Multi-generational travel has been trending for some time now and will be even more popular as travel resumes.
Groups comprised of grandparents, parents and kids (or any combination of family members) and whomever your clients choose to travel with present a tremendous opportunity for you.
So many of us have not only missed seeing our families but travelling with them as well, and the combination of the two will likely be in high demand. In order to help your clients make the most of this (probably long dreamt-of) trip, there are a few key qualifiers for you to share with them.
Even more so than a ‘regular’ booking, the diverse needs, wishes, budgets and expectations of a multi-gen group can easily become a puzzle of many inter-locking pieces.
Here are some points to consider: Who is travelling, and what are their gateways? The age span? Any special needs (from strollers to wheelchairs)? Special dietary needs?
- Who is the group ‘leader’ i.e. your main contact point? It will be a huge help if this can be established so that you are not fielding a flood of emails and calls from various members of the clan. Consider setting up periodic Zoom calls to ensure everyone is up to speed on the arrangements.
- Have they travelled together before? If so, what worked, what didn’t?
- Who’s paying? It’s pretty cool if the grandparents are picking up the tab for everything, but that may not always be the case. Be sure everyone knows up front who’s responsible all the various expenses, from travel, accommodation, and meals, to excursions and additional activities. It will make your life much easier down the road in the booking process.
- How can you help with group seating on aircraft, private transfers, group reservations for dinners? Do they need rooms near each other (or do they prefer them far apart!), and/or connecting rooms?
- For a sure-to-please holiday for all involved, suggest an all-inclusive, an ocean or river cruise, or even a luxury villa rental inclusive of housekeeping and a cook! If they’re opting for a tour, it’s worth noting they’ll likely be eligible for group discounts with as few as 8 travellers. Many tour operators will even arrange one of their escorted tours just for the group.
- Offer to book activities for varying members of the group: perhaps golf for some while others have a spa day. Just be sure to not fill up their itinerary with back-to-back activities. Multi-gen travel experts recommend building in lots of breathing space and flexibility.
Travel has brought families together for centuries. Why not make your mark as a wonderful travel advisor by helping make multi-gen groups’ travel dreams come true?
Joelle Goldman is the Vice President, Host Services for Direct Travel in North America. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.