With the height of the pandemic in the mirror, families who may have put reunions on hold in 2020 and 2021 are looking back and looking to reconnect with loved ones through travel.
“Due to the pandemic, many people may not have spent enough time with their families, especially when it comes to grandparents and grandchildren,” said Brian Tan, Founder and CEO. of the online travel recommendation platform. Zicasso. “And so, we’re seeing a significant increase in large, multi-generational family travel.”
Along with improved consumer sentiment about safety, Tan pointed to several other factors contributing to this year’s boom in large family vacations. They include an increase in savings levels during the pandemic, allowing families to increase their vacation spending, and a shift towards must-have travel experiences.
“The pandemic has made people realize that you can’t take travel for granted,” he said.
According to booking data from Zicasso, the platform has seen its share of family group bookings of six or more people increase by more than 50% since 2019.
“And consistently, every time we have an article about grandparents traveling with their grandkids in our weekly newsletter, that’s the one that gets the most clicks,” Tan added.
Kimberly Milnes, owner and store manager in Cherry Hill, NJ Family Travel Shopalso noticed an increase in multi-generational and family reunion-type travel for 2022.
“I typically do a few multi-generational trips each year, but now I see that trend is on the rise,” Milnes said. “And a lot of people planning these trips these days are the grandparents, because they haven’t seen their grandkids too much during [the earlier part of] the pandemic.”
The Folo Podcast
With spring break underway and summer fast approaching, it seemed like the perfect time to review families’ travel priorities.
Milnes has also seen its multi-generational family travel groups increase in number. Among her clients slated to travel this summer are a grandmother commemorating her 80th birthday with a 27-person trip to Disney World as well as a family group of 10 – including a matriarch, her adult children and grandchildren. children – planning to spend some quality vacation time together at Moon Palace Cancun All Inclusive in Mexico.
“All-inclusive packages are great for this type of trip, especially if one person pays for everyone,” Milnes said. “It’s just easier, and everyone can order whatever they want without having to worry.”
In fact, the hospitality industry as a whole is looking for other ways to roll out the red carpet for multi-generational groups, which are a potentially lucrative part of business this summer.
the Resorts One all-inclusive brand, for example, responded to a recent increase in grandparent-grandchild vacations with its Beaches Grand-Escapes promotion. Valid for stays of five nights or more booked through April 30, the offer includes a Made for Memories photo shoot with three printed photos plus a choice of breakfast featuring a Sesame Street character, a Red manicure Lane Spa for two or a catamaran cruise for two.
Residential style suite accommodation at Zemi Beach House in Anguilla. Photo credit: Zemi Beach House
In Anguilla, luxury property Zemi Beach Housepart of Hilton’s LXR Hotels & Resorts collection, seeks to attract more family groups with a vibrant kids’ club lineup that skews education as well as its residential-style beachfront suites, which offer spacious layouts multi-bedroom, fully equipped kitchens, washers and dryers and private pools.
“We brought in a large family group from New Jersey in January, right after the holidays, because they couldn’t get together over the holidays because of omicron,” said Antoine Alsayah, director of sales and marketing at Zemi. .
“And we’re also seeing bookings where moms and dads are the kids at home and then off to catch up with friends or siblings. We’ve got a good dozen of those types of trips on the books.”
Europe also attracts family groups
The Caribbean isn’t the only international destination attracting family travelers these days. Thanks to the recent phasing out of most Covid travel restrictions, Europe has also become an attractive location for multi-generational dating, with Zicasso’s Tan citing Italy, Greece and Spain as some of the best options for family vacation this year.
Similarly, in France, the Hotel Napoleon Parisa member of Preferred Hotels & Resorts, caters to large family groups, with an emphasis on its large connecting rooms that can be linked to accommodate four to 18 family members.
Family reservations began to resume in March at the Hotel Napoleon Paris. Photo credit: Hotel Napoleon Paris
According to general manager Claude Rath, family bookings began to increase in March, leading the hotel to launch a special kid-friendly offer. Applicable to all suite bookings, the promotion includes 50% off a superior connecting room for up to six people, young travelers receiving welcome gifts and toys, and access to activities such as children’s cooking classes and costume jewelry classes.
But as the number of families looking to plan an overseas destination reunion grows, Milnes of Family Travel Boutique said some family groups still have international trips on hold at the moment.
“I personally think that once the testing mandate to return to the United States after international travel goes away, we’re going to see an even bigger increase in family travel,” Milnes said. “People are really waiting for this.”