronic devices as much as possible while away. Vacations are about spending time with one another and being in the moment, and that’s hard to do when you’re staring at a screen. If you find that you need a passport or visa for your upcoming family trip, you can get the process started on the Swift Passport and Visa website. If you find that you have any questions about the application process, please contact a member of our team. We’d be happy to help! No matter where you plan on going for your next family vacation, we’ll get you there!