Summer is peak travel time for families, with the kids out of school and the weather a little more amenable to those traveling with small children. However, gone are the days where most families just head to the beach or take a big family trip to the lake.
This summer, families are taking advantage of more interesting travel trends, which is taking them to a wider array of destinations across the globe. And the people they have to thank for it? Generation Z.
Generation Z (or those under 19) is quickly overtaking millennials in regards to consumer influence, with a buying power estimated at more than $500 billion. According to a report by Virtuoso, Generation Z family members are highly impacting their parents’ travel decisions by involving themselves in the planning of trips, persuading others to embrace their desire for active experience, looking specifically for unusual destinations and letting social media play a role in their travel decisions — both looking at social media for travel ideas and looking specifically for travel destinations that will appeal to their followers.
So, what are the travel trends modern families are turning to because of this? Virtuoso’s Luxe Report names the top 10 family travel trends for this summer as active and adventure trips, multigenerational trips, beach resort stays, celebration travel, guided or private tours, river cruises, educational trips, ocean cruising, cultural immersion trips and father/son and mother/daughter trips.
While some of these have been around for awhile — beach resort stays are certainly nothing new — others are a bit out of the ordinary compared to previous generations’ preferred family vacations. However, families are enjoying the bonding opportunities afforded by some of the more challenging travel experiences attracting Generation Z, those that force a family to get out of its comfort zones together, like cultural immersion trips or active and adventure tours.
As new family travel options trend, so do new destinations. While Italy has been the family summer travel favorite for 10 years in a row according to Virtuoso, and Europe’s overall appeal stays strong, other destinations known for active adventures are making headway.
This year’s top family travel destinations, in ascending order of popularity, are Spain, the Dominican Republic, France, Costa Rica, South Africa, England, Orlando, Hawai’i, Mexico and Italy.
Virtuoso also listed the top up-and-coming family travel destinations, those sought out by those really wanting something unconventional. These include Iceland, the Galapagos Islands, Cuba, Antarctica, Morocco, Japan, Egypt, Bhutan, Rwanda and India.
Lake Powell, a family-favorite vacation destination in the American Southwest, lies between Utah and Arizona — an ideal place to rent a houseboat and spend your time exploring the lake and its shores as a family, enjoying the sun, the water and plenty of adventure.
This summer, family travel at The Peninsula receives an upgrade with the debut of Camp Peninsula, a children’s experience that recreates the spirit of camping right in the heart of Beverly Hills. The journey begins with a special welcome from Peter Bear, the hotel’s lovable mascot, at check-in. After taking a picture with the life-sized teddy bear, kids will be whisked away by a Peninsula Camp Counselor to a luxurious guestroom where a charming teepee awaits. An afternoon of camp-themed games and activities, including a hotel-wide scavenger hunt, rounds off the family-friendly experience, fun for children of all ages. Whether it’s a luxe staycation or an extended holiday, Camp Peninsula is an ideal way to ensure the little ones are happy campers.
If you’re looking for a charming new island escape on the East Coast, get away to a locale many have yet to discover. Daufuskie Island considers itself the Nantucket of the South, a hidden gem off the Southeast Coast, near Savannah, Georgia, and Hilton Head. The luxurious environment is unpretentious, but filled with all the amenities discerning family travelers need.
A beach vacation is a family favorite in the summertime; the weather is nice, towns are thriving and there are fun activities all season. For families looking for the ultimate summer beach vacation, consider Ocean City, New Jersey.