In addition to thinking about how trips are structured, travel planners should consider what destinations, travel styles and tour providers work best for multigenerational groups.
“Europe is always popular with families, especially cultural centers like London and Paris,” O’Brien said. “But our own backyard works well, too. Tours like Red Rocks, Cowboy Country and Alaska have been doing great with our multigenerational groups.
“We’re seeing a lot of interest in our small-ship family cruising adventures. There are a lot of benefits to river cruising for families that make it a very popular experience for grandparents and kids alike.”
Schretter agreed, saying that cruises or single-destination trips help to eliminate some travel hassles that may be more difficult for young travelers than for adults.
“Traveling with kids, there’s a hassle factor that you want to eliminate,” she said. “Packing and unpacking as you move from city to city, while it might be pretty easy for adults, it could be difficult if you also have children. For a multigenerational trip, it’s easier to go just one place or take a trip where you just have to unpack once.
“Some people like theme parks like Walt Disney World for that reason. European river cruises are becoming more popular for families, too. Groups like Uniworld and AmaWaterways offer family-friendly European river cruises that have kids’ programs. It’s a very hassle-free way to see Europe.”
Regardless of how you package the trips, the most important aspect of selling them is to emphasize the emotional impact of traveling with family members.
“A lot of our guests know they have a limited time to spend with their grandchildren, and they would rather bond with them and make memories than just leave them a sum of money in their wills,” O’Brien said. “So you can appeal to their emotional senses. Travel is a special way to share life-changing memories, and it lives on long after the experience itself. There is such an emotional appeal of multigenerational travel that isn’t comparable to any other travel out there.”