Travel Ticker®, a leading inspirational travel website, today announced the results of its 2010 Family Vacation Survey, conducted by Harris Interactive®. This year, 80 percent of parents who go on family vacations say they would prefer to visit a non-theme park destination for their next family trip if cost and planning efforts were comparable. To help, the experts at Travel Ticker have done all the planning work for them, finding affordable family trip ideas for an experience better than any theme park.

It’s no surprise that the 2010 Family Vacation Survey found that 97 percent of parents who go on family vacations want a trip that both they and their children will enjoy. What is surprising is that the majority (62 percent) also feel that the vacations end up being only about their children’s preferences rather than their own. Theme parks are family vacation hot spots because kids love them and they are easy to plan, but it’s clear that parents aren’t getting much of a vacation for themselves. The team at Travel Ticker wants all parents to know that they can take a family trip everyone will love, and, it’s easier and cheaper than they think. You just need to know the tricks.

“Parents are busy and they want the best for their kids, which is why plug-and-play theme park trips are so popular,” said Barbara Messing, General Manager of Travel Ticker. “But the Family Vacation Survey confirms what I’ve heard so often – parents don’t get much enjoyment for themselves. So I’d like to help them find an amazing vacation for everyone without sacrificing the fun for the kids or spending a lot of money.”

Here are Travel Ticker’s top five theme park free family vacation ideas:

1. Adventure: Hike through the Amazon, swing on a jungle vine like Tarzan or experience the mystical “Lost City in the Clouds” with your family adventure to South America. With family-friendly vacation packages that make planning easy, exotic destinations like Machu Picchu are more accessible than ever – and at a value beyond your wildest dreams.

Peru trip with air, hotel, Machu Picchu tour + extras, $849 – A trip and deal of a lifetime. Get your flight, 4 nights in three cities, transfers, breakfast, and tours (including Machu Picchu) from $849. Booking your air/hotel/tours individually can cost $200 more. Valid May 27-November 10. Book by 6/2/10.

2. Edutainment: Big cities are the perfect combination of education and entertainment, and they’re sure to keep both kids and parents delighted. When it comes to cities, there is no place like New York to experience a huge array of edutainment options at prices that can fit any budget. Explore the world-famous FAO Schwarz Fifth Avenue store, discover the city’s fascinating history with free Big Apple Greeter tours or visit some of the world-famous museums.

$129 NYC hotel in Midtown, includes weekend (reg. $209) – The Thirty Thirty Hotel in Midtown Manhattan has rates from just $129 for stays any night of the week, July 1-September 6. Or stay June
1-30 from $10 more. This is the best offer we’ve seen all year for NYC. Book by 6/9/10.

3. Cultural: Europe is the creme de la creme if you’re looking for a rich, eye-opening cultural experience. And Italy has enough culture and excitement to satisfy the entire family. Whether it’s feasting on traditional pasta and pizza, seeing the world-renowned opera or just mingling with locals, this year is a great
time to skip over the pond with a steal of a deal. Mamma mia!

Rome/Florence: 7-day air + hotel package, $699 (reg. $849) – Save $150 per person on this trip to Italy that includes flights, hotels in Rome and Florence, and breakfast. Rates start at $699 for travel on select dates, November 4, 2010-March 24, 2011. Book by 6/2/10.

4. Au Naturel: Take in the sights and appreciate Mother Nature at her finest with a trip that’s sure to leave everyone with a meaningful and lasting impression. Costa Rica is a great family destination to experience the beauty of Earth. Get close to wildlife that your children have only read about in books, swim under a waterfall and see the breath-taking cloud forests – all for an amazingly low price.

Costa Rica trip with air, hotel, SUV, and breakfast — $499 – A flight to Costa Rica, 6 nights at your choice of hotels, a 7-day SUV rental, and breakfast daily is yours from $499. Are you as shocked as we were? This amazing offer is valid on many departure dates, May-October. Book by 6/2/10.

5. Beach/All-Inclusive: Fun activities for you and the kids, amazing food, yummy drinks and beautiful beaches that’s all pre-planned and available for one low price? That’s the magic of an all-inclusive resort. Taking a family beach vacation can be the pinnacle of stress-free vacations.

All-inclusive stay in a suite at oceanfront Cabo resort — $79 – Weather, wallet, and kid friendly. For just $79 per person, per night, you’ll get a garden-view suite at the intimate Solmar Resort and all meals and drinks. Plus, kids stay/eat/play at no extra cost. Offer valid now-December 22 with a 3-night minimum. Book by 6/9/10.

The Travel Ticker team constantly updates their dedicated Family Travel page with inspirational deals for the family on a dime:

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