Globalization of Today’s Teens Highlighted by Travel Writing Scholarships

(43% of Scholarship Applicants Ages 13-18 Travel Internationally)

Family Travel Forum, the award-winning publisher of family vacation information, has found that at least 43% of the teens applying for FTF's Teen Travel Writing Scholarship competition have traveled outside the United States. An analysis of 5,000 entries confirms that four out of 10 applicants, all students attending American public, private or home schools; U.S. Department of
Defense schools; or International-American programs, traveled internationally within the past three years.

The essay topics and destinations covered were remarkably diverse. Surprisingly, only 54% of scholarship applicants wrote about "traditional" family travel: vacations with parents. Nearly a third (29%) reported on trips taken with their school or peer group for sports, music and competitions; or cultural, arts and language enrichment. The essay judges were delighted to find that 8.5% of teens spent their school vacations on service projects sponsored by churches or community groups. Among the most poignant journals were the 6% written by American teens who traveled to Asia, Africa, the Middle East and elsewhere to connect with their roots.

Confirming an upsurge in international travel tracked by FTF's consulting division, 17.4% of the essays were set in Europe and 11% in the Caribbean or Mexico. Interestingly, while 26% of young Americans' maiden voyages to Europe were vacations taken with family, 64% joined organized trips: 28% teen tours, 21% school groups, 15% cultural immersion programs.

After a team of judges selected finalists, the 2007 Teen Travel Writing Scholarship winners were chosen by Writers Guild of America Lifetime Achievement Award-winner Marshall Brickman (Emmy, Academy and Tony awards for "Sleeper," "Annie Hall," "Manhattan" and "Jersey Boys" among many others), the proud father two young writers.

* * About FTF * *

The Family Travel Forum community lives by the mantra Have Kids, Still Travel!, sharing the rewards and challenges of world travel. The company's family vacation websites contain vast libraries of destination research, including first-hand reviews of tropical and ski resorts, cruises, reunion ideas, vacation packages, health, safety tips and more. FTF offers families custom trip-planning and exclusive vacation discounts, licenses best-of-breed content to other websites, and consults to the trade on marketing to families.