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Moms Grow Optimistic About Family Vacation But Remain Frugal

NASHVILLE -- More moms are comfortable about taking time off work for family vacation this year, but they're still watching their purse strings, according to a national survey.

Almost 64% of the employed moms are optimistic about taking all of their paid vacation days, up from only 57% last year. Just as last year, however, most plan to pay for vacations out of current resources instead of using credit.

Conducted by Nashville-based, the poll of 634 women – equally spread among Generation Y, Generation X and baby boomers and all with at least one child at home – showed moms continue to book travel close to date of departure, but 26% still book three to six months out. is a blog that tracks trends affecting moms and their buying habits. David Bohan, chairman and CEO of BOHAN, an advertising and marketing firm, created it.

"Moms are pocketbook prudent when it comes to travel," Bohan said. "They're taking the long view, declaring the importance of family vacations while being careful how they pay for them."

Almost half of the moms in all three generations plan to purchase vacation with monthly savings, followed by tax refunds. This cash mentality mirrors last year's feelings.

Much smaller percentages were willing to "put it on plastic".

Summer remains the preferred travel season, but spring is growing.

Sacrifice remains a theme, but there's been a shift. Last year, moms expected yearlong sacrifices to make vacation affordable. This year, there is slightly more emphasis on being frugal while actually on vacation. (Example: 42% last year expected to cut back on restaurant dining all year, but that has dropped to 33%.)

Two signs of optimism involved flying and choosing new vacation destinations. The number of moms opting to fly instead of drive grew from 28% to 36%, while more moms are looking for new destinations.

One destination that drew significant national attention last year was the Gulf Coast during the BP oil spill, and moms were paying attention.

More than half think it's safe to visit the Gulf Coast again, and baby boomers were the most confident. However, the numbers dropped when it comes to letting their own children swim there.

"Consumers have long memories about travel destination disasters. Destination marketers have a long road to travel to educate people about current facts – long after the original trauma is gone," Bohan said.

Nashville-based BOHAN is a full-service advertising and marketing agency with major clients in tourism, health care and consumer goods. Information is at

Published February 17, 2011

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