The Influence of Children on the Decision-Making Process of the Family Vacation

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The Influence of Children in Family Tourism Decisions

The choice of tourism activity in a family involves making decisions that include every member of the family taking part in the process. Although in most families decisions about tourism destinations seem to remain with the parents, but children influence the behaviour and attitude of their parents to a great extent. For instance, the children affect the behaviour and attitude of their parents by negating with them about an appropriate destination or expressing their needs.

The Role of Families as Consumers in the Tourism Market

A family is an essential social unit based on a joint life of close relatives usually children and their parents. In marketing, families are considered to be a specific consumer because different family members play different roles during the decision-making process (McCabe et al., 2016). Also, families are considered to be the highest consumer segment in the market. Families are an impressive group because they take into account the needs of their family members, especially during vacations. In comparison to other leisure activities, holidays demand a considerable input of time, effort and money and it is expected to provide the family members with an unforgettable experience in return (Dolnicar & Ring, 2014). That is why the investigation of vacation outside one's normal routine at home is essential during the examination of the decision-making process that leads to the purchase of the holiday. In tourism, families are a targeted segment that has unique characteristics different from other sections in the market (Habibah et al., 2015). During the development of marketing strategies, attention is to be given to families as a target consumer group while targeting the individual stages of the family vacation decision making process.

Evaluating Tourist Preferences and Decision-Making in Family Vacations

This paper is intended to establish the preference and habits of tourists who plan to spend a vacation with their families. Secondly, it aims at determining the reasons for going on a family vacation. Also, it will help to establish the goals for reaching a particular decision during the purchasing or selection of a tourism destination. To determine also who has the most influence during the decision-making process and also determine if the decision on the vacation had an impact on the family's attitudes and behaviour.

Reasons for Family Vacations: Stress Relief and Problem-Solving

There are several reasons why families go on vacations. One of the significant reasons is taking of a break from stress and routine. Most families spend a large percentage of their days running errands, dealing with tasks that have deadlines and other several activities (Boavida-Portugal et al., 2017). Whether they are caused by school, work or extracurricular activities they usually bring stress to the daily life. Pressure can be good at times since it keeps someone alert, but at times stress can cause health problems. Relaxation and break away from daily routine and stress are essential not only for the family's sake but also as a health improvement technique. It is therefore vital for marketers to consider the creation of stress relieving interventions during designing of family vacation packages. Family vacations are also intended to provide a problem-solving atmosphere and away from kids to adapt to new environmental conditions (Li et al., 2017). While on vacation, some circumstances can occur that one did not plan them to happen. Weather can change, a car might break down, or the kids might get sick. In these situations, parents are put on watch and are supposed to deal with such cases. However, when kids see their parents deal with such conditions such as solving real-life problems and adaption to any situation, it helps them understand self-reliance and encourage them to become independent and self-confident.

The Role of Women in Family Tourism Decision Making

Family decision making not only does it affect the behaviour and attitude of tourists, but also plays a significant role in shaping the market of tourism and the hospitality industry as seen above. Women are of considerable influence when it comes to choosing, purchasing, information processing and the determination of favourable holiday packages and purchasing them for the family. However, the choice of a particular holiday package involves the input of every family member, but the woman or mother has the most considerable influence (Ashraf & Khan, 2016). Therefore, for a marketer, it is vital for him or her to come up with strategies that will appeal and attract the woman more.

The Role of Men in Family Tourism Decision Making

Decision making about tourism is not only about the destination but also the means of transport, the activities and the place of stay. In a family, the husband is seen mostly associated with making transportation-related activities. Transportation involves choosing the appropriate means is it driving, flying or by train (Ashraf & Khan, 2016). Deciding the routes to be taken if it is using a car the husband is required to drive, check the safety of the vehicle and fill it up will fuel before departure. However, if the family members have not agreed on the most favourable means changes in behaviour and attitude might be seen. The aim of a family vacation is for everyone to enjoy therefore changes in mood and behaviour is an indication that one is not enjoying therefore not fulfilling the intended purpose (Hammond et al., 2015). It is therefore crucial for a marker to take into account the significant role played by the man or husband in choosing means of transport in designing their transport packages for families. One of the objectives of this research is to determine the impact on the family's attitude and behaviour by choosing a particular type of means of transport to a tourism destination.

The Role of the Wife in Restaurant Selection

The wife is usually a reliable decision maker when it comes to the selection of restaurants and where the family would stay during their vacation. Involvement of the whole family during the choice of such a place is essential (Lehto et al., 2009). For instance, the wife might choose an expensive restaurant that might strain the family. Therefore, it is necessary for the wife to involve the husband for the appropriate choice to be made. Also, choosing restaurants that are near forests may end up scaring the children causing them nightmares. It is therefore essential for the wife or mother to involve the whole family in choosing the appropriate restaurant (Khoo-Lattimore et al., 2015). Besides, there several factors that family consider during the choice of restaurants especially when children are involved. This research is intended to establish the factors families consider in choosing a restaurant and the impact they have on the family's behaviour and attitude.


In conclusion, this research is vital to help marketers develop appropriate marketing strategies and suitable family vacation packages for them to purchase during holidays.


Ashraf, M. and Khan, K.M., 2016. Adolescents’ role in family decision-making for services in India. Young Consumers, 17(4), pp.388-403.

Ashraf, M. and Khan, K.M., 2016. Spousal role and family vacation decision making in India. International Journal of Business and Systems Research, 10(1), pp.45-61.

Boavida-Portugal, I., Ferreira, C.C. and Rocha, J., 2017. Where to vacation? An agent-based approach to modelling tourist decision-making process. Current Issues in Tourism, 20(15), pp.1557-1574.

Dolnicar, S. and Ring, A., 2014. Tourism marketing research: Past, present and future. Annals of Tourism Research, 47, pp.31-47.

Habibah, A., Hamzah, J., Er, A.C., Buang, A. and Selvadurai, S., 2015. Appraisal of family-friendly tourism in Malaysia. Tourismos, 10(1).

Hammond, J.S., Keeney, R.L. and Raiffa, H., 2015. Smart choices: A practical guide to making better decisions. Harvard Business Review Press.

Khoo-Lattimore, C., Prayag, G. and Cheah, B.L., 2015. Kids on board: Exploring the choice process and vacation needs of Asian parents with young children in resort hotels. Journal of Hospitality Marketing & Management, 24(5), pp.511-531.

Lehto, X.Y., Choi, S., Lin, Y.C. and MacDermid, S.M., 2009. Vacation and family functioning. Annals of Tourism Research, 36(3), pp.459-479.

Li, M., Wang, D., Xu, W. and Mao, Z., 2017. Motivation for family vacations with young children: anecdotes from the Internet. Journal of Travel & Tourism Marketing, 34(8), pp.1047-1057.

McCabe, S., Li, C. and Chen, Z., 2016. Time for a radical reappraisal of tourist decision making? Toward a new conceptual model. Journal of Travel Research, 55(1), pp.3-15.

January 19, 2024

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