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Vacations Are Stressing Families Out. A MasterCard Survey Reveals That 50 Percent Of Americans Wish They Could Redo A Past Family Vacation. (Graphic: Business Wire)

While half (50 percent) of U.S. adults plan on taking a family vacation this summer, the large majority (89 percent) are plagued by the amount of time and effort required for planning a successful trip.

According to an Omnibus survey commissioned by MasterCard, American families are most stressed out about:

  • Getting to, from and through a departing and arriving airport (57%)
  • Deciding on a location (50%)
  • Developing an itinerary of fun and unique experiences (49%)
  • Finding family friendly accommodations (44%)

These trip-related challenges may explain why half (50 percent) of U.S. adults have had a family vacation experience in the past they wish they could re-do.

The perceived hassle is notably greater among people who do not have vacation plans. For instance, those without a trip in the books are more likely to wish planning a family vacation was simpler (72 percent versus 66 percent of those with vacation plans). Additionally, women (74 percent) are more likely than men (67 percent) to find family vacation planning stressful.

Carlos Menendez, travel warrior and global head of consumer products at MasterCard: “Family vacations are the most precious time of the year – but planning them shouldn’t be stressful. We want to be a family’s best travel companion – taking away the hassle from finding a destination, booking a trip, getting there and organizing a rewarding experience.“

According to the survey, when on vacation, 93 percent of Americans are motivated to use a credit, debit or prepaid card over cash – for the following reasons:

  • Convenience (80%)
  • Fraud protection or theft protection (65%)
  • Tracking purchases (49%)
  • Earning rewards, points or cash back (46%)
  • Avoiding the currency exchange (45%)

Follow this link for five steps towards a successful family vacation.


These findings are based on a telephone survey conducted among two national probability samples, which, when combined, consists of 1,006 adults, 489 men and 517 women 18 years of age and older, living in the continental United States. Interviewing for this CARAVAN® Survey was completed on May 1-4, 2014. 606 interviews were from the landline sample and 400 interviews from the cell phone sample.

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