One of the most enduring trends in travel in recent decades has been family travel, morphed from just trips to the grandparents or a theme park to exciting and sometimes exotic locations around the world.
According to MMGY Global’s recent Portrait of American Travelers 2018–2019 survey, that trend isn’t going away anytime soon. In fact, the data shows millennials are enthusiastic about traveling with their families, and Tzell Travel Group travel agents have the latest on what these family groups are looking for.
Interestingly, Bali, Ibiza, Singapore, Israel and the Azores came out at the top of the destination wish list — further proving these are not our parents’ family travelers — and increasingly parents are looking to expose their children to local cultures when they travel. That said, here are seven tips, courtesy of Tzell agents, on how to make the most of a culturally themed family vacation:
- Involve children in the choice of destination and planning of activities. This will engage them in the experience on a deeper level, and remember even young children can make choices about an activity they would enjoy.
- Tie trip destinations and excursions to what children are learning in school, such as a rail trip through the southern United States to tie into the history of the Civil Rights Movement.
- Schedule downtime. We can’t stress this one enough. When traveling to a location that involves a lot of sightseeing, book a hotel with a pool. Sightseeing in the morning with an afternoon break at the pool or even a playground helps keep children interested and not overloaded.
- Consider a “voluntourism” activity to more deeply connect to the culture or issues surrounding the destination.
- Work in some independence for both kids and adults. Consider adding simple activities kids will enjoy, such as watching turtles hatch in Costa Rica, and make sure parents have some time to spend together.
- Strike a balance between education and hands-on experiences for kids. Cooking classes, such as learning how to make dumplings in Asia or gelato in Italy, are always a big hit and great on any budget.
- It’s a great idea to expose your children — especially if any of them are picky eaters — to different cultures and foods in the United States before your trip to get them accustomed to the different tastes and cuisines they will experience on their journey. This will go a long way to keeping mealtimes stress free when you are away from home.