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
Part of a family who just loves a good scare or ghost story? This fall, wherever your travels might take you, chances are you’ll be near an Omni hotel or resort with a history of haunted sightings and other scary happenings. So, why not learn a bit about where you’re staying to make the experience all the more eerie …
United Airlines is in the midst of a major initiative to modernize its fleet over the next several years. After first announcing the plan in 2021, planes fitted with United’s signature interior are finally beginning to appear across the airline’s narrowbody fleet of Boeing and Airbus planes. United flyers are sure to notice these enhancements from the moment they step on board: Each new or updated plane sports remodeled seats, seatback entertainment screens for everyone, Bluetooth connectivity and more, all adding up to a better experience on every journey.
Overshadowed by nearby Portland and overlooked by tourists bound for the popular coastal towns of Camden and Boothbay Harbor, Brunswick is not on the radar of most family travelers in Maine. But couples looking for a cozy getaway will find fine dining, antiques, art and quiet streets for strolling, many lined by distinguished homes and well-kept gardens.
Not quite ready to say goodbye to summer? If the weather is forcing you to head indoors, you can still take advantage of a few opportunities to splash around in the waves, without even being that far from the beach — thanks to the world’s largest indoor beachfront waterpark, which opened this summer in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
As the only major U.S. airline to own a flight school, United Airlines already hit a major milestone, and now the carrier celebrates another important — and historic — step as the inaugural class of United Aviate Academy pilots graduates, leading the next generation of aviators. The 51 students in the graduating class were majority, at 80 percent, women and people of color — another stride toward United’s goal of training 5,000 new pilots by 2030 with half women or POC.
Halloween is right around the corner, which means its time to start making plans for spooky and scary stops for having fun with the family this fall. New York’s Cayuga County is always a fun visit for family travelers, but if you plan on being in the area this October, you will definitely want to explore its haunted history with some choice spots along New York’s Haunted History Trail. This curated list of haunted and spooky stops throughout New York features incredible locations showcasing the perfect combination of the state’s beautiful charm and fascinating history.