From Michelin-starred restaurants to custom safaris, Virtuoso’s expert advisors share the top family travel trends for 2020
It’s no secret that travellers are increasingly seeking out culturally immersive experiences, but what what is new is that the kids in the family are often the ones suggesting these experiences – and influencing their family’s holidays. Virtuoso’s travel advisors that specialise in family travel have revealed that authenticity tops the list of emergent trends, with children driving travel decisions in second place. The influence of the younger generation on family travel is reflected across the board—from destinations and trends to experiences and travel choices.
Below are the findings from the 2020 Virtuoso Family Travel Community survey:
While classic European destinations such as Italy, England and France remain popular with families, other less traditional places are on the rise. Generation Z is involving itself in planning trips, and they want to explore places such as Croatia, Morocco and Antarctica.
Top Family Travel Destinations:
Top Family Travel Destinations on the Rise:
Multigenerational travel remains the most popular family trend and multiple generations are the second most frequent travel companions behind the immediate family. Virtuoso advisors said they typically design custom itineraries that encompass other key trends like experiential travel and adventure trips, such as a last-minute safari for 10 people including grandparents, children and grandchildren. Celebration travel is also growing, too, with one Virtuoso advisor even designing an Alaska trip for a grandfather who helicoptered his triplet grandchildren to a glacier for their 13th birthday – complete with cake.
Top Family Travel Trends:
- Multigenerational trips
- Beach resort stays
- Active-adventure trips
- Celebration trips
- Experiential trips
Top Emerging Family Travel Trends
Children today are also travelling at younger ages to more distant destinations. Virtuoso advisors report arranging family adventures with infants in tow, including a baby who stayed in Japanese monasteries while accompanying its parents hiking and cycling and a one year old who tagged along for a camel ride and dinner in the Moroccan mountains. The leading family travel experiences include:
Young globetrotters expect active immersion in local cultures, but still want downtime. Virtuoso advisors say junior foodies have asked for Michelin-starred restaurants. Another advisor created a 10-city, 10-day family tour of European car museums. Other rare family experiences advisors have arranged include front row viewing at Siena’s Palio and closing a New York City pizzeria for family fun. One advisor reserved a seaplane to pick up a young woman from a yacht in the middle of the ocean so she would be home in time for a college interview.
The potential appeal of a destination to social media followers is also a frequent driver of young travellers’ decisions. Aiming to maintain and increase their online influence, young travellers want picturesque destinations that they can showcase to their followers. Generation Z is now:
- Involving themselves in planning trips
- Requesting culturally immersive experiences
- Looking for visual trips for social media
- Looking to influence others online
- Wanting trips that are personalised to their interests
While the immediate family remains the most popular group for family travel, the addition of other generations, friends or a combination of family relations are highly ranked companion choices. In order they are:
- Immediate family
- Multigenerational family
- Family and friends
- Multiple families
- Mother/daughter or father/son
Virtuoso specialists have also shared that family travel sales are strong for 2020. 57 per cent expect sales to increase from 2019, while 42 per cent envision sales will remain steady from last year. Just one percent foresee a minor dip for the coming year.