Here Come the Kids! The rise of Multigenerational Travel
The words “family vacation” conjure up images of kids building sandcastles while parents relax in the sun. In our increasingly hectic world, travel provides a unique opportunity to create closer bonds and make lasting memories with our loved ones. As a result, multi-generational travel is increasing in popularity and the luxury travel network Virtuoso named it the top trend for 2018. The composition of travelers on these trips can vary widely from kids and parents to a large group of extended family. At other times it is just an adult with her niece or some other mix resulting in an eclectic group of travelers.
The rise in multi-generational travel can be seen all over the world; in fact, Asian travelers go on twice as many family trips as their Western counterparts, according to a survey by Agoda. The same survey also suggests that bonding is a key driver for this trend with 68% of respondents reporting that quality time with the family was the thing they looked forward to most on the trip. Other reasons included relaxation and getting away from routine.
While the rising trend of multigenerational travel is exciting, many families do not feel like their needs are met. A 2018 survey by the Family Travel Association asked people to rate the travel industry on how well it meets the needs of families, and they gave it a lackluster score of B minus. Sadly, this rating was unchanged from the prior year. This persistently low score suggests that there is a unique opportunity to improve the experience of this increasingly important segment.
When it comes down to it, families overcome significant challenges to plan and undertake travel. This often includes figuring out logistics, cost, and safety. The value proposition for them is the happiness derived from being together and enjoying activities, attractions and amenities. Brands can help tip this equation by adding a few thoughtful touches that can transform the entire experience. It could be as simple as offering the children an adventure map to match the property map adults receive upon check in. This small gesture can make a child feel special and included. It may be just the thing to perk up a tired and jet-lagged child, making the entire check-in experience smoother and connecting them with both the brand and the destination. As this example demonstrates, catering to multi-generational travelers does not have to be complicated, cumbersome or expensive. A little creativity and thoughtfulness goes a long way.