Family travel isn’t what it used to be: mom, dad and the two kids heading to the nearest beach town for some fun in the sun. Nowadays, it’s all about multigenerational family travel—with three generations traveling together. And where they are traveling to and the options available to them have come a long way. In fact, tour operators, resorts and destinations are going out of their way to cater to the ever-growing multigenerational family market, and well they should be.
According to Preferred Hotel Group’s multigenerational white paper (which was published in December of last year), 40 percent of all active leisure travelers have taken at least one multigenerational trip during the previous 12 months. “This represents more than 20.8 million household/travelers in the U.S. that have hit the road or the skies with their parents, grandparents or grandchildren in the previous 12 months. Of these 20.8 million households, 40 percent have taken a leisure trip outside the continental United States,” the white paper states. The report goes on to say that the reason that multigenerational leisure travel has become a big market is because “families are living geographically farther from each other than at any time in history; a multigenerational trip is often the only option for today’s modern and mobile family to gather in one place; the hyper-fast pace of life in the 21st century means evenings and weekends are no longer untouchable family time, creating a greater need for the escape that only travel can provide; and baby boomers are trading in their briefcases for a roller bag. Boomers now have the time, health and disposable income to make travel with their families a top priority.”
And if you read what the industry experts are saying in this family-focused issue, you’ll see they all agree there is big money to be made with this market, and it’s those baby boomers you want to zero in on because, as Preferred Hotel Group’s white paper points out, they are “often the ‘financiers’ of family vacations and reunions.”
In this issue, we’ve got some out-of-the-way as well as traditional family vacation recommendations you’ll want to get the 4-1-1 on. We’ve got experiences that include everything from ziplining high above the ocean on the new Norwegian Breakaway (page 16) or in Costa Rica’s lush Pacific coast while visiting Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica (page 30), to exploring the ruins of seaside castles in Scotland with Adventures by Disney (page 50), or even learning how to be a Maasai warrior in Kenya while staying at Cottar’s 1920s Safari Camp (page 74).
Speaking of family vacations, you can read about my mother-daughter bonding vacation through Europe on board the Viking Bragi on recommend.com (just search “sailing on the Danube”). Online, you’ll also find an Eye on the World photo essay on Seattle, as well as offers, incentives, and FAMs that will help you sell travel.
—Paloma Villaverde de Rico
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panama travel planner
In this issue, you’ll find the Panama Travel Planner, an introduction to the more comprehensive Panama Specialist Program. While we have chosen “101 Ways to Experience Panama” in this planner, we invite you to expand your knowledge of this destination and become a Panama Specialist with the Panama Specialist Program, available online at edu.recommend.com/panama. Upon completion, you’ll receive a listing of you and your company as a Panama Specialist on recommend.travel’s Panama Specialist Finder (includes telephone, address and direct e-mailing functionality); two continuing education credits from The Travel Institute and two credits from the Canadian Institute of Travel Counsellors; and a personalized full-color, printable certificate.