Summer Vacation Survey Reveals What Kids and Moms Want to do – and NOT do – This Year

Jellystone Park study finds pent up demand, but moms remain nervous about some types of trips

  • Pack the car or RV. 93% of moms want to take a vacation, but only 37% are comfortable flying.
  • Grab the s’mores. 70% of moms say they are comfortable camping compared to 62% who are OK staying in hotels.
  • Splash! Kids rate swimming and water parks #1 for summer fun.
  • Give me a break. While moms want family togetherness and bonding, 80% also want “me time.”

CINCINNATI, May 18, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — After more than a year of extreme family closeness, moms surprisingly want to take summer trips that create even more togetherness. However, the last thing kids want to do is spend time with the folks – and definitely not with sis or bro. And sorry kids, mom has a very different idea of what to do on vacation.

Those are some of the key findings from a new national survey of more than 800 moms and their kids ages 6 to 12 recently conducted for Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park Camp-Resorts.

Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park is North America’s leading family camping and glamping chain, famous for pools, water slides, splashgrounds, jumping pillows, wagon rides, foam parties and interactions with Yogi Bear costumed characters. Jellystone Park has more than 75 franchised locations in the U.S. and Canada. Guests choose from a variety of camping and glamping accommodations.

Conducted last month by Touchstone Research, the survey asked both moms and kids about general vacation topics, as well as camping and glamping. Respondents included families with and without camping experience.

Where to go? How to get there?

Nearly three-fourths of moms (73%) said they are very interested in going on a family vacation this summer, assuming safe options are available. Add in moms who are somewhat interested and the number jumps to 93%.

Seventy percent said they are somewhat to very comfortable camping, compared with vacationing in an RV (63%) or staying in a hotel room (62%).

Moms are very concerned about flying, with just more than one-third (37%) comfortable traveling by air, although 88% of kids said that would be fun. Only one-in-five moms is comfortable taking a cruise.

While 96% of kids rated going to amusement parks as fun, less than half of moms (46%) are comfortable taking their kids to them.

A word of warning: don’t go too far from home. Only 43% of kids said a long car trip would be fun.

What do kids want?

Kids rated going to swimming pools and water parks even higher than visiting amusement parks, with nearly every child (97%) saying that would be fun. Moms approve of swimming and visiting water parks, which many camping resorts feature. Of moms who have camped, more than 70% said activities such as swimming, mini golf and organized games reduce the amount of time kids spend on social media.

While moms see family togetherness, communication and bonding as important vacation benefits, kids have other ideas. When asked what they like about summer vacation, only 50% gave five thumbs up – the most possible – to spending time with their parents; even fewer (35%) gave five thumbs up to being with their brothers and sisters.

However, like their parents, kids have the travel bug, with 73% giving five thumbs up to going to new places. To a lesser degree, they like hanging out with nearby friends and family during the summer (65% five thumbs up), playing outside (61% five thumbs up) and playing video games (53% five thumbs up).

Other top-rated summer activities include staying in hotels, cabins, and RVs, visiting out-of-town family and friends, eating out, going to movies, interacting with costumed characters, and outdoor fun, such as hiking and canoeing. Younger girls are significantly more likely than boys to favor outdoor activities and visiting new places.

Visiting museums and historic sites get thumbs down, as they were rated far less popular than other options.

What do moms want?

The survey found the most appealing vacation options give moms the ability to control who is around their children or to control their family’s environment, with 90% of respondents saying that is somewhat to very appealing. Opportunities for children to learn new life skills is equally important followed by saving money on eating out.

Ninety percent of all moms – and 98 percent of those with camping experience – said that camping and glamping lead to greater family communication and bonding, compared to other activities. Spending time together as a family and communicating face-to-face provides the biggest impact, followed by cooking together over a campfire, and less social media and screen time.

Although moms prioritize family togetherness, they also value “me time” or time with their spouse or partner. Nearly 80% said vacations that include organized children’s activities are appealing.

“Given the recent rise in camping’s popularity and the ongoing concerns about COVID-19, we were not surprised to see moms rate camping so favorably,” said Trent Hershenson, Jellystone Park vice president of Marketing. “What did surprise us is how deep their feelings are about camping, especially the positive impacts it has on their families.” He noted that 98% of the moms with camping experience would recommend it to friends and family. “That is simply astounding,” he said.

The survey was conducted in the U.S. by Touchstone Research, Inc. on behalf of Jellystone Park. The survey’s margin of error is ± 3.4 percentage points at the 95% confidence level. It was completed April 24, 2021.

Interviews are available.

About Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park™ Camp-Resorts
With more than 75 locations across the United States and Canada, Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park is famous for providing guests with top-flight attractions such as pools, water slides, and splashgrounds; family activities such as jumping pillows, mini golf, and foam parties; character interactions with Yogi Bear and his friends; and fun-filled theme weekends such as Chocolate Lovers Weekend and Halloween Spooktacular Weekends. Guests at Jellystone Park locations can choose from a variety of accommodation options ranging from premium cabins and yurts to deluxe RV sites and traditional tenting campsites. For more information, visit and

About Touchstone Research, Inc.
Touchstone Research, Inc. is a full service, global marketing research and consumer insights firm serving the world’s largest brands, marketers and agencies. Headquartered in New Haven, Connecticut, Touchstone Research specializes in youth and family research.  For more information, visit

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Brad Ritter, Ritter Communications
[email protected]

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at