Travel With Special Needs enables the 1 in 5 Aussies who have a disability to explore the world, just like everyone else. Continue reading “It’s time: Equal access and opportunities for travellers with special needs”
SYDNEY, 20 November 2018 – The number one editorial family travel platform in APAC, Family Travel, today reveals it’s website redesign, putting user experience front and centre.
Since the original launch in 2015, the Family Travel website has evolved from kids-only to whole family focused. Today the website includes high quality, focused content directed by Family Travel’s (ex-AAP) digital editor Alison Godfrey, and curated family-only hot travel deals. Family Travel is the obvious choice for parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, carers and friends to find the best holidays and things to do with the kids in their lives.
“Quality, meaningful and useful content is what the Family Travel audience craves,” said Bound Round CEO, Janeece Keller. “In today’s hectic family life, time is a precious commodity. Our audience are actively searching for a specific type and depth of content and need access to it quickly and efficiently. The refresh of the website brings our breadth of content and products to the fore and puts what our audience wants and needs within easy reach.”
Family Travel has undergone numerous changes in the past 12 months from a rebrand in December 2018 (from Bound Round to Family Travel) through to this most recent unveiling of its website that delivers key functionality to better service the site’s rapidly growing audience.
New features of Family Travel include a modernised design with improved search, filtering and smoother navigation to improve consumer experience and offer enhanced commercial opportunities for branded content and holiday product offerings.
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Issue #56 of Out & About With Kids is now available. Grab a copy in newsagents around Australia or read the digital version here.
This is the first issue with Bound Round as publishers and with Tatyana Leonov as editor. We hope you enjoy reading this issue as much as we enjoyed putting it together.
We’ve covered everything – from USA adventures to the snow season and a whopper Fiji rundown. Find out why Fraser Island has always been on Tatyana’s must-visit list and where the best Australian whale-watching locations are. We’ve got camping in New South Wales and a how-to guide for the Gold Coast on a budget covered. And that’s just some of the Australian content! This issue also sees us open the 2018 Best in Family Travel awards, so make sure you go online and vote for your favourite family travel provider, and in doing so get in the running to win an amazing family holiday to Hawaii, including flights.
According to My Travel Research co-founder Carolyn Childs, travel marketers need to rethink how they target families and women.
Presenting at Mumbrella’s Travel Marketing Summit on 12 April 2018, Childs said “We’re going to have to start thinking beyond Janet and John families – I’m showing my UK origins, that’s the book I learned to read with – mum, dad, boy, girl,” she said.
“Families are single parents, they are blended families, they are all sorts of different family structures, and that’s going to keep powering the circumstances that are driving multi-generational travel. [They] are not going anywhere, so that will continue.”
Childs didn’t point to specific findings, however her presentation supports research into family travel from other sources, including Mastercard, HomeAway and Google.
What do we know about the family travel segment in 2018?
- Family travel is $140 billion market
- 93% families plan to travel with their children within next 2 years
- Families who travel take on average 3.5 domestic and 1.25 international trips a year
- Family travel accounts for 33% of all leisure trips booked
What do we know about the make up of Australian families?
- 28% of Australian families are made up of two natural (adoptive or biological) parents and two kids
- 23% of Australian families are made up of two natural (adoptive or biological) parents and one kids
- Single parents with one child make up 15% of Australian families
- Intact families with more than three children make up 13% of Australian families
- Single parent families where there is more than one child make up 11 percent of Australian families.
- Children in step-families experience complex living arrangements, sharing time between parents has become more common and each year, one in five children aged 4–17 years live in shared time arrangements.
- From 1976 – 2011, the proportion of one-parent families with dependent children has increased from 7% to 11%.
- Grandparents commonly care for grandchildren, with 65% of grandparents aged 40–69 years doing caring duties at least once a week.
So what’s the implication for travel brands and marketers?
- Family packages can no longer afford to focus on 2A + 2C as the primary marketing approach as it reflects only 28% of the make up of Australian families… not much more than a quarter, meaning that the vast majority of Australian families would’t identify with packages and marketing content that’s presented.
- Travel often includes grandparents or aunts & uncles – again, meaning that the standard 2A + 2C approach doesn’t work. Infrastructure, especially hotels needs to cater for small groups travelling together but wanting (and in some instances needing) their own space.
- Attraction and experience operators can most easily make changes as entry fees and family packages could better cater for today’s modern family.
- Marketing content (especially photos & video) should depict real family experiences rather than rely on culturally homogenous images of mum, dad, son and daughter
For more on the research presented at the Travel Marketing Summit, visit Mumbrella
To find out how Bound Round can help you create family travel marketing content or packages that will resonate with Australian families of today, get in touch via email or phone.
Link to the article on Carolyn Child’s presentation that inspired this post is: https://mumbrella.com.au/travel-marketers-told-to-rethink-families-women-and-cyborgs-510914
Out & About With Kids and Family Travel merge to become the largest family travel editorial platform in APAC. The merger brings together two of the most experienced family travel outlets with a combined reach of over 3,500,000 per year. Continue reading “Family Travel + Out & About With Kids merger”
Ever heard of a PANK or a PUNK before? No, I’m not talking about some new rock n’ roll craze, it’s travel related!
PANKs, or Professional Aunties No Kids (substitute Uncle for the males) are a significant travel market in their own right and one that is growing fast.
Who qualifies as a PANK?
People classified in this group aren’t just limited to aunties: it really applies to any professional woman without children of her own. She could be a godmother, cousin, neighbour, or mums’ friend.
What makes them important in family travel?
Recent research on PANKs shows why they’re important for the family travel sector. Some of the key statistics:
- PANKs spend money on the kids in their lives; a lot of it! In the research 76% had spent more that $500 USD per child.
- They’re more social: on average, they’re more active on social media and in general social activity than other woman. This means they spend more time engaging with influencers and then sharing that information.
- They’re major decision influencers: they’ve got an opinion and it’s listened to! In fact, when it comes to travel, 77% of PANKs provide information on holidays and shared it with the family they support.
- PANKs are online researchers: they dramatically outrank other women and are ahead of the curve when it comes to online media consumption. They’re also avid researchers!
What does it mean for us?
For any travel business targeting families, the PANK/PUNK market is an exciting one. Their ability to influence others cannot be underestimated nor can the money they have got to spend. As a PANK myself, I can see how this works first hand.
The key is engagement: you need a program that enables you to campaign directly to this market. Building a base of PANK advocates could really help boost your family marketing program.
Bound Round can help
As the parent company to one of Australia’s top travel sites for families, familytravel.com.au we know the power of the PANK. Talk to us about how you can work with Bound Round to engage with this emerging market.
Wotif.com’s campaign featured emotionally charged video posted to their Facebook page, which amassed thousands of interactions and more than 1 million views. Besides bringing viewers to tears and sending a message of family unity, this video successfully explored the family vacation from the kid’s perspective. For the first time, an industry leader has adopted kid-produced video as a medium to explore family travel options.
The video shows three families, and three kids preparing for their family vacation. Some are going to stay in hotels, some taking flights, and some going outdoors, but all parents are expressing the same apprehensions around packing, costs, planning activities. The kids are each given video cameras before the families set off for their separate holidays. When they return, the kids show the parents the videos they have made and for the first time, those parents began to understand the little things that kids enjoy and look forward to on family holidays.
Travel Specialist at Wotif.com, Kirsty La Bruniy says, “Kids see the world through simpler eyes and remind us that often it’s the little things that count towards the most memorable holiday moments.” (source: New Research Highlights Holiday Anxiety For Parents)
Almost all of the large travel websites have already agreed on the importance of using video content to showcase locations and experience packages. But now, they are also realising the importance of kid-produced video.
Bound Round was one of the first to move on by kids, for kids video content. Since 2012, Bound Round has produced over 700 videos (many available on familytravel.com.au)showcasing destinations and activities from a kid’s perspective. By building information pages, photo and video content for our partner businesses in popular destination cities across Australia and abroad, Bound Round has been able to reach the real family decision maker, the kid.
It is exciting to see the industry giants building on the efforts we have been making to offer families a better travel experience, as it is clear that we are and have been on the right track. This news does not only come as valuable insight to Bound Round, but more so as an pivotal opportunity for forward thinking businesses to lead by utilising by kids, for kids video.
In 2016, boundround.com ran a competition with partners Club Med and Scoot Airlines. We think it showcases the power of timely, targeted sponsored distributed on Bound Round’s managed platforms (such as familytravel.com.au or mydiscoveries.com.au) can reach, engage and sell to Australian families.
What were the objectives?
To drive awareness of boundround.com (now familytravel.com.au) and deliver brand exposure to Club Med and Scoot among Australian families. We targeted families with children between 5-18 years old who have an interest in travel and holidays.
What did we offer?
A competition to win a packaged Club Med all inclusive 7-night holiday at Bintan Island, with return flights from Scoot, for 2 adults and 2 children.
How did we promote it?
We delivered the campaign through a dedicated competition website, an eDM program to the Bound Round database, a comprehensive Facebook strategy targeting our family audience, and additional digital advertising to amplify the message.
What were the results?
- Brand exposure to an audience of over 135,000 contacts
- Engagement levels that exceeded industry benchmarks across all our campaign assets
- Over 4,500 unique competition page views
- Over 2,600 competition entries
And the real kicker…
- 76 additional nights booked in one week!
This campaign shows the power of connecting your brand with our audience. Contact us to see how you can connect with the home of family travel.
The report The influence of children’s gender and age on children’s use of digital media at home identifies a handful of different perceptions of parents who are trying to limit the amount time their kids spend “plugged-in” are having, but what stays the same among all parents is that their young kids are spending time online. That’s why, coupled with the growing rates of children engaging with digital media, companies must focus on supplying content made especially for kids.
“Children aged 8-11 are spending more hours per week using the internet than in 2013 (10.5 vs. 9.2 hours)” (Ofcom 2014, pg. 7)
“Seven in ten children aged 5-15 now have access to a tablet computer at home…” (Ofcom 2014, pg. 6)
The influence of children’s gender and age on children’s use of digital media at home reports and analyses parent’s perceptions on their children’s use of digital media (activities including watching TV, tablet usage, reading on e-readers, time spent on game consoles, and the use of computers and smartphones) based on a survey of over 700 parents with children aged 0-8 years old.
The two variables explored in the survey are the children’s age (0-8 years old; in groups “0-2”, “3-5”, “6-7”, and “8 and older”) and gender (boy, girl), and what effect these variables have on the parent’s perception of their child’s digital media use.
A main question analysed in the survey results was the extent to which parents felt they were or weren’t able to effectively control the balance between their child’s use of digital media and off-screen alternatives (e.g. reading a print book). Parent’s survey responses ranged from addressing concern over inability to establish an effective balance, health concerns drawn from inability to limit digital use, concerns specific to overuse and the accompanying effect on the social relationships of their young children, the parent’s experiences of the social pressures on themselves regarding limiting their kids use of digital technologies, and finally responses that addressed parent’s inability to establish a balance and their lack of concern about that.
Results and analysis of survey responses
Out of all of the parents that sought to strike a balance between digital and non-digital media usage, parents with young boys were more concerned with the health effects of too much screen time. Alternatively, parents with young girls felt they were able to strike a balance well due to effective house rules and regulating screen time.
Parent’s concerns of health as associated with an imbalance toward the overuse of digital technologies were more prevalent in parents with a very young (0-2 years old) child. Parents with older kids also tended to cite the reason for their inability to limit their child’s screen time as being the overall appeal of digital technologies in comparison to non-digital alternatives.
One of the main concerns arises from parents with 3-4 years olds about the quality of online content. And, while some feel that all use of digital technologies by children at a young age, one salient parent response to the survey was as follows, ‘As long as he’s being educated that’s all that matters’ (pg. 20).
With there being a gap between the perceived amount of quality online content and increase in young children’s use of digital, there is the need to bridge that gap with quality and educational content. The content that will get the attention of the parents is the stuff that provides their kids with something of value while they are online.
“…parents are the primary gatekeepers when it comes to the provision, availability and accessibility of digital technologies for children at home…” (pg. 24)
That is exactly why parents will be looking to guide their kids away from random and misfitting content toward kid-appropriate, digestible, relatable, and quality content.
- Read the original survey report here: The influence of children’s gender and age on children’s use of digital media at home
- AAP, 2015 American Academy of Paediatrics, Beyond ‘turn it off’: How to advise families on media use, Ari Brown, Donald L. Shifrin, and David L. Hill (eds), Available online from: http://www.aappublications.org/content/36/10/54
- Ofcom (2014) Children and Parents: Media use and attitudes report, Available online from: https://www.ofcom.org.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0027/76266/childrens_2014_report.pdf
There are three distinct types of family travellers. We know them by name, but now it’s time to know them by behaviour and attitude. Thanks to research conducted by the Family Travel Association and the NYU School of Professional Studies, we can get a pretty clear picture about who’s walking in the doors of various destinations and attractions around the country.
The Cautious Travelers are families who value travel and often put great effort into researching and planning family trips. They are attracted by many different travel products and destinations. However, they tend to stick to trips that are traditionally seen as ‘family friendly,’ such as theme parks and family-friendly hotels and resorts, because these products are regarded as ‘safe bets.’ Their travel decisions are greatly influenced by worry and uncertainty: they worry about safety, hygiene, whether a destination offers value for the money, whether a child will get sick, and whether activities are appropriate for children. They believe more strongly in the value of travel for children and would consider taking their children out of school, but they are generally too worried about all the uncertainties associated with travel to go far off the beaten track.
* More likely to worry about safety
* Tend to prefer theme parks, hotels, and resorts
* More likely to find it hard to identify activities appropriate for children
* Like trying new places, but also return to destinations they enjoy
* Feel that travel strengthens family bonds and makes children better global citizens
* Still may travel to experience different cultures
* More likely to take children out of school to travel
In particular, cautious travellers have concerns about:
* affordability and value—travel is a considerable expense for families and they want to make sure they make the right choices
* safety of children in crowded places
* maintaining healthy diets on vacation, as well as worries about food allergies
* providing children with experiences that are iconic (e.g. famous theme parks)
* children being bored – many express preferences for destinations that offer a lot of on-site activities (e.g. entertainment, pools)
The Hassle-Free Travelers are families who see travel as a time for relaxation and indulgence. They seek comfort and do not want to spend much time planning the trip. Just like the Cautious Travelers, they are attracted to theme parks and family-friendly hotels/all-inclusive resorts, but their motivations are different: whereas the Cautious Travelers worry about safety and value, and tend to research travel options carefully, the Hassle-Free Travelers look for options that allow the whole family to effortlessly relax.
Hassle-Free Travelers are more likely to visit off-the-beaten-path destinations; however, they are likely to stay in all-inclusive resorts or take organized tours, as opposed to the Intrepid Travelers. Hassle-Free Travelers are more likely to prefer staying at home instead of traveling. They also tend to place greater value on material possessions than travel experiences.
* More likely to prefer cruises, all-inclusive resorts, and organized tours
* Least likely to take children out of school to travel
* More likely to think travel with children is a hassle
* More likely to return to the same destination
* Still place value on the educational value of travel
* More likely to place more value on material possessions
* More likely to stay at home during vacations
The Intrepid Travelers are families that greatly value travel and are confident, independent, and often experienced travelers. They emphasize their interest in exploring new cultures, are likely to travel to off-the-beaten-path destinations, and often express disinterest in all- inclusive and packaged products. They have an interest in many different travel products and accommodation options, although the majority prefer hotel stays. Just like the Cautious Travelers, they are more likely to take their children out of school to travel.
* Tend to prefer new destinations every time they travel
* Tend to travel to experience different cultures
* Tend to worry less about safety
* More likely to travel to unusual destinations
* More likely to take children out of school to travel
* Tend to value travel over material possessions
Knowing the types of families that come to your venue or attraction hopefully gives you added insight into the things they place importance on. Once you know the bigger picture of what these families are looking for, you are hopefully able to better deliver an experience that exceeds their expectations.