Majority of Parents Have ZERO Activities Planned with their Kids this Summer

If Memorial Day weekend marks the unofficial start to summer, then why do the majority of  parents have no activities planned for their children once they’re out of school? And do you fall into this group? Well, you are not alone.

According to a recent nationwide survey of 1,000 parents commissioned by Groupon, 57 percent of respondents said they had absolutely nothing planned for the family this summer. Which is baffling, considering that a whopping 99 percent of those parents DO want to do something fun and exciting with their kids over the summer months.

Parents were also asked in the survey what the perfect summer looked like with their children, and the results were expensive. According to respondents, the idyllic summer consists of: six BBQs/dinners out, five movie/beach outings and two overseas trips. Though respondents reckon that the total cost for those experiences would come in at around $43,154.87.

“Many parents aren’t aware of the number of affordable local activities they can do with their children over the summer months,” said Greg Rudin, head of fun things to do at Groupon. “By taking full advantage of the amazing things to do around their neighborhood, building long-lasting family memories can be done on just about any budget.”

The average family will travel nearly 600 miles together over the summer, according to the survey, with most vacation destinations between four and five hours away by car.

A day at the beach was considered the top family activity, followed by visiting an amusement/water park and having a classic backyard cookout.

Most – 85 percent – look for vacation activities within their home state. Parents in the West were most likely to want to take their children overseas with those in the Midwest least inclined to do so.

When it comes to travel outside of mainland USA, the Bahamas and Australia are among the dream destinations.

Unsurprisingly, the internet is the top source of inspiration for summer vacation ideas, ahead of word of mouth and traditional advertising, the survey revealed.

The survey also reported that parents are now looking to give their children experiences rather than gifts – and said their kids were 18 times more likely to benefit from an experience throughout their entire lifetime than a toy.

“Research has shown that people increasingly value experiences over material things, especially with friends and family,” Rudin said. “Now is the perfect time to get out there and create those memories by trying something new that you’ve always wanted to do together.”

Top 10 Essential Family Summer Activities

  1.   Beach
  2.   Water park/amusement park
  3.   BBQ
  4.   Out of state visit
  5.   Movies
  6.   Road trip
  7.   Hotel stay
  8.   Camping
  9.   National monument visit
  10.   Fishing

Top 10 Dream Family Vacation Destinations

  1.   Hawaii
  2.   Disney World
  3.   Bahamas
  4.   Australia
  5.   Washington DC
  6.   Miami
  7.   New York City
  8.   Virginia Beach
  9.   Canada
  10.   Japan           

For inspiration on some great things to do with your family this summer, click here

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Featured Merchant: Maid to Please

Check out this awesome Groupon merchant success story from Sean Rashid, owner of Maid to Please cleaning (D.C., Northern Va., Montgomery County, Md., Baltimore and New York)

“As the owner of a full-service cleaning company, I made the decision to run our first daily deal back in 2010. Initially, we saw underwhelming results with this relatively newer advertising medium, but all of that changed when we started working with Groupon in Sept. 2011.

Working with Groupon has helped us grow revenue, exposed us to new customers, generated repeat business and even allowed us to open new offices with more on the way. In fact, we’ve hired more than a dozen extra staff members as a result of the business we’ve gained through Groupon.

Our initial Groupon deal was a $49 for one hour of housecleaning with a two-person crew (a $100 value). In addition, we offered higher packages of $79 for two hours of housecleaning (a $200 value) and $109 for three hours (a $300 value). While we were expecting to sell a few hundred, we ended up selling 1700!

I’ve found that I get a far greater return on my advertising investments by running deals through Groupon than I would say running a $150,000 30-second television spot during the local news or paying $10-$12 per click on Google search. At least with Groupon I’m only paying for those customers that actually redeem the deal, offering a far greater return on my investment.

I’ve wholeheartedly embraced Groupon as a way to continue to grow my business and keep customers coming back for more.”

– Sean Rashid, Maid to Please

Questions or comments for Sean?  Leave them below and we’ll be sure to send them his way.

Featured Groupon Now! Merchant: Rain Boutique & Salon

Today’s featured merchant post is guest-authored by Merchant PR Coordinator, Tom M.:

A milestone is a way to track where you’ve been, how far you’ve come, and how surprisingly useful that rock tumbler was as a gift. We’re excited to announce that Groupon Now! recently sold its 1.5 millionth deal in just under a year’s time. To commemorate this historic event we’d like to highlight one of the merchants that helped push the sales tally past this milestone—transaction number 1,499.616, a salon service at Vancouver’s Rain Boutique & Salon.

Having already sold hundreds of Groupon Now! offers, the success of the real time deals platform isn’t a surprise to Rain’s marketing manager, Raissa Alvero.

“Groupon Now! is a great marketing tool for us. These deals really help drive traffic during off-peak hours,” Raissa said. “The customers who come into our business are consistently awesome clients who come back on a regular basis.”

Raissa likes the fact that merchants have the flexibility to start and stop Groupon Now! deals through a personalized dashboard, providing Rain with the power to manage the flow of customers coming into the business in real time and the ability to analyze the return on investment for future promotional efforts.

Additionally, according to Raissa, Groupon Now! customers have regularly purchased above and beyond the value of the deal in the form of sales in the boutique area of the business and products from the salon.

The 1.5 millionth Groupon Now! deal was sold at CiCi’s Nails right here in Chicago. If you’d like to learn more about becoming a Groupon merchant, please visit www.grouponworks.com.

Featured Merchant: The Cellar Door

Suburban Chicago Business Owner Finds Audience with Groupon

As a small business owner in a metropolitan area of almost 9.5 million people, Sean Chaudhry had to find a cost-effective, creative, effective, and efficient way to market his two suburban Chicago businesses to his potential customer bases. He found it through Groupon.

Both of Chaudhry’s businesses, The Cellar Door located in Downer’s Grove, Ill. and Hinsdale Wine Shop located in Hinsdale, Ill., experienced great successes with reaching new customers and growing sales through the running of Groupon deals.

The Cellar Door, a by-the-glass wine bar with a limited food menu, recently saw a considerable uptick in sales and new customers after running a $15 for $30 worth of food and drinks Groupon deal. “I would estimate that about 85 percent of Groupon customers spent more than the face value of the offer,” Chaudhry said. “In fact, one table using the deal spent $270.”

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