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“Skip-Gen” Travel Experiences Target Grandparents, Grandchildren

by Holly Riddle

Jun 20, 2018

© Monkey Business Images | Dreamstime.com

Age Specific / Multigenerational

Multigenerational travel has been a tourism trend for several years now, but what about skip-gen travel? This newer trend often includes grandparents vacationing with grandchildren while leaving mom and dad at home. The rise of skip-gen is attributed to the baby boomer generation, in the midst of retirement, prioritizing travel and family and looking for a way to combine the two. Quite often, skip-gen trips are planned around certain milestones in a grandchild’s life and either include one grandchild or grandchildren from one family, rather than all of a grandparent’s grandchildren.

More and more tour providers are targeting this growing travel group, who require an activity level suitable for both parties, as well as interesting sites and itinerary items capable of captivating two distinct age groups.

Mayan Pyramid Chichen Itza

Mayan Pyramid Chichen Itza © Ee Hh | Dreamstime.com

Grand Velas Riviera Maya, for example, now offers two tours for visiting Mexican cultural destinations while staying at the hotel, specifically geared toward grandparents and grandchildren. One heads to Chichen Itza, the famous Mayan ruins, for a private tour, dining on regional cuisine and swimming in natural sink holes, while the other takes guests to the colonial city of Merida and ruins of Uxmal for an exploration of Mayan art and culture.

Likewise, Thomson Family Adventures arranges tours suitable for groups with a broad array of ages, such as its Costa Rica family vacation, which features hikes through the jungle, lazy river floating and kayaking. Much of the company’s “For Everyone” tours offer similar itineraries suitable for differing activity levels and interests with desirable destinations such as Panama and Israel.

Beyond tours, skip-gen travel also extends to the cruising industry. Many cruise ships offer the perfect combination of children’s activities and adult-friendly offerings for something for everyone in one convenient package. Several cruises additionally provide children’s programming that allows grandparents to enjoy some alone time.

Similarly, many theme parks welcome these travelers, such as Disney World, a classic choice that likely many grandparents and grandchildren were already taking advantage of with or without the parents in tow.

Ultra-luxury and bucket list trips are gaining popularity overall, but the primary audience for these kinds of trips are still those with the discretionary income to afford them — in many cases the grandparents. Quite often, these bucket list trips overlap with unique experiences children and teenagers are sure to love, such as African safaris or luxury dude ranches.

Regardless of where you go or how you get there, the trend promises deeper bonds between grandparents and grandchildren, while giving mom and dad some potentially much-needed alone time to rest, recharge or go on a more adults-only trip of their own.

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