Family Vacations in the 21st Century


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Family Vacations in the 21st Century an Exploratory Study of Nonresident Fathers
Physical Description:
1 online resource (115 p.)
Kendall, Adrienne
University of Florida
Place of Publication:
Gainesville, Fla.
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Thesis/Dissertation Information

Master's ( M.S.)
Degree Grantor:
University of Florida
Degree Disciplines:
Recreation, Parks, and Tourism, Tourism, Recreation, and Sport Management
Committee Chair:
Gibson, Heather J
Committee Members:
Koropeckyj-Cox, Tanya
Stepchenkova, Svetlana O


Subjects / Keywords:
fathers -- nonresident -- tourism -- travel
Tourism, Recreation, and Sport Management -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
Recreation, Parks, and Tourism thesis, M.S.
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation
bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )


Nonresident fathers’ leisure-travel with their children has received relatively little attention in the literature, despite the significant role leisure may play in understanding nonresident father’s involvement with their children. The purpose of this study was to explore the travel choices and perceptions of nonresident fathers who take pleasure trips with their children. Specifically, the motivations, constraints, travel behaviors, and benefits associated with their trips were examined in the context of modern family travel. Ten semi-structured interviews with men of varying backgrounds that did not reside with their biological children were conducted to explore the travel behaviors of this unique population and the factors that inhibit or foster their travel experiences. Snowball sampling was employed, initially, followed by purposive sampling to achieve balanced representation in regards to age and gender of the participants’ children with the ultimate goal of attaining data saturation. The investigation was guided by the theory of Situated Fatherhood. Grounded theory methods were utilized in the analysis of the data and to understand the totality of the travel experiences of nonresident fathers. Following the interviews, four macro themes were identified: creating a new normal, making travel happen, travelling with dad, and happy memories. Among the four macro themes, thirteen subthemes were also identified from the interviews with the nonresident fathers. The results of this study suggest that nonresident fathers engage in family travel with their children to mediate the negative impacts of their divorces, allowing them to establish a new identity and role within their new family structure. Travel also created a safe setting that allowed the men to practice the act of “fathering” and was a means by which they maintained and solidified their relationship with their children. This study contributes to the body of knowledge regarding the unique travel experiences of men in the tourism context. It also supports the notion that the phases prior to, and following travel experiences, must be taken into consideration along with on-site travel behaviors in order to capture the entirety of an individual’s travel experience. Further research suggestions include conducting a larger scale study exploring further the unique travel experiences and benefits that travel affords special populations, including single parents. Overall, understanding the unique travel needs and benefits of pleasure travel for nontraditional family structures has important implications for the study of tourism and the enhanced service provision by the tourism industry.
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In the series University of Florida Digital Collections.
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Includes vita.
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Thesis (M.S.)--University of Florida, 2012.
Adviser: Gibson, Heather J.
Statement of Responsibility:
by Adrienne C Kendall.

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2 2012 Adrienne Kendall


3 To my Family


4 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS There are many people I would like to thank for their support and encouragement, without whom this study would not have been possible. First, I am eternally grateful to my advisor, Dr. Heather Gibson for her patience, motivation, and unceasing guidance throughout this process. Without her, my study would never have reached its full potential. I would also like to thank the faculty, staff, and students a t the University of Florida who have helped me during my academic journey, especially my committee members, Dr. Stepchenkova and Dr. Cox. Further, I would like to extend my gratitude to my family and friends who have been a substantial support system that I have depended on immensely throughout the execution of my thesis. Lastly, I would like to thank my employer, Gray Robinson, for allowing me the flexibility and time to complete my thesi s. W it hout their kindness and understanding I would not have been able to


5 TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ................................ ................................ ................................ .. 4 LIST OF TABLES ................................ ................................ ................................ ............ 7 LIST OF FIGURES ................................ ................................ ................................ .......... 8 A BSTRACT ................................ ................................ ................................ ..................... 9 CHAPTER INTRODUCTION ................................ ................................ ................................ ........... 11 Statement of the Problem ................................ ................................ ....................... 13 Theoretical Framework ................................ ................................ ........................... 15 Situated Fathering ................................ ................................ ............................ 15 Physical conditions ................................ ................................ ........................... 16 Temporal Dynamic ................................ ................................ ........................... 17 Symbolic/ Perceptual ................................ ................................ ........................ 17 Social Structural ................................ ................................ ............................... 17 Public/Private ................................ ................................ ................................ ... 17 Institutional and Cultural Conditions ................................ ................................ 18 Transitional El ements ................................ ................................ ....................... 18 Personal Power and Control ................................ ................................ ............. 18 Gender Attributes ................................ ................................ ............................. 19 Fatherhood Discourses ................................ ................................ .................... 19 Purpose of the Study ................................ ................................ .............................. 19 Resea rch Questions ................................ ................................ ............................... 19 REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE ................................ ................................ ................... 21 Family Leisure Travel ................................ ................................ ............................. 21 Benefits of Family Travel ................................ ................................ .................. 25 Family Travel and The Mothe r Role ................................ ................................ 27 Fatherhood ................................ ................................ ................................ ............. 31 Fatherhood and Leisure ................................ ................................ ................... 34 Motivations for Paternal Involvement ................................ ............................... 37 Benefits of Pater nal Involvement ................................ ................................ ...... 38 Summary ................................ ................................ ................................ ................ 40 RESEARCH METHODS ................................ ................................ ............................... 41 Data Collection ................................ ................................ ................................ ....... 41 Participants ................................ ................................ ................................ ............. 42 Data Analysis ................................ ................................ ................................ .......... 43


6 RESULTS ................................ ................................ ................................ ...................... 46 Creating a New Normal ................................ ................................ ........................... 46 Making Travel Happen ................................ ................................ ............................ 54 Travelling with Dad ................................ ................................ ................................ 67 Happy Memories ................................ ................................ ................................ ..... 79 Summary ................................ ................................ ................................ ................ 83 DISCUSSION ................................ ................................ ................................ ................ 86 Creating a New Normal ................................ ................................ ........................... 88 Making Travel Happen ................................ ................................ ............................ 91 Travelling with Dad ................................ ................................ ................................ 95 Happy Memories ................................ ................................ ................................ ..... 98 Summary ................................ ................................ ................................ .............. 100 Limitations and Delimitations ................................ ................................ ................ 101 Implications and Future Research ................................ ................................ ........ 102 Conclusion ................................ ................................ ................................ ............ 104 APPENDIX A INTERVIEW GUIDE ................................ ................................ .............................. 106 B IRB APPROVAL ................................ ................................ ................................ ... 108 LIST OF REFERENCES ................................ ................................ ............................. 109 BIO GRAPHICAL SKETCH ................................ ................................ .......................... 115


7 LIST OF TABLES Table page 3 1. Profile of Nonresident Fathers ................................ ................................ ............ 45 4 1. Respondent Themes ................................ ................................ .......................... 85


8 LIST OF FIGURES Figure page 5 1. their Children ................................ ................................ ................................ .... 105


9 Abstract of Thesis Presented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Science FAMILY VACATIONS IN THE 21 ST CENTURY: AN EXPLORATORY STUDY OF NONRESIDENT FATHERS By Adrienne Kendall May 2012 Chair: Heather Gibson Major: Recreation, Parks, and Tourism Nonresident father s tra vel with their children has received relatively little attention in the literature, despite the significant role leisure may play in understanding The purpose of this study was to explore the travel ch oices and perceptions of nonresident fathers who take pleasure trips with their children. Specifically, the motivations, constraints, travel behaviors, and benefits associated with their trips were examined in the context of modern family travel. Ten sem i structured interviews with men of varying backgrounds that did not reside with their biological children were conducted to explore the travel behaviors of this unique population and the factors that inhibit or foster their travel experiences. Snowball s ampling was employed, initially, followed by purposive sampling to achieve balanced representation in regards to age and gender ultimate goal of attaining data saturation The investigation was guided by the theory o f Situated Fatherhood. Grounded theory methods were utilized in the analysis of the data and to understand the totality of the travel experiences of nonresident fathers. Following the inter views, four macro themes were identified : creating a new normal, m aking travel


10 happen, travelling with dad, and happy memories. Among the four macro themes, thirteen subthemes were also identified from the interviews with the nonresident fathers. The results of this study suggest that nonresident fathers engage in family travel with their children to mediate the negative impacts of their divorces, allowing them to establish a new identity and role within their new family structure. Travel also crea ted a which they maintained and solidified their relationship with their children. This study contributes to the body of knowledge regarding the unique travel experien ces of men in the tourism context. It also supports the notion that the phases prior to and following travel experiences must be taken into consideration along with on expe rience. Further research suggestions include conducting a larger scale study exploring further the unique travel experiences and benefits that travel affords special populations, including single parents. Overall, understanding the unique travel needs an d benefits of pleasure travel for nontraditional family structures has important implications for the study of tourism and the enhanced service provision by the tourism industry


11 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION Family life is an essential component of American society, and family travel is an important element of maintaining and sustaining a healthy family life (Lehto, Choi, Lin, & MacDermid, 2009). For many families in the 21 st century, leisure travel has become a necessity rather than a luxury due to its nume rous benefits (Lehto et al ). Crompton (1979) revealed that many people engage in family travel to satisfy their urge to develop kinship with family mem bers and to enhance and enrich familial relationships by escaping routine. He also observe d that parents utilize family travel as a means to educate their children in order to develop well rounded individuals. Additionally, Crompton (1981) discovered that the primary motive for engaging in family travel was to enhance family unity by encouraging family bonding through the sharing of pleasure experiences. Shaw and Dawson (2001) assert that shared leisure increases family functioning. Shaw (2008) also note d that family travel functions as a way to strengthen relationships and maintain solidarity within the famil y unit. Similarly, Lehto et al revealed that family vacations contribute to greater comm unication and solidarity among family members. They also f ound that fam ily travel enhances family well being and networks. As such, family vacations account for a large proportion of the leisure travel market. Crompton (198 1) asserts that the family unit is the primary social group on pleasure vacations. Indeed, t he U.S. Travel Association (2009) (USTA) estimated that 1,482.5 million domestic household leisure trips were taken in the United States in 2005. USTA also found that adults traveling with children, including both parents and


12 grandparents, make up 30% of U.S. adult leisure travelers. Further documenting the robust market of family travel, Gardyn (2001) revealed that more than 70% of married with children adults ha d taken a vacation with their spouse and children at least once during the previous year. The definition of family travel has changed markedly over the past generation. Increases in the divorce rate and the prevalence of cohabitation have led to a signif icant change in the form of the American family (Chesworth, 2003; Jenkins & Lyons, 2006; Kay, 2006a). Once a market defined as travel with a heterosexual two parent couple and their children, family travel now consists of both traditional family units as well as more non traditional family structures including: nonresident parents, gay or lesbian couples, grandparents, and couples cohabitating (Chesworth, 2003; K ay, 2006a). Gardyn affirms that traditional family units no longer make up the majority of Ame rican family travelers. In light of the rapidly changing composition of American families, research into the vacation experiences of nontraditional family units has become necessary (Chesworth, 2003). Specifically, Gardyn notes nonresident fathers repres ent a grow ing travel market Jenkins and Lyons (2006) define nonresident fathers as: b iological fathers of children with whom they do not share the same home address. As well as those fathers who are divorced or separated and those potentially includes those who are incarce rated, and those who are refused contact with their children because of court orders (p. 221) A ccording to Gardyn, single fathers are on the rise. The U.S. Census Bureau (2009) found that single father families had increased from 2 million in 2000 to 2.5 million in nonresident fathers (p. 220). Kay (2006a) asserts a growing number of fathers are living separately from


13 their children, resulting in leisure being the primary context for paren t child interaction. Similarly, Gardyn (2001) notes that the high divorce rate has resulted in a considerable number of single parent households, but has not affected single parents desire for travel. Subsequently nonresident fathers traveling with the ir children represent a potential travel unit, which warrants a better understanding of their travel choices and experiences as well as the impact that with their children. Statement of the Problem Discussio ns of such topics as the benefits of family travel (Crompton, 1979, 1981; Lehto et al, 2009), how families negotiate travel decisions (Consenza & Davis, 1981; Fodness, 1992; Jenkins, 1978; Kozak, 2010; Litvin, Xu & Kang, 2004; Mottiar & Quinn, 2004; Myers & Moncrief, 1978; Nichols & Snepenger, 1988; Nickerson & Jurowski, 2001; Ritchie & Filiatrault, 1980; Thorton Shaw & Williams, 1997; Zalatan, 1998), and motivations for family travel (Crompton, 1979, 1981; Lehto et al, 2009) have been primarily explored w ithin the context of traditional family social structures, with little attention to these topics within the context of nontraditional family units, specifically nonresident fathers. With the increasin g number of nonresident fathers, new questions arise su ch as, do nonresident fathers traveling with their children have the same travel experiences, benefits, and motivations for travel? And, when nonresident fathers travel with their children do they experience the same difficulties with travel planning and decision making as traditional family units? In this study p leasure travel/tourism was defined as a special form of leisure (Cohen, 1974). In the field of leisure studies researchers have begun to recognize the need to s tudy the role of leisure in non re sidential parenting For example, Jenkins and


14 nonresident parents and their leisure with their important realm for nonresiden t fathers and they encourage more research in this area, potential ly using qualitative methods. Kay (2006b) also notes the important medium leisure can provide for paternal involvement. She asserts: men are typically more likely to spend time with their children in playful activities than in routine caring tasks. Leisure based activities are therefore potentially more prominent in fathering than they are in mothering, and account for a higher proportion of father child interactions than of those between mother and their children. Our subject area is therefore uniquely positioned to throw a particularly strong light on the social practice of fathering (p. 126). Similarly, Swinton Zabriskie, Freeman, and Fields (2008) acknowledge that nonresident leisure has received relatively little attention in the literature, despite the their children. Indeed, in a study of the participation patterns of 479 nonresident fathers and their children, Stewart (1999) found that leisure is the primary context for interaction between nonresident fathers and their children due to physical distance and structural constraints, such as custody arrangements. In the tourism literatur e, research on the subject of nonresident fathers and travel with their children is non existent. In fact, Chesworth (2003) noticed that the hospitality field has failed to acknowledge that the nature of the family has changed, calling specifically for re search addressing the impact of vacations on single parent families. Further, Gardyn (2001) notes that the travel their travel ha bits. Yet, Swinton et al reveal ed tha t balance activities, such as travel, have the potential to result in stronger family cohesion and greater adaptability to new


15 situations, but more research is needed. Further, Swinton et al (2008) observed that, as a whole, studies of nonresidential fath er involvement with their children have inadequately addressed what is actually occurring during parenting time. Thus, while the incidence of nonresident fathers is increasing we know very little about their role in n the realm of family based pleasure travel. Prior to this study, no known empirical studies exist that have examined the travel choices and perceptions of nonresident fathers. Moreover, as Kay (2006b) notes pleasure travel as a form of leisure is well s uited to address fatherhood involvement with their children. may be a valuable addition to mainstream social scientific theory concerning the nature This stud y contributes both to the body of knowledge and to practice First, the study of the travel choices and perceptions of nonresident fathers traveli ng with their children provides a unique contribution to the literature by expanding our understanding of nonresidential parenting practices and leisure travel activities. Second, both public a nd private tourism providers could benefit from a better understanding of the needs and prefe rences of nonresident fathers travelin g with their children. Such insights would enable tourism providers to better cater to this largely ignored mark et. As a result, the goal of this study was to illuminate the unique role travel plays in nonresident fa parenting time. Theoretical Framework Situated Fathering The concept of situated fathering presented by Marsiglio, Roy, and Fox (2005) is a unique framework that illuminates how the features of physical sites and social


16 settings as well as the subj ective processes of social life are interwoven and affect the act of fathering and fatherhood. In other words, situated fathering refers to the physical experience and interac tion with their children. The unique interplay between physical spaces and the social/symbolic processes of fathering are central to the concept of situated fathering, making it well suited to not only frame this study, but also guide the interpretation o also emphasizes the impact that context and physical settings have on fathering, their childre frame aspects of a study dealing with fathering in a particular setting, providing an entry point into the data and a lens for interpreting find The theory of situat ed fathering has five primary properties and several secondary properties of settings that address the complexity of situated fathering. The five primary These propertie s are as follows: Physical conditions The importance of both natural and man made settings to fathering experiences is emphasized in this theoretical framework. Marsiglio et al recognize how the characteristics of places such as: open areas (parks), close d spaces (houses), small confined spaces (cars), expansive spaces (large house), and climactic conditions (e.g. rain, sunshine) have the power to influence the way men perceive and respond to their children. The authors propose that specific spaces create opportunities for fathers to be more involved with and bond with their children. As such, the characteristics of a


17 specific travel site can impact the level of involvement and bonding experiences fathers have with their children on their trips. Temporal Dynamic situated fathering. Marsiglio et al (2005) recognize that roles and social changes dramatically shift with the passing of time, making the temporal component of father ch Symbolic/ Perceptual This property takes into consideration the interplay between the way that both fathers and their children perceive a certain location such as: safe/dangerous, work/leis ure oriented, child centered/adult centered, poor/affluent, informal/formal, emotionally warm/cold, influence how fathers and children perceive and treat one another. Social Structural The normative order, or the social expectations that determine how pe ople relate to one another, of settings that award certain individuals with status, knowledge, and ildren, in turn influencing how a father bonds and interacts with his children at a particular travel location. Public/Private Marsiglio et al assert that fathers can view settings to varying degrees as public or private. Private settings include instan ces where a father and their child are alone or among immediate family members including: hotel rooms, home with family, or traveling


18 together in a car. Public settings include places such as: shopping malls, parks, athletic events and other places where Travel challenges fathers to navigate interactions with their children in both public and private settings. Marsiglio et al (2005) explain that the secondary properties included in the theory of sit fathers. The five secondary properties include: Institutional and Cultural Conditions Informal and formal organizational policies of specific sites can create structural race/ethnicity, class, and sexual orientation shape how they interact with their children. M any men must combat racist remarks and institutionalized racism that can offer men an opportunity to challenge stereotypes though their fathering experiences. Transitional Elements This property addresses the transitional experiences of men moving from on e site to a nother. Marsiglio et al suggest that this particular property may be particularly important to the study of nonresident fathers traveling with their children because it highlights how the movement between private and public settings creates sig nificant changes in the context within which men father their children. Personal Power and Control control he has over a given situation or over their children at a given site can influence their interaction with their children. Many nonresident father s experience difficulties


19 negotiating their power as a parent after a divorce, which could potentially influence the activities and where they are willing to travel with their ch ildren. Gender Attributes The extent to which men view certain sites as gendered can also influence how they interact with their children. For example, p laces such as prisons, sport arenas, farms, and military bases are commonly viewed as masculine, while dance recitals, churches, and homes are viewed as feminine. Men may feel more open to show encourage men to assert their masculinity by behaving in more traditionally mascu line ways such as being emotionally distant (Marsiglio et al, 2005, p.13). Regardless, the gender attributes associated with a place can potentially influence the way men father. Fatherhood Discourses Certain settings serve to inform men about their role as fathers. Activities and identities and roles as concerned fathers As a result, traveling may be an important activity that encourages men to be more nurturing and involv ed fathers. Purpose of the Study The purpose of this study was to investigate the pleasure travel characteristics, motivations, and experiences (i.e. benefits, challenges, etc.) of U.S. nonresident fathers traveling with their children Research Question s The guiding research questions that were addressed in this stud y are as follows : 1. What types of pleasure travel do nonresident fathers participate in with their children? I.e. Activities, destinations, frequency and length of trip, motivations


20 2. What are th e experiences of nonresident fathers traveling for pleasure with their children? I.e. feelings, benefits, gender role crossover/conflict 3. How does the vacation context influence the type and quality of the parent/father relationship? I.e. influence of situated fatherhood, physical setting, transition from public/private settings, gender attributes, and fatherhood discourse


21 CHAPTER 2 REVIEW OF THE LITERA TURE A review of the literature is presented in this chapter to lay the foundation for studying t he travel choices and experiences of U.S. nonresident fathers traveling with their children for pleasure. The following areas of study are included in the review of the literature: family leisure travel ly travel; an analysis of the current culture and conduct of fatherhood; the role of leisure in fathering experiences; the key motivators that facilitate paternal involvement; and the benefits of paternal involvement. Family Leisure Travel The majority of the literature on family travel examines the travel planning of traditional husband wife dyads, ignoring the plethora of nontraditional family structures tourism literat ure has tended to follow a similar path as the broader consumer behavior and marketing research on family decision making focusing on the following: the roles of wife husband dyads in the decision making process (Jenkins, 1978; Kang, Hsu, & Wolfe, 2003; Li tvin, et al., 2004; Mottiar & Quinn, 2004; Nichols & Snepenger, 1988; Ritchie & Filiatrault, 1980; Zalatan, 1998), the relative influence of children on family travel decision making ( Nickerson & Jurowski, 2001; Thornton, Shaw & Williams, 1997 ), and the in fluence of the family life cycle on the roles of spouses in the decision making process (Consenza & Davis, 1981; Fodness, 1992; Myers & Moncrief, 1978). Jenkins (1978) pioneered the study of decision making in the realm of family pleasure travel by studying the relative influence of husband wife dyads on ten sub decisions that he believed comprised the decision making process. The sub decisions


22 were place d into three categories: husband dominant, wife dominant, or joint based on the reported influence of each spouse. His findings indicated that a majority of couples perceived that the decision making sub decisions were made jointly by both spouses. Howev er, the remaining four sub decisions were perceived to be husband dominant, with none of the ten sub decisions being wife dominant. Surprisingly, wives were more likely to perceive sub decisions as husband dominant, while husbands were more likely to perc eive sub decision s as being made jointly. Similarly, Myers and Moncrief (1978) found that a majority of the decisions made in the realm of family travel were made jointly, alt hough as Jenkins (1978) found, husbands typically had more influence than wives couples and families vacationing yielded results that husbands actually dominated the majority of family decisions, instead of most of the decisions being made jointly as in exerted considerably more influence than wives or children in 14 of the 17 sub decisions they examined. Nichols and Snepenger (1988) also found that a majority of the families they studied (66%) utilized joint decision making for most of their family travel decisions. They also found that higher income families tended to be more husband dominant, while lower income families were more wife dominant. Research in the 19 70s and 19 80s generally concluded that although decisions were primarily made jointly, husbands were perceived by most couples, and wives even more strongly than their husbands, to exert more influence than their wives in all of the sub decision s of the fa mily travel decision making process. In response to this research and most likely as gender roles began to change, as predicted by Nichols and


23 Snepenger (1988) researchers in the 1990s began to see a shift in some areas of the decision making process fro m husband dominant to wife dominant as well as a movement towards more cooperative/joint decision making (Kozak, 2010; Litvin et al, 2004). Fodness (1992) discovered, contrary to previous research that the wife tends to be the family information seeker fo r family vacations. He did, however, discover that family vacation decisions are most often joint decisions, corroborating past research. Zalatan (1998) focused specifically on wives and what decisions they were responsible for, excluding their husbands f rom the study entirely. Zalatan grouped the decision of a family vacation into four categories: initial trip tasks, financing, pre departure, and destination. He found that wives were most involved in destination related decisions including the selection of accommodations and selecting tourist sites to visit, differing from earlier studies that found these decisions to be a husband dominant role ( e.g. Jenkins, 1978). He also found that the more educated the women were within the family unit, the more inv olvement she had overall in the decision making process. Conversely, Kang, Hsu, and Wolfe (2003) found that information collection was shared jointly between each partner a nd dominated by men in families that did not arrive upon the decision jointly. These results could be attributed to the fact that older couples comprised the majority of the sample, and as couples age they tend to make more decisions jointly (Fodness 1992; Myers & Moncrief, 1978). Litvin et al (2004) also discovered a distinct tre nd towards a higher proportion of joint decision making. They tested the relative influence of each spouse on seven of the ten sub decision s used by Jenkins (1978). They found that five of the seven sub decisions fell into the joint decision making categ ory. Three of these decisions were found by Jenkins to be


24 husband dominant. They include: the decision to take a vacation, length of the vacation, and how much money to spend. Surprisingly, the results for information collection and selection of lodging proved to be sources of contention, with each spouse reporting that they had more influence than the other. Similarly, Kozak (2010) in a study of the decision tactics used by spouses in the decision making process found that compromise was the decision tactic most often used by couples in vacation decision making followed by persuasion. In another study Mottiar and Quinn (2004) discovered, like Fodness (1992) and Zal atan (1998), that women dominated the initial stages of family vacation decision making, including collection of information. They also found determines the choice set her fam ily has to choose from, thus, acting as an information gatekeeper. Women seem to have become an integral part of the family vacation decision making process, especially in recent years. Researchers in the field of travel and tourism have also addressed the influence of children on the family travel decision making process. For example, Jenkins (1978) found that the kinds of activities, destination points, and date of vacation were highly influenced by children as a result of their needs. Thorton, Shaw, and Williams (1997) needs or their ability to negotiate with their parents. Several other studies examined their parents. An early study by Ritchie and Filiatrault (1980) indicated that th e presence of children decreased the making process. Conversely, Fodness (1992)


25 found that the presence of children actually increase making process, while families without children typically make decisions jointly. Research focusing on family travel decision making within the family life cycle (FLC) has followed in the same research vein as discuss ed above. Researchers have attempted to study, how much perceived influence each spouse has over the family life cycle. Myers and Moncrief (1978) first addressed the effects of the FLC on decision making within a family unit, discovering that the longer couples were together the more likely they were to engage in cooperative joint decision making Conversely, Consenza and Davis (1981) found that decision making shifts throughout the FLC moving from joint to more wife (1992) findings disagree with both Myers and Moncrief and Consenza and Davis. His research findings did not support the assertion that the pattern of family decision making changes over the life cycle shifting towards more joint decisions. Instead, he fo und that decision making remains stable over the life cycle, thus the partner that dominated the decision earlier in life, such as women dominating information collection, will continue to dominate later in life. Although research within this topic area h as not included studies on single parents, these previous studies serve as a foundation for the study of how travel choices may be mediated by nonresident fathers and their children. Benefits of Family Travel For many Americans, the difficulties of travel planning are worth the effort because of the numerous benefits family travel offers. Crompton (1979;1981) conducted some of the early work on the benefits of leisure travel for families. His first study (Crompton, r leisure travel and found that they are divided


26 factors that are the external attributes of a specific destination that facilitate family for family travel include: the urge to develop kinship with family members, to enhance and enrich familial relationships by escaping routine, the exploration and evaluation of self, r elaxation, the prestige associated with travel, the opportunity to do t hings that were not possible in their everyday life, and to facilitate observe d were parents desire to educate their children as a means of developing a well rounded individual and the urge to have novel or n ew experiences together. Crompton (1981) also discovered that the primary motive for engaging in family travel was to enhance family unity by encouraging family bonding through the sharing of pleasure experiences. Similarly, Shaw (2008) noted that leisur e travel aids in the social and emotional development of children, while cementing relationships and ensuring the stability of the family unit. She also mentions that parents utilize the time they spend with their children in family leisure and on family v acations to teach children how to be good parents. Additionally, Lehto et al (2009) discovered that leisure travel provides unique opportunities for interaction among family members, which facilitates the creation of memorable experiences and family bondi ng. They also found that family vacations contribute to greater communication and solidarity between family members, displaying the important platform pleasure travel can provide in encouraging parent child interaction. Lastly, family travel w as shown to enhance family well being and create a development and emotional well being.


27 Specific to nonresident fathers, travel may offer nonresident fathers unique benefits in their attempts to navigate the difficult path of fathering at a distance. Indeed, Swinton et al (2008) assert that the planning and preparation required for travel c ould encourage communication and compromise between nonresident fathers and their children. Family Travel and The Mother Role Once families arrive at their destination, research shows that women are primarily responsible for the planning, organizing, and coordination of family activities (Deem, 1996; Davidson, 1996; Small, 2005; Shaw, 2008). Research suggests that mothers tend to be more constrained than fathers when they travel due in part to the fact that re extended into the tourism context (Davidson, 2005; McGehee, Locker Murphy, & Uysal, 1996; Small, 2005), vacation tends to revolve around the needs of other family members (Davidson, 1996; Hudson, 2000; McGehee et al., 1996; Small, 2005) Res earch has also focused on examining motivations for travel (Chiang & Jogaratnam, 2006 ; Deem, 1996; Davidson, 1996; McGehee e t al., 1996 Pennington Gray & Kerstetter 2001). The lit erature on women and travel has been, by far, dominated by research on the difficulties, inequities, and constraints women experience (Deem, 1996; Davidson, 1996; Davidson, 2005 ; Small, 2005)). Deem experiences found that wo men, due to their gender, experience d significant constraints on Many of the women st ill had to perform many of what would be considered everyday


28 household chores. Similarly, Davidson (1996) found in her research that a majority of young children. McGehee et al (1996) also found that women tend to carry the bulk of responsibility for travel planning and organiza tion during family vacations. Indeed Small (2005) noted that women were in charge of not only organizing the vacation, including packing the right gam es and snacks for their children, but they also were responsible for preparations before and after the holiday ended, which included packing and unpacking work was a key component of their holiday experience with freedom only being achieved in small fragments when their children were otherwise occupied. Similarly, Shaw (2008) affirms that women, consistently shoulder the major portion of work that is associated with famil y vacations and leisure including: planning organizing, scheduling, packing, and cleaning up Further, Nyaupane and Andereck (2008) examined the travel constraints that affect not only women on vacations with their family, but the population as a whole w hen attempting to plan and execute vacations. They discovered that structural constraints including: lack of time, money, opportunity, and access to information affected people the most intensely in their attempts to travel. Specifically, time and cost were found to be the most constraining factors to both men and women. These types of constraints may be particularly useful when examining what intervening facto rs, especially for the partic ipants with lower incomes, prevent or inhibit nonresident fathers pleasure travel with their children.


29 Returning to t he tourism literature on family travel, researchers noted that s travel experiences also tend ed to be f interviews with 24 women traveling with their young children revealed that women defined a good holiday if they were able to nurture their relationships with their significant others, primarily their husband and their chi ldren. Hudson (2000) also were also found to be more interested in the quality of the vacation, appreciate learning, and give higher pri ority to supporting others compared to men. Likewise, McGehee et around the needs of the other members of her famil y, such as choosing to visit a horizons. Lastly, Small noted well as the emotional work of dealing with keeping children happy and amused while on vacation. She also found that women had a pleasant experience when all members of their families were happy and satisfied with their vacation. Small (2005) also discovered that holidays served as a catalyst for women to strengthen and maintain relationships. Thus, like Deem (1996) the social aspect of holidays were one of the central meanings o f a vacation to women. Small also found w omen tended to place a higher importance in the emotional and social dimensions of a s kiing vacation versus the physical, in congruence with Deem Accordingly, these findings highlight the need for research addressing who fills the traditional female role of nurturer, organizer, and planner when men travel alo ne with their children?


30 motivations for travel. They discovered that women tended to place more importance on cultural experiences, family and kinship, and comfort and relaxation than m en. Conversely, men reported that they placed more importance on sports and adventure activities as well as recreational activities than women. In congruence with McGehee et al. Pennington Gray and Kerstetter (2001) studied the benefits sought by univer sity educated women when traveling as well as their motivations for travel. The women in their study found that natural surroundings, education, shopping, family, and excitement were the most important benefits they sought from their travel experience. A s for motivations, Pennington could be divided into three categories of motivations: rest/relaxation, family/social m otivations of women traveling solo produced similar findings. They discovered that the 194 women they sampled were also motivated by social experiences, relaxation, escape, experiences, and self esteem development. It is clear that the social aspect of t ravel has a huge draw for women, as much of the literature reveals (Chiang & Jogaratnam, 2006 ; Collins & Tisdell, 2002; Deem, 1996; Davidson, 1996; Hudson, 2000; Pennington Gray & Kerstetter, 2001; Small, 2005). While researchers have examined the experien ces of women on family vacations vacations and the studies on tourism motivation tend to either ignore gender (e.g. Crompton, 1979; 1981) or to examine men in relation to women (i.e. gender differences in motivation) (e.g. Dann, 1977; Chiang & Jogaratnam, 2006 ; Collins & Tisdell, 2002;


31 Deem, 1996; Davidson, 1996; Hudson, 2000; Pennington Gray & Kerstetter, 2001; Small, 2005) Acknowledging this shortcoming in the tourism literature, Schanzel and at home role as playmate with them fulfilling the role of entertainer to their children during their vacations. Surprisingly, they also found that men tended to abandon traditional gender roles and engaged in activities that are considered female roles, such as cooking, in order to give their spouses a break on their vacations. These findings traditionally female roles such as caretaker, during their vacations with their children. Also, this study suggests that men may be more comfortable with travel due to the fact that it mirrors their at home parenting roles, thus, travel potentially provides an important mechanism by which nonresident fathers recapture the roles they filled prior to their divorces. Fatherhood Based on the literature presented, men and women have divergent family travel experiences that can be tied to their distinct roles as parents ( Deem, 1996; Davidson, 1996; Davidson, 2005; Small, 2005) Accordingly it is necessary to explore the unique roles and ex periences of fathers that contribute to these differences. The culture of st century (LaRossa 1988; Marsiglio, 1993; Lamb, 2000; Coltrane, 2004; Wall & Arnold, 2006) Lamb noted four distinct phases that emphasized specific roles most common to fatherhood during that time period. In t he earliest phase, from P uritan times through the


32 C olonial P e y focused on the inadequacies of many fathers, focusing on the need for men to be sex period as a man who was a good sex role model, especially for his sons. A major shift in the r ld be n urturing and active fathers to their children. This ideal has persisted to the present (Harris & Morgan, 1991, Lamb, 2000, Cabrera, Tamis Lemonda, Bradley, Hofferth, & Lamb, 2000, Shaw, 2008). On the whole, the cultural expectations and ideals of f atherhood should be more involved in nurturing roles as well as the traditional breadwinner role (Harris & Morgan, 1991, Cabrera et al, 2000, Lamb, 2000, Eggenbeen & Knoester, 2001, Shaw, 2008). However, there continues to be what Hochschild and Machung (1989) deem a documented that inequities continue to exist in the division of parenting responsibilities within heterosexual married couples consisting of number of hours spent directly caring for children, planning childcare, leisure time with children, and housework tasks (i.e. laundry, house cleaning, and preparing meals) ( Is hii Kuntz & Coltrane, 1992). Men continue to function as the prima ry breadwinners and playmates for their children, while


33 women assume a majority of the childcare and household chores, regardless of their employment status (Lamb, 1987; LaRossa, 1988; Hoc hschild & Machung, 1989; Ishii Kuntz & Coltrane, 1992; Sanchez & Thomson, 1997; Craig, 2006; Kay, 2006a; Wall & Arnold, 2007). Lamb (1987) estimates fathers spend significantly less time in the three levels of paternal inv olvement, including engagement ( time spent in one on one interaction ), accessibility ( being available to the child without directly participating in childcare ), and responsibility (t ime ) He also observed that father child interactions were dominated by play, while a majority of mother child interactions involved caretaking activities. Like Lamb, La Rossa (1988) of engagement, accessib ility and responsibility were only a f a majority of the care giving men provided was in the form of play. Additionally, Craig (2006) found that women spent much longer than fathers in overall time caring for children, and women spent more time in the physical ly more difficult parenting tasks, such as bathing, feeding, transporting them to school and after school activities, while fathers spent the most time in interactive care activities, like playing with and teaching. Fathers also h ad more flexibility than women over when they perform ed childcare, resulting in mothers being more constrained by child care duties than fathers. Such (2006) do cumented that the time men spent with their children closely resembled leisure. Kay (200 6a; 200 6b) also asserted that men we re more likely to spend time with their children in playful activities than day to day caring tasks.


34 Ishii while women performed the major ity of housework and childcare. Similarly, Wall and Arnold (2007) found that fathers continue to be positioned as secondary parents whose parental responsibilities fit around their work life. Sanchez and Thomson (1997) also documented that the wife as ho memaker and the husband as the breadwinner household chores. The literature on fatherhood lays a foundation for the roles that men commonly fill, showing that many of the skills required for traveling with children such as planning, significant others. This literature serves as a basis from which to analyze how men overcome and mediate pote ntial gender role conflict when traveling with their children for pleasure. Fatherhood and Leisure a growing focus not only on the experiences of fatherhood, but also o centered leisure behaviors in the fields of sociology and leisure studies (Coakley, 2006; Swinton, Freeman, Zabriskie, & Fields, 2008; Harrington, 2006; Such, 2006; Stewart, 1999; Swinton et al, 2008). For example, Harrington (2006) discove red that leisure served as a site for fathers, more so than mothers, as a means to connect with family members, especially their children. All but three of the fathers in her study, reported sports as the predominant activity that they participated in wit h their children.


35 because it was an area of discourse that men were passionate about, the most interested in, felt at ease with, and could claim competence in. She discovered that sport provided an avenue for fathers to show interest in their children, bond with them, and impart important values, and teach them social skills. For the part icipants in her wellbeing interests and struggles, which many fathers find difficult to initiate. Coakley (2006) also examined the role of youth sports in father ch ild relationships. He discovered that youth sports provides an environment in which men feel comfortable and competent interacting with their children, allowing them the opportunity to connect with their children and spend quality time with them. He also found that youth sports were the primary setting for father child interactions, not only serving as a parenting context that allows men to nurture their relationship with their children, but also functioning as a scapegoat for men to claim they were shari ng equally in parenting responsibilities without having to participate in more arduous childcare tasks. Such (p. 194). The participants in her study closely linked their meanings of leisure to their children, often encouraging their children to adopt leisure activities that resembled their own in order to foster shared interests. The men reported that they high ly valued participating in leisure activities with their children. ) fou nd that fathers, as in their at home leisure with their children, primarily occupied the ro le of entertainer on their family trips focusing on facilitating play with their children while on vacations. Unfortunately, this study represents the only literature in tourism


36 making it difficult to get in dept for more scholarship examining men within the tourism context. researchers found that le isure is the primary parenting setting for parent child interactions (Stewart, 1999; Jenkins & Lyons, 2006; Swinton et al, 2008). Stewart (1999) child interaction. Jenkins an d Lyons observe the significant role leisure plays as the children. Swinton et al. setting. As a result, researchers in the field of leisure studies encourage scholars to address t his large gap in the literature. Jenkins and Lyons emphasize the need to bring nton et al highlight that an exploration of the potential role leisure may play in understanding needed undertaking. Leisure is an importa nt means by which men connect with their children ( Coakley, 2006; Freeman, Zabri skie, & Fields, 2008; Harrington, 2006; Such, 2006; Stewart, 1999; Swinton et al, 2008). Accordingly, there is a growing need for research in this area in order to better understand the experiences of fathers, especially nonresident fathers, and to extend the leisure context to include travel as well as the more traditional sports based settings.


37 Motivations for Paternal Involvement As the demand for fathers to be more involved in chil dcare has increased (Marsiglio et al. 2005), scholars have documented t he factor s that encourage men to be more involved as parents Harris and Morgan (1991) examined the affective r turing, supportive, and companionate, in order to determine what individu al or family factors promote greater father involvement in parenting. They discovered that greater marital satisfaction leads to greater father involvement and that fathers are more involved when a son is present c oncluding that sons tend to draw fathers into more active parenting. Bulanda (2004) examined the influence of gender ideologies on paternal involvement with children. The authors set out to examine whether paternal involvement would increase or decrease depending on if their spouse had traditi onal gender ideologies had no influence on paternal involvement, however, a father with more egalitarian gender ideologies exhibited greater involvement than traditiona l fathers. Lamb, Pleck, Charnov, and Levine (1987) noted four factors that contribute to motivation, skills and self confidence, social approval, and institutional suppor t. Marsiglio (2008) in his study of men involved with youthwork discovered that men who worked with children felt more confident in childcare activities, preparing them to handle the day to s communication skills with children, building their confidence in their abilities to interact and care for children. Cooper (2000) in her study of men employed at high tech firms in


38 Silicon Valley found that how men construct ed their masculinity influenc ed the priority they place d construction of masculinity they prioritized their roles as fathers and were more involved, regardless of their workload. Specific to nonresident fathers, Ih inger Tallman, Pasley, and Buehler (1995) note d the factors that facilitate d lives. The y (2000) findings, the more salient nonresident were to their personal identity the more involved they were with their children. They also found the following factors to positively contribute to nonresident parental relationship with their ex spouse, well being and job stability, and the support of others in the social networks of nonresident fathers. These key motivators could be important to motives directly inf pleasure. Benefits of Paternal Involvement Scholars have noted the unique and significant contributions that fathers not only have on their children, but also the positive influence chi ldren have on their fathers (Hochschild & Machung, 1989; Hall, Walker, & Acock, 1995 ; Risman & Myers, 1997; Amato & Gilbreth, 1999; Warner & Steel, 1999; Marsiglio, Amato, Day, & Lamb, 2000; Deutsch, Servis, & Payne, 2001; Eggebeen & Knoester, 2001). For example, greater de velopment (Hochschild & Machung). Marsiglio et al also noted, based on the o


39 academic success, lower levels of externalizing and internalizing behavioral problems, and positive social behavior, such as popularity and the development of larger support networks. Similarly, Deutsch et al (2001) found that fathers who were more invo lved in direct parenting and were emot ionally supportive and firm had children with enhanced self esteem. Coltr ane (2004) noted that when men we re involved in the dire ct care of their children it could encourage young adults to engage in less gender stereo typing and lead d aughters to be more independent and sons to be more emotionally sensitive. ditionally commonly attached to feminine activities, especially for boys. Hall et al (1995) and Risman and Myers (1997) also found that in families with fathers that participated in non traditional gender roles in parenting both sons and daughters were found to have less traditional gender role attitudes and ideologies. Specific to nonresident fathers, Amato and Gilbreth (1999) found that similar to the benefits exp erienced by chi ldren of resident fathers that we re directly involved with childcare, nonresident fathers that cultivate d feelings of closeness with their children and utilize d authoritative parenting had demic success, and externalizing and internalizing behaviors as resident fathers. fatherhood experiences on the lives and wel l being of 5,227 men revealed that fatherhood invo lvement also in creased the well being of fathers themselves. The


40 p. 392). Specifically, men that are fathers tend to be more socially connected, have stronger intergenerational ties, and put in more hours at the office. Summary The review of literature lays a foundation upon which to study the travel choices and percepti ons of U.S. nonresident fathers traveling with their children for pleasure, foundation for studying how men conform and deviate from the traditional role of father when engagin g in travel planning and execution was presented by reviewing the the current culture and conduct of fatherhood In addition, a basis for study of the perceived benefits of family travel to nonreside nt fathers and their children was introduced by reviewing the literature on the benefits of family travel to traditional family units. Literature on the benefits of and motivations to paternal involvement was covered to aid in the analysis of the factors that motivate nonresident fathers to travel with their children.


41 CHAPTER 3 RESEARCH METHODS Semi structured in depth interviews were used as the primary data collection tool to study the travel choices and experiences of U.S. nonresident fathe rs traveling with their children. The interviews were conducted among nonresident fathers with school aged children ranging in age from 4 to 21 who did not have full custody of their children. The sample of nonresident fathers was limited to Florida due to the geographical proximity of the researcher. Data Collection Data collection took place from December 2010 to August 2011 in Tampa, Florida Qualified participants were found, initially, through word of mouth, also known as snowball sampling, and then through purposive sampling in order to ensure representation in age and gender of the participants and their children. In depth interview s with nonresident fathers were conducted to gain an understanding of their travel experiences and the benefits and c hallenges of plea sure travel with their children. F ace to face s emi structured interviews were performed lasting approximately one hour in duration An interview guide was utilized for all of the interviews in order to ensure consistency in the collection of the data (Appendix A). The interviews center ed on the following four main questions: 1. Tell me about a recent trip you took with your child(ren) (i.e. travel preferences and experiences, motivations) 2. Tell me about any particular challenges you face whe n traveling with your child(ren) (i.e. tasks that are particularly challenging, may include gender role crossover) 3. Talk to me about the impact of these trips on your relationship with your child(ren)? (i.e. benefits, influence of situated fatherhood, physi cal setting, transition, gender attribute, and fatherhood discourse)


42 4. Tell me about yourself (i.e. age, occupation, level of education, age of children, and current custody arrangement) Probes were used to illicit detailed answers reg arding their experienc es. The s emi structured interviews also allowed for open dialogue with the participants and the ability to ask follow up questions to garner detailed and rich responses from the nonresident fathers. I nterviewees were also asked to provide background infor mation about themselves including birth year, level of education, profession, age s and gender s of their children, race, and ethnicity. D uring the interviews, restated back to the interviewee as much as possible to ensure accuracy of synopses provided by the participants (Strauss & Corbin, 1998) This was used to ensure accurate data and to include the voices of participants. Participants The sample consisted of 10 nonresiden t fathers ranging in age from 30 s to 60 s with shared or partial custody of their school aged children that had traveled with them for pleasure in the last 12 months (Table 3 1). A proportional number of participants with male and female children were interviewed in order to gain information on the nonresident fathers with children of varying ages and sibling groups were also included s and gender s on the participants travel experiences. First, snowball sampling was used when individuals refer red p eople who they believed met the requirements and were interested in the study. Then purp osive sampling was used to target nonresident fathers and to captur e data from participants who fit the criteria for the study (Strauss & Corbin, 1998). Due to the difficulty in finding eligible participants, the researcher was unable to use a theoretical


43 approach to sampling As such, only snowball and purposive sampli ng was utilized in this study (Strauss & Corbin, 1998) In order to locate participants, the researcher emailed churches and local members of the community that were well connected and potentially knew eligible participants for this study. Once a partic ipant was interviewed the interviewer utilized snowball sampling by requesting that the interviewee provide the name and telephone number of anyone they knew that was willing and qualified to participate in this study. All of the respondents were nonresid ent fathers with shared or partial custody of their children. The pa rticipants ranged in age from 30 s to 60 s with children who ranged in age from pre kindergarten to college aged Nine of the participants had female children, seven had male children and four of the interviewees had multiple children. Five of the participants had advanced degrees, two respondents had a college Nine of the participants had traveled with their children in the last twelve month on overnight vacations lasting more than twenty four hours. One participant had only taken a day trip with his daugh ter, but was included to explore the experiences of nonresident fat hers from a lower socio economic status to find out how they define pleasure travel in terms of day trips to theme parks or other local tourist destinations. Data Analysis Initial analysis of the interviews bega n with transcription of the audio data from a digital voic e recorder into MS Word format. To ensure ano nymity, each participant was assigned a code name and number that was used to identify all of their i nterview data. The transcripts were proofread to verify the content of the conversation and the accuracy of the transcription. The process of member checkin g, in which the transcripts


44 were e mailed back to some of the interviewees so that they can read t he transcript for accuracy, was then utilized. Grounded theory methods, as explained by Strauss and Corbin (1998), w ere used to code the interview data. Open, axi al, and selective coding was used to categoriz e the data. Open coding was employ ed in order to describe and categorize the properties his was accomplished with color coded highlighters in order to better recognize experiences, meanings, benefits, and lifestyle the mes. Also, the themes were presented to the nt themes. Next, axial coding was used to relate categ ories to subcategories that had emerged from the open coding. Once again, the researcher presented the themes to her advisor and we discussed potential linkages among them. A s a result of this discuss ion, four macro themes were identified : (1) creating a new normal, (2) making travel happen, (3) travelling with dad, and (4) happy memories. Once the themes were established 13 subthemes were also recognized and grouped under these major themes. Finall y t he identification of the relationship between the themes through selective coding choices and perceptions when traveling with their children for pleasure.


45 Table 3 1. P rofile of Nonre sident Fathers Pseudonym Age School Classification and Sex of Child(ren) Highest Educational Level Occupation Frequency of Contact with Child(ren) Other forms of Communication Utilized with Child(ren) 1 Anthony 50 s College M High School F Advanced Degree Business Professional Son Monthly Daughter Weekly Phone, Text, Email, BBM 2 Dan 30 s Grade School M High School Service Weekly Phone/Visits to School 3 David 40 s Grade School F Advanced Degree Business Manager Weekly Phone 4 Sal 60 s Middle School F Bachelor Degree Business Owner Daily Phone, Text, Face to Face 5 Kevin 40 s Grade School M Pre Kindergarten M Advanced Degree Business Owner Daily Phone, Email, Text, Skype 6 Mark 40 s Middle School F Advanced Degree Business Professional Daily Phone/Texts 7 Jason 40 s High School F High School Service Weekly Phone 8 Shawn 30 s Pre Kindergarten M Grade School M Technical School Business Professional Weekly Phone 9 Ulysses 40 s Kindergarten F Grade School F Bachelor Degree Business Professional Daily Phone, E mail, Texts, Visit to school, In person and via friends and other parents 10 Evan 50 s High School M College F College F Advanced Degree Service Monthly Phone/Text, Emails, Skype


46 CHAPTER 4 RESULTS The results are based on the data collected from the semi structured interviews. Four macro themes and 13 subthemes were identified during the coding process (Table 4 1). The following four macro themes were identified from the interviews : creating a new normal, making travel happen, travelling with dad, and happy memories. These themes were then integrated into a temporal model, providing a holistic view of vacations, and after their trips with their children. To begin, participants were asked to discuss the factors affecting their pre travel preparations for their trips such as how their current relationships or circumstances fostered or inhibited their travel as wel l as how they prepared for their vacations with their children. T hen the participants were asked to describe the most recent trip they had taken with their children to gain an understanding of the experience, including the characteris tics of their vacations as well as the challenges and positive experiences they had on their vacations with their children. Lastly, the interviewees were asked to reflect on the memories they had of their most recent trips. Creating a New Normal When the participants began to discuss the factors that contributed to their desire and preferences for travel, it became clear that they chose travel as a vehicle to establ ish a new revised family unit creating a new normal in their relationships In their attem pt to utilize travel as a vehicle to mediate the recent demise of their fami ly units, four subthemes were apparent : (1) their motivations for travel, (2) past travel travel behaviors. T he se


47 subthemes were mentioned by the participants as important factors that served to both their children. Motivations The first subtheme was motivations. Despite the recent uph eaval of their divorces, all of the participants were highly motivated to continue travelling with within the first subtheme motivations eight of which ( seeking qua lity time together, novel experiences, shared experiences, educational opportunities, escape routine, create memories, resort amenities and something to look forward to ) are consistent with the motives cited in the tourism literature on family travel (Crom pton 1979; 1981; Lehto et al 2009; Shaw, 2008). However the other two motives mentioned by the respondents creating a new normal and their children becoming more mature, were unique to this sample. The most important stated motivation for family travel for nonresident fathers was to provide family bonding/quality time. Anthony, in his 50s with a college aged son and a daughter in high school some quality time wit in his 60s with a daughter in middle school also noted the greater importance he placed on the quality time he was afforded on trips with his daughter, following his divorce. He explained: You know the mother and dad a for the parents, and then you know to be with my daughter and because I H owever, closely following were the motivations for novel experiences, shared experiences, and an opportunity to educate their chil dren. For instance, Ulysses, a man


48 in his 40s ho rizons and let me enjoy need to escape routine, create memories, seek out/enjoy resort amenities, and to have something to look forward to were also cited as important motives for the interview ees, which are all consistent with the motivations for family travel reported in the tourism literature (Crompton 1979; 1981; Lehto, 2009; Shaw, 2008). Analyzing the two motives that were unique to nonresident fathers, the most frequently stated motive was to carry on the tradition of family travel in order to create a mediate the upheaval that the divorce had caused on the family unit. For example, Sal [the children] thrown in the mix, which is really too bad. So you do a man in his 40s with a son in pre kindergarten and a son in grade school revealed that travel had aided both him and his wife in establishing a new wife likes to say the fa different way that they see their family. Further, David, a father in his 40s with a daughter in grade school (travel) was just an ex family would do. This, travel, for us is just another thing that we do together as a f amily. in his 40s with a daughter in high school noted : Well and I think i t was just better just to start traveling. Because now it is


49 used to. to travel with their children. These respondents note d that their children becoming more mature and independent was a significant factor that motivated them to begin taking more extensive and exotic vacat ions with their children. For e xample, Jason discussed his current desire to take his daughter to Europe now that she has the maturity to enjoy of the vehicles to mend, as much as possible, the damage from the fall out of their divorce. Past Travel The second subthe me, past t ravel also served as an important motivator for the participants by serving as a jumping off point to plan and execute travel without a significant other. In general, when asked to describe past travel experiences all of the participants menti oned trips that were taken as a nuclear family with their children and former wives. Most of these trips centered on visiting Walt Disney World, due to the close proximity of Orlando to their homes, with a few participants reporting taking trips to visit relatives in Europe. For the most part, these past travel experiences were used as a basis from which to plan and execute travel independently from their spouses after their divorce. Not surprisingly, a majority of the participants reported that their pa st travel experiences closely resembled the trips they had taken with their spouses, which included short local trips primarily revolving around Di sney W orld and And a man in his 40s with a daughter in middle school


50 family oriented cruise groups, and trips to see Yankees or Rays baseball games. Regardless of the gender or age s of their children, participants tended to gravitate toward short local overni ght trips, initially following their divorce. These trips appeared to provide a platform for these men to build their confidence in both their parenting and planning skills, which led to the desire to continue to travel with their children and motivated t hem to take more extended vacations with their children. Three interviewees indicated that their previous trips with their children were to visit friends and relatives, which were precipitated by a desire, following their divorce, to re establish a connect ion with their family members, or as a more affordable variation on family travel. As one participant, Evan (50s ) with two daughters and a son, stated, interesting place ne participant reported that his past travel experiences with his daughter centered around outdoor recreation, specifically skiing. Otherwise, participants initially following their divorces chose to participate in trips that closely resembled the v acations they had taken with their children and former spouses. This decision allowed them to weather the transition of the divorce and build their confidence as parents, eventually enabling them to begin to plan and execute vacations to more novel locati ons. wives the third subtheme, also served as an important catalyst not only for travel, but for choosing t he destination and activities to participate in while on vacation with their chi ldren. The


51 wives were grouped into five categories. The majority of the sample reported that thei r ex wives traveled, primarily, to visit friends and relatives, which is not surprising since McGehee et al. (1996) found that women tended to place more importance on family and kinship. Most of the women lived close to their family, making this type of travel the most convenient and accessi ble, however, two of the mother s took an annual trip with their daughters to v isit family outside of the country. Accordingly, the participants felt motivated to plan trips revolving around their own relatives, or to designate an annual trip of their own to create a separate travel identity from their former wives. The second most children did not travel lack of finances. This tended to result in the interviewees feeling highly motivated to travel wi th their children in order to provide travel experiences for them that their former wives were unable or unwilling to provide because of financial issues or disinterest. For exam ple, Dan, a father in his 30s with a son in grade school explains : motivation for me to be a ble to provide that for him. You know. Four of the participants also reported that they had collaborated with their former wives to designate annual trips, which they selected based on their own personal kiing, they usually go with her that they had taken as a family prior to the ir divorce This tended to be a cause of


52 contention with most of the participants, due to the fact that the interviewees had initially developed the idea for that trip or because they had not initiated the divorce and desired to continue to travel as a fami ly. Amicable or not, the ex cision to take an annual trip l separate from their former wives. Finally, their former spouses traveling with only one of their children was als o reported by two of the interviewees. The participants stated several reasons for this phenomenon. First, Anthony explained his ex you know that, and more the interviewees offered for their ex wives only traveling with one child included the other sibling being too old and awa y at school, as well as the mother being unable to handle the responsibility of entertaining all of her children while vacationing. Shared Leisure The fourth subtheme, shared leisure, includes the leisure activities that the interviewees participated i n with their children. Their at home activities with their children were analyzed to determine if these activities influenced their motivations to travel or their travel planning. According to the fatherhood literature, sport tends to be the predominant activity that fathers participated in with their children (Coakley, 2006; Harrington, 2006). Indeed, all of the participants indicated, regardless of the sex of their child, a majority of their leisure fell into the category ts/recreational activities reported included: baseball,


53 volleyball, fishing, bowling, biking, and visiting the park. Mark described his leisure activities with his daughter: us ed to play volleyball, so I can kind of help her out with that. So you know, my, my girl. Otherwise, the leisure activities reported were rather diverse i ncluding: entertai nment (e.g. watching movies/TV, playing games, going to theme parks ) shopping/going to the mall, cooking, and educational activities (e.g. teac hing their children to drive, reading, bible study ) Alt hough their leisure activities we re rather diverse, the participants tended to gravitate towards activities that they themselves ed to encourage their children to adopt sports/recreation that they enjoyed in order to foster shared interests. Accordin gly, the interviewees also had a tendency to plan trips that revolved around their shared leisure with their children. For example, Evan described an upcoming Yankee Stadi Similarly, Sal described his motivation to take his daughter skiing: Florida You go fishing, or, she lo ves the beach, that kind of stuff. And so I also were open to participating in leisure activities that they t hemselves were not interested in, but that their children favored. These differences were most prominent in parent child groups with different genders. Shopping was the number one leisure in terest cited by the participant s as an activity they did not enj oy, but frequently


54 participated in with their children. To illustrate, Evan explained how he handled this wait until they are finished. I get the text to come pay the Similarly, Jason revealed the challenges he faced with his teenage daughter: things too I just kind of follow maybe shopping. Shopping was def initely a tough one. Oh, God, was it hard. I could have jumped off a building many times While most leisure activity conflict was gender based, Shawn (30s ) a divorced father due to the fact that his wife had always filled the role of chef prior to their divorce. However, he interests. It is significant to note the important role shared leisure activities played in the vacations with their children. Seven of the ten participants selected their family travel destinations based on shared leisure interests as we travel motivations and choices Making Travel Happen The second macro theme was making travel happen. The participants were unanimou s in their decision to execute vacations with their children. When discussing the facets of executing a vacation with their children, three subtheme s emerged: (1) the method and types of preparations they engaged in prior to their travel, (2) how they neg otiated the travel constraints they encountered, and (3) the influence of family


55 dynamics on the planning and execution of travel in the pre travel phase of their vacations. Travel Planning and Preparations In terms of the first subtheme, travel planning and preparations, the family travel literature regarding contemporary family trave l decision making has emphasized that women tend to dominate the initial stages of family vacation decision making, including information collection (Fodness, 1992; Quinn, 2 004; Zalatan, 1998). As such, it would seem logical for the participants to provide accounts of the difficulty they experienced while attempting to plan travel as well as to include examples of negative incidents that occurred due to their lack of experie nce in coordinating travel plans. However, despite a majority of the interviewees reporting that prior to their divorce their wives performed the traditional role of information seeking and travel coordination, none of the participants had any difficulty planning and rarely, if at all, sought help in planning and executing their family vacations. E ight out of the ten interviewees indicated that they, in fact, preferred to g of merely making plane reservations and booking a hotel. Anthony describes his approach to travel planning: planned and rental cars. Other than that, I pretty much wing it. Like wh en And so I bought tickets to Wicked while we were out there. We picked all of our restaurants while we were out there. We just kind of wing it. I find that I have a more leisurely va o any planning. Mainly because all three of the kids


56 have such structure d lives, either school, extracurricular activities, or work, that when Even interviewee s with younger children described an aversion to taking vacations spontaneous, planning: took we had specific train reservations. We had hotel reservations. We had a couple of tour but not overly. Beyond that, we had no p In contrast, two participants indicated much different approaches to travel planning. One participant meticulously planned his vacations with his daughter. David remely planned out because, especially being at his destination he also refrained from planning any activities or meals, choosing to let their activity schedule. On the other hand, one participant chose to not only continue to plan vacations with his ex wife but they responses. Worth noting is the fa ct that regardless of the age or sex of the children as well as the length of the vacation, a majority of the participants made no travel arrangements beyond flight and lodging reservations. This practice seemed to be a complete rejection of the particip travel styles. Based on conventional gender expectations/norms women tend to plan vacations more intricately, while men appear to be more spontaneous. Several interviewees described how family vacations were executed prior to their divorc es. For


57 example, Dan described the differ ences in his travel style compared to his former wife: Surprisingly, although the interviewees were accustomed to their fo rmer spouses detailed family vacation planning, they had no difficulty adapting to planning, or not planning as most have noted, without their former wives. For example, Anthony described the almost imperceptible difference in his family travel following I get online, book the ticket, Four of the interviewees also mentioned participating in travel that revolved around a sporting or leisure activity that had a planned itinerary already in place, or joining family members on a vacation with an established itinerary. For example, Shawn took his children on a camping t Also, Dan took his son on a fam him being absent from the planning process. Similarly, Sal took his daughter on a ski trip in which is his friend, a current resident of their vacation destination, planned the entire trip for hi m.


58 Ultimately, despite the current trend of women becoming more involved in family travel decision making as noted by Fodness (1992), Quinn (2004), and Zalatan (1998) in the tourism literature, the participants had no difficulty adapting to their new role as information seekers and travel organizers. H owever, they, for the most part, shirked the or gender. Accordingly, participants indicated that they also had no d ifficulty selecting a site for their vacations. Seven of the participants disclosed that their destination selections the leisure research examining the influence of children on the family travel decision making process for traditional husband wife dyads. Jenkins (1978) and Thorton, Shaw and Williams (1997) noted that the kinds of activities, destination points, and dates of vacation were highly influenced by chil dren as a result of their needs. Thus, even if the children of the interviewee s were too young to voice their preference for a given location, their needs dictated where the father considered traveling. For example, Ulysses, a father of two young daughter s explained that his travel revolved around safety considerations and access to public restrooms. Further, David, a father of a six Otherwise following consideratons ere family is located, or based on annual travel. Two participants chose to determine the


59 location of their trip because their children were too indecisive. As Anthony explained, estination seemed to only occur in the two parti cipants with older children who were exhibiting behaviors that indicated they no longer had a desire to take vacations with their fathers. Conversely, some children were highly motivated to travel with their fathers and arrived at the vacation decision choice through collaboration with th eir dads. The participants who noted their travel destination was selected based on its proximity to their family typically chose these locations due to financial constraint s and access to childcare. Lastly, two participants chose to return to a past travel destination for the ease of planning this type of trip afforded them as well as to establish a routine in order to help their children become more comfortable traveling w ithout their mothers. As far as trip preparations, which centered primarily on packing for their vacations, the participants discussed : packing orchestrated entirely by the father, orchestrated by the child, or jointly coordinated by their spouses. A ma jority of the participants indicated that they were solely responsible for packing and preparing for their vacations with their children. To illustrate, Shawn described the packing process: We packed together to make sure we got all the stuff that we need ed. So bring, what not to bring. You know, just how to pack. Especially for fathers with younger children, like Shawn, packing for their trips was utilized as a lear ning opportunity. D avid, a father in his 50s with a daughter in grade school you want to take this on the plane, you have to remember now, your going to take


60 Age was an important factor in dictating how involved each participant was in the trip preparation phase of their vacations, with the nonresident fathers with older children having little involvement in the packing process. For example, Eva n, father to a teenage son and two college aged daughters sure he remembers underwear, toothbrus h, that sort of thing. He is a teenager The girls are pretty self father to a daughter in middle school self sufficient on that sort of thing. I helped her get things together make sure she had the interviewees with older children nonresident children had the much more arduous task of not only packing for their children, but making certain that they brought snacks and activi ties to entertain their children during the trip. Lastly, two participants reported that both them and their spouses jointly packed wife] gets her packed. But, ski outfits see I would buy all that. such, Sal and his former wife both played roles in major factor in determining how involved each interviewee was in the packing and preparation phase of their fam ily vacations. Negotiating Constraints The participants revealed that they experienced significant travel constraints which constitutes the second subtheme Six types of travel constraints were reported: finances, unsupportive exes, age of their childr en, lack of resources such as time and money, difficulty adapting to the role of sole caretaker,


61 contentious sibling relationships and difficulty choosing trips that interested their children. Here it is important to note that the nonresident fathers wit h a higher income repo rted that lack of resources was less of a constraint than the nonresident fathers with lower incomes. Specifically, the participants from a lower socio economic class had less flexibility at work, could take less time off for travel, and had less discretionary income to spend on travel. Also, the age of their children dramatically impacted the travel constraints experienced by the participants, however gender did not seem to be l with their children. Unsupportive former spouses, the age of their children, and lack of resources were the most commonly cited tr avel constraints, which echoes Ihinger nvolvement with their children include: positive co parent relationship with their ex spouse, economic well being and job stability, and support of others in their social networks. The most reported constraint was unsupportive exes. To illustrate, Mark e xplained: mother than anything against her. If things were great and we were together and all that, then we probably would have planned some sort of Dan also described the difficulty he experiences when attempting to negotiate trips much everything, you know. So, yeah, It takes a little coercing to get a straight answer. It affects me and it college age wife created a constraint on his travel with her and her siblings. He explained:


62 Part of it has to do with, in all honesty, is that she and her [i.e. his dau g hter] picking the other two up if its goi Essen tially, his dau ghter would not travel with him if it involved having to pick her travel plans For a majority of the participants, lack of resources was also cited as a significant constraint. Less affluent participants reported both time and lack of discretionary income as major constraints. For example, Shawn stated: Just time you know, from tr little bit different now because of the fact that I am a single father and, then, to one in where, we all of us were together, we could actually have more the resources were there. In contrast, participants with higher incomes, if they mentioned lack of resources at all, they reported a lack of the time, not finances, as a significant constraint. For example, raveling with her, is kind of a bonus if you can, if you have the time constrained their travel to a great extent. Sur prisingly, it was not the younger children, but the older children ranging from high school to college age that the participants indicated made travel difficult and in some cases, no longer feasible. To illustrate, Evan, father to a college age does not want to travel wi Has adult stuff she Sal, a man in his 60s with a daughter in middle school


63 almost in high school Whatever. I remember going on the last family trip felt cons father daughter vacations. He noted: uch that could He also felt that having a friend accompany them would be a significant financial burden as well. Surprisingly, only one other participant mentioned the difficulty he has encountered when his daughter wants to invite a friend to accompany the m on trips. Otherwise, Mark, a father in his 40s with a daughter of similar age, reported having no reservations traveling with his daughter and a friend of hers, while the other p articipants made no mention of how they negotiated instances when their children wanted friends to accompany them on their vacations with their fathers. Obviously, this issue would be less of a problem with children who were of the same gender as their fa thers, but it was still unexpected that more of the men w ith daughters did not mention this particular constraint. participants felt constrained by their new role. Sha wn explained the pressure he felt as a result of being the sole caretaker: talk to your mom. Or hang know. Without being of course, overly you know, the over protective, like, ng stage is the part


64 It is worth noting that none of the interviewees with daughters mentioned experiencing any anxiety over being the sole caretaker, only two participants both with sons. However, once participan ts began to describe their most recent trips, two of the participants with daughters noted that one of the main challenges they encountered was using public restrooms with their daughters. This became a major obstacle without a same sex spouse to aid in t hese situations. Lastly, one participant, Anthony experienced a considerable constraint to traveling as a family, due to the contentious relationship his children had with one another. He l father with children the same age and gender as Anthony, experienced no conflicts between his children stemming from their differences in a ge or gender. Lastly, one participant noted that his daughter was so selective as far as what locations she was willing to travel to that he had difficulty planning trips wit h her because of the amount of negotiation it entailed. Family Dynamics In ter ms of the third subtheme, it was discovered that t he s with their former wives both prior to and following their divorce as well as their level of involvement in the care of their children facilitated or discouraged the men from traveling with their children. Interviewees who indicated that they had either a positive relationship with their e divorce were more at ease traveling with their chil dren, and thus, more apt to take them on family


65 wife: We made a very conscious decisio n that we were going to be on very good terms because of the kids. And I can tell you that the fact that we do that seamless. They go between myself and my ex wife seamlessly, and back one or the other or that, but I As a result, Kevin had very few constraints to combat when planning a trip with his children, and was strongly motivated by his ex take his children on vacations. Further, Shawn noted allowed him to effortlessly plan trip s with his sons, while avoiding laborious negotiations for time to travel with his children that many of the participants encountered. Mark revealed that his ex to take a father daughter t rip. His ex regular trips with his daughter. Also, the participants that reported being involved in the day to day care of their children were more comfortable in their new roles as sole caretakers, res ulting in them experiencing fewer travel constraints. To illustrate, David when directly asked why he took over the role as caretaker with such ease, responded: I think part of it was, while we were a family part of my job was working from home. I was ab le to spend a lot of time with my daugh ter. Take her to daycare, pick her up, have dinners with her at the kitchen table. I had experience.


66 dried lots of hair and that s explained his role prior to his divorce: en put back home at ten or eleven in the morning and had wandered around for five or six hours by ourselves through the town. So even when I was married, I would very much independent ly take them and parent. care prior to their divorce were better equipped to handle the role of sole caretaker, resultin g in these men experiencing fewer travel constrain ts than the interviewees that held more traditional male roles within their marriage. On the other hand, participants who were less involved in the day to day care of their children, or had a contentious relationship with their ex wives reported having mo re reservations about traveling with their children and were more constrained in general, concer ning vacations with their children. To illustrate, Kevin described the difficulty he encountered as a sole caretaker: I think the difficulties were the adjustme nts in the beginning. You know, cause the kid got sick and, oh my gosh, what am I going to do. You know I felt like calling my ex wife and saying, you know, you take him. Consequently, it took Kevin about a year until he felt comfortable enough to travel with his children, and even then he brought a nanny along to aid with childcare. As a result, it took a lot more work and money to plan a vacation with his children, due to his lack of experience as a caretaker. Similarly, Anthony found that his lack o f parental involvement had negative repercussions following his divorce. In particular, his children not only preferred to communicate with his ex wife, but they were more willing to travel


67 son communicates with his mother frequently. You know, as opposed to me, and so he goes to her for his with him, and did not predict that he would continue traveli ng with them in the future. It appears that family dynamics, particularly that of an unsupportive spouse created a significant travel constraint for the participants in this study. relationships with their ex wives and their roles within their fa mi lies prior to their divorces serve d children. Travelling with Dad After discussing travel constraints and planning the participants were asked to outline their travel experien ces Their responses form the basis of the third macro theme, traveling with dad. F our subthemes became apparent during their discussions of their most recent travel experiences with their children: (1) the characteristics of their vacations such as the duration and activities they participated in, (2) the challenges they personal travel experience while on their vacations with their children. Trip Characteristics I n terms of the first sub theme, trip characteristics, t he or for a sporting/school event, centered around a recreational activity, planned by a third party, or vis iting local attractions, such as theme parks/exhibits. A majority of the participants engaged in functional travel, making travel part of accomplishing a larger weekend getaway


68 a medical school visit to Stanford and used that trip as an opportunity for a vacation with his children. Further, Evan utilized the trip to take his daughter to camp as an occasion for him and his son to have a boys vacation in North Carolina, once they dropped his daughter off at camp. Lastly, David in an attempt to reconnect with his family transformed perfunctory family visits into a chance for his daughter and him to take a week lo ng vacation during her Christmas break from school. The second most reported vacations were trips centered on recreational activiti es. Sal planned an annual week long ski trip that revolved around skiing, snowmobiling, and shopping. Ulysses also p lanned a week long bike trip that included cycling through Washington D.C. and Williamsburg. Two of the participants engaged in camping trips that had been pre planned by a third party. First, Dan and his son accompanied his mping trip. While, Shawn chaperoned his eldest son on his Boy Scout camping trip. It is significant to note that both of these men had never traveled with their sons before, making a pre planned trip a logical and ideal choice for men inexperienced in pl anning and executing trips with their sons. Both men also stated that due to the success of their camping trips that they felt motivated to travel more frequently with their children. Finally, two participants took vacations to visit local Florida attractions. Kevin took his boys on a four night vacation to Disney, which revolved around visiting the theme parks and playing in the pool. Lastly, Jason took his daughter on a day trip to visit Cape Canaveral and tour the Kennedy Space Center. long in duration, centering on recreational activities. The participants also tended to engage in one annual vacation with their children, while t he participant with the highest income, Kevin, indicated that he


69 traveled more frequently with his sons, about three to four times a year. It is also significant to note that the two participants with the lowest socio economic status had distinctly differ ent definitions of travel, considering local trips to the beach and theme twenty home was consistent with one another. Challenges In terms of the second subtheme, challenges, it was discovered that o nce the participants arrived at their destination with their children, they encountered the following challenges: age related such as homesic kness and safety concerns, their children entering puberty, conflicts between siblings as well as parent child conflicts, logistical issues, attempts to travel with friends/girlfriends, and finally attempts by their ex wives to sabotage their trips. Partic ipants indicated that the majority of the challenges they faced while on vacations were attributed to the age of their children, homesickness being the main issue. Most of the interviewees with children in their early teens or younger had dealt with a hom esickness issue. To illustrate, Mark, a father to two daughters age five and things. But you know, we, we face it head on and talk about the, that can be your heart tellin pre teen daughter stated, en did have issues with homesickness, the females tended to suffer from homesickness to a much larger extent. Also, three participants reported that their daughters also had


70 difficulty combating feelings of guilt over having fun without their mothers, whi ch was not mentioned by any of the participants with sons. To illustrate, Jason revealed his teenage But there was I could see her carrying a little sadness with her. And then I was just compelled to ask her do you feel any sense of guilt you know with the divorce and when she told me she did, then it hit me that this is what Another challenge the participants attributed to age was safety issues they encountered while traveling. To illustrate, Shawn, a father to a son in pre kindergarten and a son in grades school explained: ed difficult was just to make sure that he was safe. You know. This was his first time. I spent was his very first time, so I kept asking him, it was kinda over zealous, are y ou okay? Everything okay, you okay? Further, David, father to a daughter in grade school describes his concerns regarding traveling 24/7 my eyes are on her because esp ecially in an airport with lots of people in that safety concerns make traveling very difficult, especially with children of a different gender because everyday tas ks, such as using the restroom, are complicated by wanting to be with them for safety reasons, but not being able to go into female restrooms with them. Finally, three participants mentioned that the age difference between their children made it challengi ng to choose activities because of their different abilities. For example, Ulysses explained: year old will try to see how far she can walk. The 5 year old will much more quickly


71 But, we just do what we need to do if you carry them, you carry them. If le to easily mediate this challenge by staying behind and waiting with the younger sibling while the older rode a ride or participated in an activity that had an age requirement. The participants also indicated that they experienced other challenges on the ir female children reported experiencing c hallenges due to their daughter s entering puberty. To illustrate, Jason, father to a teenage daughter, described having to cancel a I think she was in her monthly stage because that was kind of new to her not to argue with her and then just kind of follow through with it. And I think the worst part was making it there, getting our passport and then having to come all the way back on that trip. Another interviewee Mark described another challenge he had encountered in r eference participants mentioned seeking advice on how to properly deal with these changes. Instead, indicating that they felt uncomfortable, the participants took t hem back to their mothers. Lastly, an age related challenge that affected participants with older children was a lack of common interests with their children. Anthony explained how difficult it is to plan activities on vacations with his kids. He stated


72 daughter is at an age (a teenager ) that makes it difficult to find common activities stating Attempting to travel with a third party also seemed to be a source of challenges the participants encountered on their vacations. For example, Kevin described his attempt at bringing his girlfriend on a trip with his sons: My girlfriend and I went on a trip together with all of our kids. And that was a little challenging, not because, basically because it was really the first time they were all together and it w as just a it took the kids a while to blend. Two other participants, Ulysses and Dan, discussed the potential challenges of bringing their girlfriends with them on trips with their children, reporting that they wrestle with this decision because of the p otential harm it could cause their children. Regardless of the potential harm, two of the three participants indicated that they planned to take their girlfriends on a trip with their children in the future. A small number of participants also conveyed that they experienced challenges due to conflict with their children as well as conflicts between the siblings. However, the families experience conflicts. Thus, a ma jority of the participants indicated that it would not prevent them from traveling with their kids in the future. Conversely, Anthony did decide d to no longer travel with both of his children, due to their nonstop fighting on their most recent trip togethe r. Also, a few of the interviewees encountered logistical challenges during their most recent trips. For example, missing a train reservation, not having as large a group as expected on a camping trip, and hotel rooms being sub par were all mentioned as minor challenges that the participants encountered. Finally, one participant also described how his ex wife attempted to sabotage his trip with his


73 daughters by calling numerous times and sending texts in order to upset his daughters and make them homesic k. This was the only instance of a former wife interfering with a It is worth noting that despite the fact that a majority of the participants were not accustomed to planning and executing vacations without the assistance of their significant others, they were able to successfully overcome the challenges they experienced on their vacations with their children. This is quite an achievement for any parent travelling by themselves with children, but especially for men that are more ac customed to filling the auxiliary role of helper or playmate in parenting as noted by Ishii Kuntz and Coltrane (1992). Child Experiences The third subtheme was child experiences. When the participants were asked whether they felt their children enjoyed their vacations with their fathers all but one participant indicated that their children were incredibly content on their trips and had relatively no complaints, beyond minor bouts with homesickness at the beginning of their trips. To illustrate, Dan desc whine about being bored or you know, or missing his mom or anything like that, you know. It was just all fun and happiness. This utopian view of their family vacations was by far the norm for the interviewees. Further, Shawn expressed how happy his son was during their camping trip. He stated, the whole Davy experienced homesick ness were still able to enjoy their trips with their fathers, with the


74 participants indicating that they felt sadness during their initial departure, but once they arrived at their destination began to thoroughly enjoy their vacations. Unfortunately, one p articipant, Sal did reveal that his daughter (a teenager ) did not good for maybe, activity that their travel was centered on, so she expressed her desire to no longer go be a vacation was something she enjoyed when she was younger, but has since grown as an individual and developed other leisure interests. He would probably be able to still have su ccessful vacations with his daughter, if he chose a vacation that was more compatible with her current leisure interests i.e. not sports. This finding is not surprising in light of the fact that Kimm et al. (2002) in t heir study of the physical activity o f girls during adoles cence discovered that once girls entered adolescence their participation in physical activities and sports declined significantly. Finally, participants were asked if their children expressed any preference for their travel styles comp ared to their former wives. As such, only two participants, Evan and Anthony, indicated that their children preferred to travel with them. First, Evan stated: I think they prefer to travel with me. They tell me because, you know, just different things. The notion expressed by Evan that a more flexible and unstructured trip was not only a better way to travel, but more pleasing to their children on vacations was mentioned frequently by the nonresident fathers, when asked how their travel styles differed from


75 their ex wives. However, none of the other fathers felt that their child preferred that travel style over their mo thers Further, Anthony asserted that his son, but not his daughter, preferred to travel with him because they were of the same gender. He explained : I think he probably would prefer to travel with me because I give him more freedom independence and we probably travel with me. Although this is not the only example as to when gender was influential on travel styles, Anthony was the only participant to attribute gender as a contributing factor in travel with him because they are the same gender was not shared by the other participants. In contrast, the participants, for the most part, seemed to not be too concerned with gender when it came to the preferences of their children, with none of the other interviewees sugg esting that their children would have had a better time with their parent of the same gender. Father Experiences Regarding the fourth subtheme, father experiences, w hen the participants recounted their most recent vacations with their children, they gra vitated toward discussing the following: the challenges they faced, the influence of their personal travel experiences both past and present, what they valued most about traveling with their children, and their desires to keep traveling with their children All of the participants discussed the chall enges they faced, or lack there of, when giving an account of their experiences on their family vacations. Seven of the ten participants indicated that they faced no challenges, not only traveling with their chi ldren, but also taking over the role of sole caretaker. Participants also reported


76 anticipating that it would be more challenging to travel with their children than it actually thought it three participants related that the only challenges they encountered were in regards to relatively challenge free family vacations. Many participants attributed their past travel experiences to the main reason they felt so going away three times in the next nine days. So o r Also, past travel experiences both solo and with their families during their childhood were mentioned as motivating them to travel with their children. Fo r example, when David was asked why he was so motivated to travel with his daughter he stated, Dan described how his childhood family vacations motivated him to trave l with his son. He explained: You know, my parents, you know, once, at least once a year we went on a son, too, you know. I want to carry on in that tradition and be able to show him through experiences.


77 Closely following the topic of past travel, a majority of the par ticipants emphasized valued spending quality time with him. I valued just how excited he was. His just whole value the twenty four seven time with them. And see, like I said seeing them just really Other than spending quality time with their children, the participants also indicated that they valued the teaching opportunities travel presented. To illustrate, David explained: I value the most those times where I can find those teachable mome nts, getting you know on an airplane. So I value as a parent to find those opportunities where I can teach her something new. A lso, Jason revealed that he valued travel because it had afforded him the opportunity to discover commonalities between him and his daughter. He explained: I think what I value the most is that we started developing common grounds. Above all things you k have common grounds on a lot of things. So eight out of ten things, which is not bad at all, you know. Lastly, all of the participants expressed a desire to continue to travel with their children in the future. How ever, worth noting is that one participant, Mark, stated that although he wanted to continue to travel with his daughter, it was not a priority for him. This seemed to be the result of the financial burden he was under, due to undergoing


78 divorce proceedin gs. Another participant, Sal, also noted that he was going to have to modify his travel plans, in order to keep his daughter interested in traveling with him, loss of interest in their vacations together, he still expressed a strong desire to continue to travel with her. Otherwise, all of the men were enthusiastic and optimistic about future travel plans with their children. Childcare Lastly, childcare was the fif th subtheme. Only two participants reported receiving aid with childcare on their vacations. First, Kevin was the only participant to receive full time help via a nanny on all of the vacations he took with his children. He explained the arrangement by s tating: basically is on from the time the kids get up in the morning until the time the something el experience with both kids. Kevin primarily utilized the nanny to help mediate issues that arose due to the significant age difference of his two sons. He explained: A lot of activities that allows me to give both my kids the optimal exp erience that they can get when we go away. Conversely, participants with multiple children of a similar age did not have the means, nor express the need for fulltime childcare on their vacations with their children. The only other example of a participant receiving assistance with childcare was he received as:


79 So, we had an adult day on the river. And we went down tubing on the river. And so her mom, you know, spent time with him back at the campsite and watched him and did their thing there. In my opinion, this seemed to be a typical arrangement for people traveling with their child ren to visit friends and relatives. In contrast, being accompanied by a full time nanny while traveling with your children seemed to be a rather extraordinary experience Happy Memories Following their vacations, t he participants reflected on their vacations and the experiences th at they had with their children, which comprised the fourth macro theme, happy memories. Upon reflection, the subtheme of benefits was identified. Travel Benefits In terms of the subtheme travel benefits, t he tourism literature on the benefits of family travel indicates that leisure travel aids in ensuring the stability of the family unit, the social development of children, creating memorable expe riences and contributes to greater communication and solidarity between family members (Lehto et al, 2009; Shaw, 2008). Similarly, the participants mentioned the following benefits: opportunity for bonding/quality time, creating shared experiences, learni ng opportunities, exposure to new experiences, creating memorable experiences, stress relief/escapism, and acquiring confidence in their parenting abilities. The number one stated benefit by the nonresident fathers was creating opportunities for family bon ding and shared experiences, which became especially relevant to the participants since they no longer resided with their children. To illustrate, Anthony explained: quality much time with them. My daughter lives with her mother. And my son


80 whatever time I have with them. Further, Mark no ted how important his travel has become with his daughter following his divorce, due to the fact that he no longer has day to day interaction with her. He stated: more dependence. of go through the whole cycle of a day. I think it gets you back in the comfort zone of being a parent and having that one on one experience. feels better and that you know getting kind of more connected with me, The participants also mentioned that th e shared experiences created by their vacations contributed to the formation of a deeper bond with their children. For remember those experiences and you build from those experi communication with their children was another benefit of travel that led to the participants feeling more connected with each other. For example, Shawn stated that, se of the whole trip in The second most stated benefit of family travel was being able to educate and expose their children to new experiences. To illustrate, Dan explained that he to other parts of the world or other cultures or being in different environments. I want to es also felt that travel provided his daughters with learning opportunities they would not have gotten at


81 ferent than what Not only did participants utilize the travel experiences to educate their children, but they also employed the planning and preparation stages of travel as opportunities to impart knowledge. For instance, Mark explained: How to plan for clothing and different temperatures and different things you going to do and think it out ahead so that you pack t he right stuff and you get on in life. Likewise, Shawn described how he utilized the packing proces s to teach his oldest son (a pre teen get him to understand, too that now t to take more responsibility for himself. And then, you in any type of travel something will go wrong. Another benefit of travel noted by the participants was that they gained confi dence in their parenting skills and, as a result, were inspired to plan more trips with their evin found that his vacations also imparted his children with confidence in his parenting skills, which he felt deepened his relationship with them. He revealed: that both can dea l with all situations. So I think form the standpoint that the with dad this is all he really can do. He ca


82 helped to round out my relationship with them. Worth noting was the si gnificant role travel played in building the participants confidence in their parenting abilities, following their divorce. Following successful execution of a vacation and the childcare responsibilities it entails, led the participants to feel more compe tent and involved as parents. Also, creating lasting memorable experiences was another benefit reported by the them because I really instinctively know that lookin Finally, participants noted that travel provided the benefit of an exper ience that was a source of great excitement for them and their children. To illustrate, Jason explained: to this new thing. So it becomes a little more exciting. Kevin also described the enjoyment he garners from his kids excitement. He watching that, you know, I mean they just get so Finally, the participants noted that travel was also a means to e scape the stresses of their everyday lives, especially their divorces. For example, Dan stated:


83 Yeah, it, it was a little difficult. But, you know, as, as, as far as when we got there, it, you know, it was like a weight was kind of lifted off his shoulder s and, you know, he kind of forgot about everything that was going on back home, and, you know. And it was nice because there was no, you know, complaints, or, or anything like that with her technology had on both of their lives. He affirmed: I think it [travel] helps and I think it can be therapeutic for a lot of people, a lot of guys, you know. Just to get away from anything electronic. I mean that are probably att ached to us. But to get away f r o m bot h of those pieces of equipmen. I t was pretty cool. The participants e mphasized the value they placed on the benefits they associated with travel, specifically stating how much they treasured the time they were able to spend with their children now that they no longer resided with their children. As such, all of the partici pants indicated that they planned to continue to travel with their children in the future. Most of the sample stating they would also like to, in the not so distant future, travel internationally with their children, if they could gain their former spouse s approval to take their children out of the country. Summary In sum, the data revealed that travel is an integral part of the participants time spent with their children. Travel primarily functioned as a means to facilitate and maintain close relation ships with their children, which as a result of their divorce and, consequently, their departure from the household and the everyday lives of their children, was a struggle mentioned by a ll of the participants Overall, the interviewees seemed to tackle t heir new role as sole caretaker with relative ease, gaining added confidence in their abilities through their travel experiences with their children. Thus,


84 despite having to negotiate some constraints on their travel, the benefits served to outweigh any n egatives for all of the participants. Resulting in their continued desire to travel with their children in the future.


85 Table 4 1. Respondent Themes Macro Theme Subthemes Creating a New Normal Motivations Past Travel Travel Shared Leisure Making Travel Happen Travel Planning and Preparations Negotiating Constraints Family Dynamics Travelling with Dad Trip Characteristics Challenges Child Experiences Father Experiences Childcare Happy Memories Benefits


86 CHAPTER 5 DISCUSSION This study investigated the pleasure travel characteristics, mo tivations, and experiences of United States nonresident fathers traveling with their children using a the guiding theory for this study. However, while this theory does have some relevance to understanding the exp eriences of nonresident fathers traveling with their children, the (1966) Recreation Framework to help us interpret the temporal nature of travel experiences. The findings demonstrate that the travel experiences of nonresident fathers are not limited to their actual trip experience, but that the pre travel and post travel phases of their trip are integral parts of their vacations and shape their overall travel experience. As a result, I propose a grounded theory model (Figure 5 1) of interconnectedness of the three phases of travel: pre travel, the actual travel experience, and post travel, suggesting that one must utilize a temporal view of the travel process in order to truly capture the totality of nonresident fathers travel experiences. Fridgen emphasized the importance of examining the phases of travel which include: pre travel referre d to as anticipation by Fridgen, actual travel, which included the phases of travel to the site, on site behavior, and return travel. Lastly, he noted the importance of the post travel phase, entitled recollection. Fridgen emphasized that one must look b oth at on site travel behaviors and beyond the actual travel experience in order to capture the totality of the travel experience. He noted the importance of the


87 pre have o n the travel decision making process and their role in fostering or inhibiting actual travel. Meanwhile, he also noted that the post travel phase of recollection must be experien ce not only impact the recollection of their trip, but also their future travel preferences. Similarly, when the participants discussed their travel experiences they acknowledge the significant influence their home, work, and leisure activities had on the ir travel experiences. Also, the participants noted that following their trip they enjoyed reminiscing about the shared adventures they had experienced together. They also planned their future trips based on their recollection and memories of their most recent travel experience with their children. Thus, the pre travel themes including: s of travel to the site, on site behavior and return travel. Lastly, the post travel theme h appy memories closely resemble the phase of recollection proposed by Fridgen. As a result, the themes were organized based on temporal framewor k with the four macro themes and 13 subthemes situated in the model based on their temporal relationship with one another The two macro themes creating a new normal and making travel happen consisting of the preparation and behaviors that influence the p travel phase of the model. Next, the macro theme travelling with dad consisted of the travel experiences of the interviewees while on their vacations, which are situated in the actual travel phase of the model. Lastly, the macro theme happy memories, which includes


88 the recollections the men expressed following their vacations, is situated in the post travel phase of the model. ) theory of Situated Fatherhood also emphasized the importance of the temporal dimension in the act of fathering. In the theory, Marsiglio et al highlighted at fathering, but also the social processes that foster or inhibit their attempts at fathering. As a result, five of the primary properties and four of the secondary properties of situated f atherhood were utilized to analyze and interpret the findings in this study. The following properties of the theory Situated Fatherhood were found to be through the act of fathering: physical conditions of the participants destination the temporal dynamic on their vacation s the symbolic perceptual processes the social structural context, and the public and private nature of the vacation space, institutional/cultural conditions at their vacation destination the transitional elements of travel, the participants perception of their personal power and control, and the gender attributes of a specific destination. These properties were all taken into account during the data analysis, forming a basis from which to interpret the environmental and social processes that impact the act of fathering while men are on vacation with their children. Creating a New N ormal The first macro theme situated in the pre travel phase of the model is Creating a a divorces were recognized. Four subthemes were associated with this theme:


89 behav iors. The subthemes consist of the factors that were identified as having attempt to establish a new family identity. For the most part, in reference to their t ravel Crompton (1979), such as a desire to develop kinship with family members, to enhance familial relationships by escaping routine, relaxation, desire to educate children, and the provide travel experiences for their children because of the inability or the unwillingness of their former wives to travel with their children were two motives t hat were unique to this population and not mentioned in the travel literature regarding travel motivations. Secondly, past travel experiences and shared leisure, two of the other subthemes listed under creating a new normal in the pre travel phase, were also identified as sub themes served as a foundation from which the participants selected their travel travel also shaped the activities and destinations the participants selected. The interviewees expressed a desire to either plan trips to provide experiences for their children that their former wives could not, or that were in contrast to their former w resulting custody arrangements that left them living separately from their children, the motivation to create a separate and revised family identity with their children was mentioned as paramount to a majority of the participants, outweighing the traditional


90 2008). This phenomenon is not surprising, due to the emotional and physical upheaval of their divorce for both the participants and their children, illuminating the influence that personal circumstances can have on travel motivations, and the resultant tr avel behaviors. This emphasizes the impact that not only physical conditions, but temporal circumstances can have on the act of fathering of nonresident fathers as noted by Marsiglio et al (2005). Marsiglio et al. assert that physical spaces can create un ique opportunities for participants to create a unique space for them to interact with their children as well as creating a new normal following their divorces. Also, t he social upheaval of the to assume new parenting roles in order to spend time with their children. Quite possibly, under different circumstances, they would not have been motivated to plan or execute a vacation with their children. Thus, analyzin g the data through the lens of situated f atherhood highlights the significance of the as aids in the understanding of the unique physical condition that travel afforded them in their pursuit to create a new normal with their children, resulting in a better understanding of why the participants appeared s o highly motivated to travel. Lastly, this unique population requires the attention of researchers and scholars in the field of tourism and leisure research, due to the unique travel motivations and challenges


91 nonresident fathers experiences as well as the significant role travel plays in their relationships with their children. Making Travel Happen and the activities they selected for their vacations, they also related the elements that influenced the planning and execution of their trips with their children in the pre travel phase. These elements comprise the second macro theme in the pre travel ph ase called making travel happen. This macro theme has three subthemes: family dynamics, travel planning and preparations, and negotiating constraints. Family dynamics, the first ding on of involvement in the day to day care of their children. For example, participants who revealed either they had good relationships with their former wive s, or had a high level were more motivated to travel because they felt taking over the role of sole caretaker was described as less daunting to them. Th is is not surprising that social expectations have on how men interact with their children. As such, the negative impact of lationship with their wives on their attempts at planning their vacations, is in congruence with the social structural property of situated f people can have on their attempts at fathering. However, wh en participants discussed the constraints, the second subtheme under making travel happen that prevented them, not from traveling (because all of the


92 participants traveled regardless of the constraints they experienced), but from taking the vacations they truly desired, a contentious relationship with their former wives was the number one reported constraint. This illustrates that Ihinger contention that a positive co spouses promo tes nonresident fathers involvement with their children not only in day to day childcare situations, but is also applicable to promoting involvement in activities outside of the realm of everyday childcare, such as travel. Otherwise, lack of resources such as time and money, contentious sibling relationships, age of their children and difficulty choosing trips that interested their children were cited not only by the participants in this study, but are generally noted in the literature as structural and int erpersonal constraints that tend to affect people attempting to engage in leisure travel (Nyaupane & Andereck, 2007) Similarly, the theory of situated f atherhood also highlight s attempts to father their children. In relation to this study some of the fathers noted that income in particular impacted the type of travel locations they visit and ho w they interacted with their children at a particular location. This could further highlight the important consideration structural constraints should be given when analyzing Accordingly, the ex tent to which the participants were affected by structural constraints (i.e. lack of financial resources) appeared to be greater than traditional husband wife dyads, due to their unique social circumstances i.e. the temporal dynamic described in theory of


93 unique family structure has on their attempts to plan and execute vacations. As such, the timing, i.e. following their divorces, of their travels occur when most of the participants finances h ad been largely reduced by their divorce proceedings. For instance, the participants reported that they received little, if any, financial assistance from their former spouses. Also, the financial strain their divorces had placed on them resulted in an o verall strain on their finances, specifically the discretionary income they typically utilized to fund their vacations with their families. Thus, many of the participants had little discretionary income for travel because they had to pay to support two ho useholds as a result of their separation from their wives, or they no longer had the supplementary income from their former spouses from which to aid in the financing of their vacations with their children. While this did not prevent the participants from with less financial resources defined travel as day trips to parks or other recreational facilities, where as the participants with higher incomes defined travel a s a trip spent away from home for lo nger than 24 hours. Lastly, the final subtheme of travel planning an d preparations under the theme making travel h they encountered prior to their actual vacations, such as taking over the role of sole caretaker and travel planner, that fostered or inhibited their desires to take a vacation with their children. Surprisingly, only two participants reported initially experiencing difficulty adapting t o the role of sole caretaker. Although this did make them apprehensive about travelling with their children, it did not prevent it. The difficulty these participants reported was most likely attributed to the fact that they fulfilled the


94 traditional role as breadwinner, providing little assistance in the care of their children, prior to their divorces. As such, their perceptions of their own personal power and control over their children was very low, which based on the theory of Situated Fatherhood may lead to a feeling of powerlessness as a parent. Further, Marsiglio et al. (2005) assert that these feelings may negatively influence their interaction with their possible ex planation as to why some of the participants had reservations traveling with their children. In contrast, a majority of the participants revealed that they were very instrumental in the day to day care of their children, occupying the cultural ideal of th e nurturing role of childcare as well as the traditional breadwinner role. This experience with the care of their children prior to their divorce and their desire to spe nd time with their children after the divorce, s eemed to account for the ease with which the discussing the difficulty the participants encountered taking over the role of info rmation seeker and travel planner in the pre travel phase, a role that McGehee et al. (1996) and Small (2005) discovered to be traditionally dominated by women in husband wife dyads, the participants indicated experiencing minor, if any, difficulty coordin ating the travel preparations or assuming the role of travel planner. Most likely, the participants did not feel constrained by this stage of the family travel process because their apprehensions were mediated by their motivation to take a vacation with t heir children. Further, the of obligation, instead their motivation seemed to originate from the fact that they defined


95 themselves by their role as involved fathers. (2000) finding that men are more motivated to be involved with their children if their definition of themselves is dependent on their role as fathers. In turn, this may explain why the participants may have encou ntered fewer obstacles in assuming roles traditionally held by women in the planning and execution of family travel. Many of the participants also noted that they felt their former spouses intricate planning in regards to family travel was unnecessary, incident is most likely attributed to gender differences that result in different planning styles. The traditional role of travel planner and family organizer noted by Ishii Kuntz and Coltrane (1992) and Zalatan (1998) may predispose women to be more structured traditional role as playmate as observed by Such (2006) may lead them to favor a more version to the unpleasantness of planning and set schedule or planned activities may have also contributed to their lack of constraints in the pre travel stage. The pre experience, serving as a foundation from which they planned and selected a destination for their vacations. Travelling with Dad ren were classified under the theme of Travelling with Dad located in the actual travel phase of the model. This theme is associated with five subthemes: trip characteristics, challenges, child experiences, father experiences, and childcare. The first su btheme, challenges, includes the difficulties the men reported while travelling with their children.


96 few problems or regrets expressed, the main issue the interviewe es encountered on their vacations was their children having minor bouts of homesickness at the beginning of their travels. As such, the influence of age and gender played a much larger role in ildren reporting more issues with homesickness, and the parents having more challenges regarding childcare and safety. The difficulties the participants felt appear to be attributed to the transition from the private space of home to public spaces, such a s airports or train stations, which as fathering experiences. In this study, the transition from private space to public spaces that travel demanded at first challenged the participants, but once they were able to negotiate the challenges that arose, such as attempting to use a public restroom with their young children, they gained more confidence in their parenting skills allowing them to develop a deeper bond with thei r children over their shared victory surmounting the challenges they faced on their vacations. In addition, the fathers with older children reported having more difficulty selecting activities that appealed to their children as well as reporting their chil dren experiencing boredom and a lack of interest in traveling with their parents. Finally, gender also presented a challenge to fathers traveling with teenage daughters entering puberty and dealing with the issues that arose as a result of this developmen tal stage. Trouble although all of the participants with daughters were quick to emphasize that despite their daughters being drawn to some activities that were more female oriented they had


97 no trouble finding commonalities. In fact, similar to Swinton (2008) and Lehto et al. (2009) these results suggest travel served as a means to not only highlight commonalities, but also created new shared interests, which deepened the bond the participants had with their childr en. Simiarly, Marsiglio et al (2005) also highlighted the impact gendered environments, such as malls or dance recitals that are commonly these environ ments potentially encourage men to step outside of their comfort zone and connect with their children, which appears to support some of the experiences reported by the fathers in this study. as their own father experiences, and trip characteristics, which are also part of the travelling with dad theme in the actual travel phase of the model. Overall, the part icipants expressed that both they and their children had incredibly positive travel experiences. This utopian view of their travel experiences appears to be attributed to what Marsiglio et al (2005) deem the symbolic perception of a space in their theory of situated f atherhood. They assert that if a certain l ocation is perceived as leisure centered it can influence how fathers and children perceive or treat one another. Thus, the symbolic nature of the a leisure/fun cent ered fostered bonding and enabled both the fathers and their children to create successful and happy travel experiences. The participants also revealed that travel was especially important to them following their divorce because they had very few opportuni ties to develop commonalities with their children, since they no longer shared a residence with them.


98 As a result, travel was a priority to a majority of the participants because of the unique ituated Fatherhood. It offered men a chance to bond with their children, especially now that they had limited opportunities to spend quality time with their children. Also, the participants may have been particularly attracted to travel as a means to bon d with their children because it is a form of leisure, which have been noted in the literature as the type of activities that most father child relationships revolve around (Craig, 2006; Kay, 2006a; Lamb, 1987; Such, 2006). Thus, the comfort and ease that experiences may have been because the activities on their vacations were merely extended opportunities to participate in the play and leisure time that they had spent a majority of their time engaged in with their ch ildren prior to their divorces. Happy Memories on e subtheme under the macro theme Happy Memories located in the post travel phase of the model. This theme has one subthem e: benefits, which include the positive travel experiences in the post travel phase, the participants noted that their vacations helped to foster and expose commona lities between them and their children. Other benefits the participants reported included: cultivating a deeper bond with their children, creating shared experiences, exposing their children to new experiences and learning opportunities, creating memories and stress relief/escapism. These findings were consistent with the findings of Lehto et al (2009) and Shaw (2008) in their research about the benefits of family travel in traditional family units. However, with regard to the participants in this study the benefits of travel had different


99 implications. I nstead of travel supplementing familial relationships in traditional family structures as noted by Lehto et al and Shaw, the fathers in this study indicated that travel was the primary setting in which they attempted to maintain a relationship with their children. Travel was not an adjunct activity to develop a deeper bond with their children. Instead, travel was the primary means by which the participants remained close to their children by developing common interests and shared experiences that helped to maintain the connections they struggled to maintain after their di vorces. Indeed, the theory of situated fatherhood suggests that unique physical spaces, i.e. travel destinations, can creat e opportunities for fathers to be more involved with and bond with their children. This appears to mirror the experiences of the fathers in this study. Another finding that was unique to this population was that travel aided men in acquiring confidence i n their parental skills. Upon reflection, the participants realized that their travels with their children not only instilled confidence in their children that they were capable caretakers, but also in themselves. This appeared to be attributed, in part, to the fact that in traditional husband wife dyads women are responsible for the execution and planning of travel (McGehee et al., 1996; Small, 2005). As a result, once children observe their fathers fulfilling the role that they associate with their mot her, the primary caretaker, their image of their father is transformed to one of both playmate and caretaker. Also, the transitional elements of travel, defined in the theory of Situated Fatherhood as the movement between private and public settings that create significant changes in the context within which men father their children, may have also contributed

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100 able to successfully negotiate the challenges presented by t he transition elements that are innate to travel. This contributed to the value the participants placed on travel with their children and increased their desire to plan more extensive and exotic vacations with their children. This desire was shared by al l of the participants when they discussed the trips they envisioned taking with their children in the future. Summary heir fathering experiences and interactions with their children. As such, the data revealed that the five properties and five secondary properties of the theory Situated Fatherhood highlight the unique their children, and in turn impact the afforded the participants, and the time spent with their children during the difficult transition of creating a new normal follo wing their divorces, outlined as the physical conditions and temporal dynamic in the theory of Situated Fatherhood, appeared to have the most impact on their relationships with their children. C onsequently the time spent with their children without distr actions that travel affords was attributed a much greater importance by the participants than their vacation destinations because of their motivation to recapture the time they had lost with their children following their departure from their family homes. This may indicate as Fridgen (1984) suggested, that there are certain social cues that can facilitate a change in the importance placed on the environment al setting of family vacations. Accordingly, the social processes of preparing for their travels, during their trip, and recollecting their travel experiences after their vacations appear to collectively

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101 impact their relationships with their children by deepening their bond with their children. Their vacations created a setting for the participants t participants had struggled to find opportunities for following their divorces. Hence the temporal model presented in this study provides a more holistic view of such vacations that appears to be more applicable when e xamining the travel experiences of these nonresident fathers. In the tourism context, this model takes into account the interplay of physical spaces and the social/symbolic processes described in the situated fathering conceptual framework at all phases o f the travel experience and frames these processes in a temporal model. In turn, this aids in the understanding of the unique dynamics of fathers and their children in vacation contexts by encompassing the pre travel and post travel phases, which as noted by Fridgen (1984) are integral pieces of the travel experience that must be considered in tourism. Limitations and Delimitations There are potential threats to the purity of data collected in this study. The limitations of this study centered on the inter view process. First, the participant recall of their most recent travel with their children as well as their past travel experiences may have been affected by time, as some of their travel experiences occurred several years ago. Keeping this potential bi as in mind, the researcher took extensive notes and asked follow up questions as much as possible to obtain an accurate and robust account of due to the semi structured nat ure of the research, it was not pos sible to ask every participant the same exact questio n s, which at times made it difficult to compare results. H owever, an interview guide was utilized to ensure, as much as po ssible, that each participant was asked similar questions. The participants cou ld have also report ed socially acceptable accounts of their experiences

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102 because they felt the interviewer was judging their parenting skills However, the researcher attempt ed to establish a rapport with the participants during the interviews in order to elicit rich and accurate accounts to ensure the trustworthiness of the data. P urposive and snowball sampli ng was utilized to increase the external validity and to include men with diverse backgrounds in terms of age, income, ethnicity, number of children sex o f children, and age of children. Further, as the participants were limited to Florida it is possible that the data may not be transferable to individuals living in different geographical locations. Implications and Future Research The goal of this study was not to provide generalizable findings, but to provide insights on a topic that has not received prior academic attention. The findi ngs reflect the experiences of a unique population of nonresident f athers who live in the Southeastern United Sta tes and as such may be different to those who live elsewhere. The findings of this study make a unique contribution to the literature by expanding our understanding of nonresidential parenting practices and leisure travel activities specifically how this population utilized travel as a means to create a revised family unit Little is known about nonresident fathers and their travel with their children because of the lack of research on nonresident fathers in the travel and fatherhood liter ature, adding to the significance of this study to both of these fields of study. The important role travel plays in mediating the effects of divorce on family units is a significant contribution to the academic literature and families that are in the mids t of a divorce. Also, this study offers a model from which to further investigate the travel experiences of nonresident fathers in the travel context. This information would have useful implications for both public and private tourism providers, offering them a better

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103 understanding of the needs and preferences of nonresident fathers traveling with their children, so that they can better accommodate an underserved segment of the population. Lastly, a major implication the study of nonresident fathers trav el with their children can provide a better understanding of techniques that men can employ, following a separation or divorce, to foster a continued relationship with their children. This has significant implications for both the field of tourism but als o sociology and family studies as travel has been shown in this study as a means by which men mediate the ill effects of no longer residing with their children. I also recommend the travel and tourism industry promote travel packages that are pre planned in order to encourage more nonresident fathers to travel with their children, providing them with an opportunity to heal the wounds that divorce has inflicted on them and their children. Further research is needed to provide a more in depth analysis of thi s population and to test the validity of the model presented in this study. A larger study consisting of a more representative sample would be useful in establishing the generalizability of the findings as well as increasing our over all knowledge of a pop ulation that has been largely ignored in the literature. A future study comparing the experiences of custodial fathers to nonresident fathers would also be useful in further highlighting the unique experiences of nonresident fathers Also, a study that takes into account the length the participants have been divorced would also provide richer data about this population. Further, engaging in a longitudinal study to explore the effects of the age of the children would provide a greate r understanding of how the travel of this population evolves as their children age. Also, further research on nonresident fathers travel with their children would further expose the unique benefits travel offers this population. In a society with

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104 a growin g incidence of divorce and nontraditional family structures ( Chesworth, 2003 ; Gardyn, 2001), more research on this topic would also serve to expose the benefits of travel not only to traditional family units, but the nontraditional families that are becomi ng more prevalent in our society. Thus, encouraging the ability of the tourism industry to better serve nontraditional family units. Conclusion offers a more holistic view of their travel experience, offering a better understanding of the travel experiences of this population. Travel serves as an important means by which men attempt to mediate the distance and disconnection they experience both physically and emotionally f rom their children following their divorce. The benefits family travel offers nontraditional family units, such as the opportunity for single fathers to gain confidence in their parenting skills and create a platform to bond with their children through sh ared experiences are significant. As nontraditional family units become more prevalent the need for research highlighting the unique travel experiences of these populations would provide valuable insight for the related academic literature and the tourism indust ry.

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105 Figure 5 1. Pr oposed Temporal Model of Nonres

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106 APPENDIX A INTERVIEW GUIDE 1. Tell me about a recent trip you took with your children within the last 12 months. Probe: How often do you take trips like this? What activities do you do with your children? 2. Tell me how you selected this destination/and activities. Probe: Do you typically select destinations based on your own interests or your children Did this destination have planned leisure activities specifically for children? Did this destination have childcare professionals that supervised your children at any time during your vacation? What a ctivities did you participate in during your vacation? What are your favorite things to do with your children on vacation? What activities do you children enjoy on vacations? What activities do you children not enjoy on vacations? 3. Talk to me about the impact of these trips on your relationship with your children. Probe: As a result of your travel with your children, do you feel more connected with them? Does leisure Did you feel there were any negative impacts? Is pleasure travel with your children a priority to you? What do you value about your trips with your children? What benefits do you associate with travel? 4. Tell me about any particular challenges you face when traveling with your children. Probe: Are there any specific tasks that your partner/wife/significant other was responsible for or typically performed on your vacations with your children that you are now responsible for (i.e. organizing, packing, planning, monitoring the ch ildren etc)? Was it difficult for you to take over those tasks? Did you have to rely on other people (relatives, friends, new partners) to help you with these tasks, following your fatherhood d iscourse) Are there in tasks that you still find challenging? Do you find it difficult to plan family travel? Do you experience difficulty in executing day to day childcare duties (while on vacation)? Did you face any constraints on your choice of des tination/trip? Do your children have trouble adjusting to being away from home? 5. Please share with me other trips you would like to take with your children. Probe: Where would you go?

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107 What would you do? Why is this location important to visit? ( i.e. influence of physical setting) What is stopping you? 6. Tell me about yourself Probe: What is your name, age, highest level of education, occupation, age of your children, and custody arrangement? What is it that you enjoy doing for leisure? Do you and your children engage in these leisure activities together? How often? What else would you like to add? What are your closing feelings about traveling with your children?

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115 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Adrienne Christine Kendall was born in 1985 in Collier County, Florida. She is the middle child of Richard Kendall and Kay Nolan and sister of Alec and Megan. She spent a ll of her childhood in Tampa, FL School and Tampa Preparatory High School graduating in 2003. Her research interests ivorce. As a result, she has cultivated an interest in sociological and tourism research investigating unique family structures. Adrienne gained admission to the University of Florida in the spring o f 2005 and earned a cum laude Bachelor of Science in tourism, recreation, and sport m anag ement with a specialization in event m foster ed during her undergradu ate education led her to earn a Master of Science in recreation, parks, and t ourism in the spring of 2 012 while working full time at Gray Robinson Following the completion of enrolled at the University of Kentucky College of Law in order to utilize her research skills to serve the needs of underrepresented populations in so ciety.