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Travel Study Reveals Upcoming Trends for Family Travel

by Holly Riddle

Jul 8, 2018

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Families continue to use travel as a means of staying close and reconnecting. The 2018 Virtuoso Luxe Report shows exactly how they’re doing so and what you can expect for the most popular family travel destinations and trends this summer.

Generation Z Boasts Big Buying Power

Generation Z (those born in the mid-1990s to mid-2010s, or three- to 23-year-olds) greatly influence family travel spending. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation reported Gen Z has a buying power of $43 billion and influenced $600 billion of family spending.

Members of Gen Z push their parents to take their interests into consideration when planning family travel and influence their parents’ decisions through social media, reviews and word of mouth. Typically, Gen Z travelers look for active experiences in unusual destinations, preferably those visually suited for social media.

Making up more than a quarter of the population, Gen Z’s influence on the travel industry isn’t going anywhere, with many travel brands turning their attention away from millennials to focus on this up-and-coming group. What sets Gen Z apart from prior generations? A global mindset that seeks even more unusual, authentic and unique experiences apart from the norm, and a lifestyle driven by social media presence and activity.

Top Family Travel Types

The Luxe Report ranked family travel types, with beach resort stays coming in at first place for preferred family trips. Following, in descending order of popularity, were active or adventure trips, celebration travel, mother/daughter or father/son trips, guided or private tours, ocean cruising, cultural immersion trips, educational trips, river cruises and exclusive-use travel (with private islands, villas, jets, yachts or similar amenities).

Most Popular Family Destinations

Some of the most popular current family destinations are no surprise. Italy comes in first, followed by Mexico, then Orlando, Hawai’i and Costa Rica round out the top five, while the Dominican Republic, South Africa, England, Canada and France follow. Italy remained in the top spot for nine years and England and France are familiar names on the list, as is Orlando. Families looking for more adventurous experiences are choosing Costa Rica and South Africa. Meanwhile, Canada’s mix of urban destinations and the great outdoors lures families seeking the best of both worlds.

Most Popular Unconventional Destinations

With Gen Z pushing for those unusual destinations, parents branch out to countries not previously picked for family travel. The top unconventional family destination, same as last year, is Iceland, which claims popularity regardless of traveler demographic. Following are the Galapagos Islands, Cuba, Antarctica, Botswana, Mongolia, Japan, United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Rwanda and Croatia


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