How Advertisers Can Inspire Family Travel This Season & Beyond | Industry Insights | All MKC Content | ANA

How Advertisers Can Inspire Family Travel This Season & Beyond


The holiday season is one of the most popular times of the year for family travel. Whether it's visiting relatives or gifting loved ones with a vacation, the decisions around when, where and how to travel often involve multiple stakeholders. With each traveler having different interests and opinions, how do you get the entire family on the same page when deciding where to go and what to do?

For travel brands seeking to connect with families this holiday season and beyond, it's essential to understand the factors shaping the industry and leverage the right advertising channels and tactics to reach travel decision-makers. Analysis of internal data and consumer trends driving family travel reveal CTV and digital advertising are uniquely positioned to influence a household's next big adventure.

Increased Interest in Gifting "Experiences" Over "Things"

The beauty of travel lies in its ability to offer novel experiences like visiting a new locale, tasting a particular food for the first time or trying your hand at a new activity. The good news for many travel brands is that consumers are increasingly choosing to gift experiences over material things this holiday season.

According to Deloitte, we can expect to see a decline of 5 percent overall on gift purchases, while planned expenditures on experiences are up 7 percent. Additionally, Mastercard Economics Institute found in a May 2022 study that consumers are spending nearly 35 percent more on experiences than they did in 2019, with experience spending outpacing spending on "things" since the summer of 2021.

What better experience to gift than a vacation or travel to a new and exciting destination? But according to a study by the Family Travel Association, the perfect family getaway isn't one-size-fits-all. The study found that beach vacations, city vacations and visiting friends and family were all considered the most coveted trips among families.

Travelers are prioritizing quality family time (and budgeting) this holiday season.

While destination preferences vary, spending time on shared experiences without overspending is a common theme among family travelers this year.

Our seasonal travel insights revealed that consumers are interested in holiday getaways that enable them to spend quality time with their immediate family and experience a new place – without breaking the bank. We found that 24 percent of family travelers are trying to spend budgets more wisely this year, and 50 percent say that price is a significant consideration when booking travel dates. With inflation at an all-time high, road trips are becoming a popular travel option – 45 percent of holiday family travelers plan to travel using their own vehicles.

According to Deloitte's 2022 holiday travel survey, the number one travel motivator this year across all age groups (18 to 34, 35 to 54, 55 and over) is "reconnecting with family and friends." With the world beginning to move forward from an era of COVID-19 precautions and limited travel, this desire to reconnect with family and enjoy new adventures with loved ones may be a sentiment that consumers take with them even beyond the holiday season.

Family Travel in the New Year

With the waning impact of COVID on travel decisions, consumers are reportedly more comfortable taking trips again. As a result of the increasing perception of safety, family travel is expected to rebound in the new year – and in a big way. According to, 54 percent of millennial families put multi-generational, "family reunion"-type trips at the top of their 2023 travel agendas.

Similarly, 46 percent of respondents in a Family Travel Association survey say they plan to travel with family members beyond parents and in-laws. Whether it's a big extended family trip or a getaway with close loved ones that consumers seek, travel brands will need to find effective ways to connect with family travelers and stay top-of-mind.

How Travel Advertisers Can Inspire a Family's Next Big Adventure

Travel decisions, especially for a family trip, will involve many stakeholders. In fact, nearly 90 percent of key purchase decisions are decided on by the household. With so many travel options, considerations, and preferences, what is the best way for travel brands to reach and influence household members, so they are all on the same page? The answer may lie in CTV ads targeted at the household level.

CTV is a powerful medium for creating awareness, and 92 percent of U.S. households are reachable by CTV programmatic advertising. An ad served on CTV can also be delivered across all personal devices within a home; with this digital magnification of the CTV ad content, household targeting becomes an effective solution for influencing family purchase decisions.

For example, a family could be watching a travel ad on CTV. Then a short time after initial CTV exposure, an interactive, video-driven ad that highlights destination selling points or hotel amenities can be served on all personal devices within the home. Each household member can then explore the ad content independently to gain a deeper understanding of the travel brand's offering.

With an average home containing more than 10 connected devices, household targeting enables travel brands to both build awareness through the power of the big CTV screen and drive action through interactive ads on personal digital devices.

With the right data (or data partners), travel brands can identify high-lifting behaviors to ensure that the right households are targeted. Audience insights data at showed that current family travelers, when compared against the general population, expressed greater interest in:

  • Shopping for Luggage: 17 times
  • Pet Hotels: 15 times
  • Towable RVs: 11 times
  • Cocktail Recipes: 7 times

As family travel bounces back this holiday season and in the new year, companies in the travel sector can leverage interactive, video-driven ads to create inviting and memorable brand experiences. Whether family travelers are in the initial stages of their planning journey or ready to book their dream vacation, a household targeting approach to advertising can create the kind of impact that inspires travelers to take the next step in the journey.

The views and opinions expressed are solely those of the contributor and do not necessarily reflect the official position of the ANA or imply endorsement from the ANA. 

Whitney Burbank is lead of industry solutions and travel at