Shapiro // © 2016 TravelAge West
When I tell people that I’m the editor of a family travel publication, one of the first responses I often hear is, “So, you write about road trips and theme parks?”
While Family Getaways does report on the latest news from theme parks, the perception most people have about family travel can be woefully out of touch. Family vacations have far surpassed the notorious “Are we there yet?” road trips. These days, families are eager and willing to venture far from home on exotic adventures — combining a desire to expose kids to a wider view of the world with checking off destinations on parents’ own bucket lists. This issue’s cover story, “Kid-Tested, Kid-Approved” (page 14), examines a few favorite family vacations — as picked by the kids — including wildlife encounters in Kenya, trekking in Iceland and small-ship sailing in Alaska.
According to Virtuoso’s 2016 Travel Dreams Survey, which lists the top 10 trips of a lifetime as selected by the network’s upscale travelers, the No. 1 bucket-list experience is a multigenerational vacation. Furthermore, multigenerational travel was also the top trend identified in the 2016 Virtuoso Luxe Report, a forward-looking survey of Virtuoso advisors that forecasts luxury travel preferences. Clearly, combining a dream trip with the bonding and togetherness of a family vacation is a valuable commodity.
Family travel is an important market, and agents should do all they can to stay up to date on the latest trends and ensure they are networking with top suppliers. This year, the Family Travel Association, which is a partner of Family Getaways (see page 8), has expanded its annual summit to include travel agents, giving agents an opportunity to learn from — and to educate — industry leaders.
However you choose to grow your family travel business, it’s important to understand and communicate the privilege you are providing your clients. In today’s world, exploring the globe, experiencing new adventures and making memories — and doing it all with the people who are nearest and dearest to you — is truly a luxury.