Family Travel Consulting analyzes where the family market is headed in the year ahead.
(Jan. 2, 2020, New York) Looking back on a year of climate crises and social turmoil, it is surprising that many of the family travel trends noted in the past continue to play out. For 2020, here are the 20 areas to watch.
The Family Market is still Huge
Several 2019 surveys affirm how much bigger the family travel market has grown, with 43% of adults surveyed having taken kids on vacation and parents planning to take an average 3.7 trips in 2020.
Travel Enhances Taste
Trafalgar Tours found that, on vacation, parents more than doubled the amount of time spent dining with their kids. Experiences around food, such as tours, cooking classes and farmer’s markets will continue to consume families through 2020.
Multigenerational Travel Still Rising
MMGYGlobal says in the past 12 months, 44% of grandparents traveled with grandchildren up from 36% a year ago; 47% plan to do it in 2020.
SkipGen Travel Closes the Gap
Skipgen travel -- meaning a vacation that a grandparent and grandchild take without the middle generation present -- is hot, and AARP finds that 32% of grandparents surveyed have already taken a vacation one.
They Made Me Do It!
Kids still exert a big influence on travel decisions, says the JWT Intelligence Report, and 81% of American millennial parents confirm they asked their kids’ opinions before buying a new TV, laptop, tablet or phone.
What Parents Say They Want in a Hotel
Give us a swimming pool, crafts room or game room at our hotel said 70% of parents in a Parents Magazine survey. Remarkably, only 12% said they wanted a supervised kids club.
Time Together and Time Apart
Brands like Club Med are introducing family together activities facilitated by staff, including how to fly on a trapeze, play water volleyball, family yoga and more. Club Med says kids’ clubs are not on their way out.
Everyone’s Included on My Trip
Today, inclusion means the LGBTQ market (including same sex couple families); those on the spectrum and with other special needs; and families coping with gender identity issues and non-binary children. Welcome them all to your property, museums, theme park and cruise line or, says JWT Intelligence, face the wrath of Gen Alpha.
Sustainability and Micro Mobility
UNWTO and the International Transport Forum forecast transport-related emissions from tourism will rise, driving interest among young travelers in micro mobility solutions at a destination. Cities that want to compete for family tourist dollars have to move beyond Uber to helping visitors get around.
Mindful and Conscious Travel Supports Those in Need
Booking.com says 2020 will see more conscious travelers eager to explore destinations undergoing recovery efforts following major setbacks.
Taking Home on the Road
When families travel, they bring home with them, and trends in residential housing and toys all point to makerspaces and the tech tools kids need to play in this new world.
Technology at the Forefront
Forget that unplugged vacation. Although both camping and outdoors recreation are trending among family vacationers, we see more technology enhancing experiences everywhere.
Camping is More than Pitching Tents
The 2019 North American Camping Report reported 7 million new camping households since 2014, and this diverse, multicultural group is demanding WiFi and comfortable accommodations in the wild.
Hitting the Road the Way Grandparents Used To
RVs are no longer just for the retired. RVshare, the peer-to-peer RV rental marketplace, released data in November that said interest in RV rentals has grown 650% since 2013.
Trends: Bespoke and Private Trips
Heading outdoors without roughing it is why upscale adventure companies including Backroads, OARS and Austin Adventures see increased demand for family trips, including those for families traveling with grown children.
Travel is Less Affordable and Families Will Do Less
According to the Family Travel Association Survey, intent to travel with children has fallen more than 20% in the past three years because, say 82% of respondents, family travel is no longer affordable.
Cruises are Doing It All for Families
New cruise ships like the Norwegian Encore, with environmentally-friendly practices, myriad dining options, lots of activities at sea and quality entertainment – most at a premium to the base fare – is one industry segment that gets the new family market.
Americans Want to Travel Abroad
For families who can afford it, international travel is up. Why? 82% of parents said their travel is motivated by cuisine and customs and 67% told MMGYGlobal that’s why take family members when they travel abroad.
Secondary Cities Have Come into their Own
Second-city travel is on the rise says Booking.com 2020 Travel Predictions, yet we believe most families will start their kids traveling at the tried and true, over-touristed destinations.
Where do Families Say They Want to Go?
Ask any prognosticator where families are going this year and you’ll get a different answer, although Japan, the Bahamas and Italy appear in most polls.
Only to reaffirm that the family vacation market is as varied as families themselves.
# # # About Family Travel Consulting
Family Travel Consulting (FTC) is a working partnership between Family Travel Forum, Taking the Kids and a curated selection of parenting, lifestyle and travel media to provide strategy consulting and customized marketing solutions to travel industry clients.
Sandbox, a sophisticated makerspace in NYC, will define the playroom of the future. Photo c. Related Companies by Colin Miller.