Influenced by Generation Z’s unconventional travel preferences, Australian families are looking for high-energy trips far away from mainstream holiday hotspots
Recent research shows that Australian families are looking past well-known tourist destinations and are instead journeying far and wide in search of more thrill-seeking experiences. Global luxury travel network Virtuoso, which represents more than 1,000 agencies throughout 50 countries, surveyed its affiliated advisors in its annual Luxe Report to discover where, why and how families are travelling this summer. From multi-generational trips to cultural immersions, and in places such as Rwanda, Iceland and Croatia, 2019’s Australian families are the most adventurous travellers yet.
The Impact of Generation Z
Like influential Millennials, Generation Z has a great deal of impact over family and peer travel decisions. These young people born beginning in 2000 are worldlier at an earlier age than previous generations and are therefore more determined to explore. The more off-the-beaten-path, the better, as social media further guides them towards more unique experiences.
1. Influencing others’ choices via word of mouth, social media and reviews
2. Involving themselves in planning trips
3. Looking for highly visual locations and activities that highlight their exciting lives on social media
4. Persuading others to embrace their desire for more active experiences
5. Seeking out unusual destinations
In Virtuoso’s list of the top 10 family travel trends, adventure trips rose to number one from third place last year, bolstered by travellers’– especially female travellers’ – excitement for active experiences (check out our top thrill-seeking destinations for adventure travel ideas). While sun-and-sand travel fell from its original top spot, it remains popular for family bonding holidays and as a means of disconnecting.
Travel with multiple generations, a leading trend in overall travel for 2019, still ranks highly on the family-specific list while celebrating milestones such as birthdays and anniversaries are common excuses to take family vacations. Skip-Gen travel is also on the rise, with grandparents eager to educate, explore and leave a lasting legacy with their grandchildren, while working parents stay behind back home. Tours, particularly private ones tailored to a family’s interests, help transform trips into educational experiences, helping create the next generation of global citizens.
1. Active or adventure trips
2. Beach resort stays
3. Multigenerational trips
4. Celebration travel
5. Mother/daughter or father/son trips
6. Ocean cruising
7. Cultural immersion
8. Touring (guided or private)
9. Educational trips
10. Passion-point travel (art, movies, sports etc.)
South Pacific and Hawaii Climb the Ranks
Italy may always be a dependable getaway, but idyllic islands like Fiji and Hawaii rank highly on the list for those looking to unwind together in a shorter-haul escape. Australian families love to extend their travel reach as far as the U.K. and U.S., but Asian and Pacific destinations are closer to home and deliver immediate feelings of ‘holiday mode’ from the first step on the beach.
6. Los Angeles
8. New Zealand
Exploring new destinations is the top travel motivator in 2019 and seeking unusual places is a Gen Z priority, according to Virtuoso’s report, so it is no surprise that Australian families are searching the lesser-known and more remote parts of the world. Pristine spots such as Iceland, the Galapagos Islands and Antarctica are getting popular, while the desire for deep cultural and nature-based interactions is driving families to places such as India, Cuba and Rwanda.
4. Galapagos Islands
8. Costa Rica