Family Travel Trends

As the busy summer travel season approaches, global luxury travel network Virtuoso® reveals that families are roaming the world in search of experiences that create closer bonds and lasting memories.

Multigenerational travel continues its run as the year’s top trend in the Luxe Report, and travel with one’s immediate family finished close behind. As well, connecting with family through travel is one of 2018’s must-have experiences.

Generation Z: The iGeneration is coming on strong

Consisting of young people born between the mid-1990s and mid-2010s (now approximately 3 to 23 years old), Generation Z is the largest age cohort in the U.S., with more than a quarter of the population (Forbes).

Top 5 ways Gen Z influences family travel

1.      Crave active experiences.
2.      Involve themselves in planning trips.
3.      Influence other’s travel choices via word of mouth, social media and reviews.
4.      Seek unusual destinations.
5.      Look for visual destinations and experiences for social media.

Virtuoso analysis: Gen Zs seek authentic, unique experiences such as adventures they can have only in a particular destination.

Top 10 family travel trends

1.      Beach resort stays                                                 
2.      Active or adventure trips                                            
3.      Celebration travel                                                           
4.      Mother/daughter or father/son trips                       
5.      Touring (guided or private)                                          
6.      Ocean cruising
7.      Cultural immersion
8.      Educational trips
9.      River cruises
10.    Exclusive-use travel (private villa/island/jet/yacht)

Virtuoso analysis: While sun-and-sand trips rise to first place from second in 2017, these are not the traditional fly-and-flop vacations. Families seek beach resorts with plenty of activities to keep the entire group engaged. Adventure travel is the second most popular trend.  Cruising – both ocean and river – is emerging as an ideal family trip, thanks to its convenience, great value and activities for every age.

Top 10 hottest family destinations

1.      Italy                                                    
2.      Mexico                                                        
3.      Orlando, FL                                          
4.      Hawaii                                                      
5.      Costa Rica                                                    
6.      Dominican Republic
7.      South Africa
8.      England
9.      Canada
10.    France

Virtuoso analysis: Italy’s appeal to families continues; it finishes as the top destination for the ninth consecutive year. Adventurous families are voyaging to destinations such as Costa Rica and South Africa. Canada, with its diversity of urban and nature experiences, offers something for every preference as well as great value for Americans.

Top 10 unconventional family destinations

1.      Iceland
2.      Galapagos Islands
3.      Cuba
4.      Antarctica
5.      Botswana/Mongolia (tie)
6.      Japan
7.      United Arab Emirates
8.      Egypt
9.      Rwanda
10.    Croatia

Advisors from Virtuoso’s travel agencies in North America, Latin America, Asia-Pacific, the Caribbean, Europe, Africa and the Middle East were surveyed in the 2018 Luxe Report, providing insights into the year’s hottest trends. To find a family travel specialist to plan your next trip, visit


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