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Study: With multigenerational travel, kids help call the shots

Grandparents are more inclined than parents to pay for multigenerational family vacations. (Photo courtesy Fotolia/TNS)
Grandparents are more inclined than parents to pay for multigenerational family vacations. (Photo courtesy Fotolia/TNS) TNS

Multigenerational travel is nothing new. Families with little ones have been traveling with grandparents for years. But it does seem to be a growing phenomenon. So much so that Preferred Hotel Group did a study on it to better identify emerging trends.

According to the findings, “Multigenerational travel is poised for rapid and sustained growth.” Here are a few highlights from the 100-page study.

Children relish planning. Fully 40 percent of both grandparents and parents say their children “actively participate in or influence vacation planning,” and the numbers are higher for specific activities. Adult travelers rank kid impacts on daily activities at 77 percent and destination decisions at 62 percent.

Meanwhile, almost half (49 percent) of all multigenerational travelers agree that their grandchildren influence the selection of the hotel or resort.

Grandparents pay to play. Grandparents, more so than parents (35 percent versus 25 percent), are inclined to pay for multigenerational trips to “help family members enjoy a vacation they otherwise could not afford.”

Classic destinations are hot. Orlando (25 percent) and the national parks (17 percent) top the list of domestic destinations multigenerational travelers would like to visit during the next two years, while the Caribbean (29 percent) and Western Europe (28 percent) top the list of international “dream destinations.”

The destinations of greatest interest within Europe are Italy (17 percent), England (16 percent) and France (16 percent).

An expanded definition of “family.” Multigenerational vacations now represent half of all vacations taken by both grandparents and parents. While these parties consisted of grandparents, parents and their children on 44 percent of such trips, the makeup of the multigenerational travel group has expanded beyond immediate family to include siblings (31 percent), nephews/nieces (20 percent) and nonrelative friends (20 percent) on one or more of the multigenerational vacations taken by the other 56 percent.

Same time next year. Among travelers who took a multigenerational vacation last year, 77 percent agreed that taking such a vacation “is something they try to do every year” — a sentiment that is particularly true for millennials (91 percent) and Gen Xers (80 percent).

Familiar favorites, or the road less traveled? Multigenerational travelers display great loyalty to the destinations they visit, with 35 percent intending to visit the same destination on their next trip. Beach trips (35 percent) and theme park visits (28 percent) are the most popular types of multigenerational vacations.

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