Austin-Lehman Adventures learned recently during an online focus group for kids that few children (20 percent) have a say in family vacation planning, that children want most to see new places on vacation (as opposed to spending quality time with their family) and that if a guide is involved, the Pied Piper must have a generous sense of humor.
These tidbits came out during ALA’s on-line focus group on April 15 that engaged over 50 youngsters ages 8 to 15 for 55 minutes on “What Kids Want on a Family adventure Vacation.”
“New findings will be incorporated into this year’s spring guide training and into future trips,” said Dan Austin, ALA’s founding director. “The purpose of this focus group was to stay ahead of the pack, improve upon what we’re already doing great and keep up with new trends and learn what these age groups most want and sometimes fear when going on an active family vacation.”
Although children are excited about adventure travel, they’re also concerned that activities may be too hard and beyond their abilities, said Austin. “Knowing this is a major concern, on the welcome day on a trip, our guides will now be instructed to speak directly to the kids to help them put their anxiety and fears aside.”
Preferred activities ranked by response are swimming, snorkeling and bike riding. Favorite destinations are, in order of preference; the beach, mountains and a national park. They prefer active games such as soccer and volleyball over board games.
Austin-Lehman Adventures’ newly appointed CEO (Chief Entertainment Officer) Kasey Austin led the young-people-only discussion focused on eight questions presented in an interactive online survey. “This is an ongoing research project and dialogue between ALA and its guests, fans and family to constantly improve and enhance the ALA trip experience,” said Austin. “Our summer guests will benefit from the ideas that come out of this focus group discussion.” Findings will be integrated into ALA family trip programming and orchestrated with guides during ALA’s annual spring Guide Training May 31-June 4 in Billings, MT.