It seems like multi-generational travel has been around, well, forever. We may have called it by a different name, but don’t you remember those family trips growing up where your grandparents tagged along, and the activities maybe weren’t as much fun as you had hoped?

Family travel has come a long way since then. In fact, travelers are seeking more meaning behind each vacation according to the Portrait of American Travelers survey. Consumers may be traveling less, but they are valuing each trip more. And this isn’t just about the money; rather about where they go and how they choose to spend their time. Many see it as an opportunity to create meaningful family connections and memories.

This is one of the reasons that has led to what’s known as skip-gen travel, where the group traveling together literally skips a generation – grandparents and grandkids traveling without mom and dad. Common adventures include cruises, amusement parks and tours.

On a recent cruise with my family, what struck me was the number of family units that were grandparents and grandkids only. Most were grandkids late single digits to teenagers. I have even heard of some grandparents taking grandchildren on their own special vacation when they turn 10. Seems almost like a new rite of passage.

This got me thinking about the benefits of skip-gen travel and whether travel and tourism marketers are placing enough emphasis on this growing trend.

Grandparents, retired or not, often have more time for travel. Click To Tweet

They want to prioritize family time as they age. They are deciding to invest in special moments rather than leaving inheritance dollars. They certainly have a different perspective to share with their grandkids. And, they can help their kids save on childcare costs by taking skip-gen trips when school is out.

The question I had is are marketers capitalizing on this growing opportunity? The answer is not many. In my every day work in the space and a search specific to the topic, there is very little marketing that references skip-gen or even multi-generational travel directly. While it won’t be right for all travel and tourism businesses, there is merit in speaking directly to the skip-gen traveler for brands that have experiences to offer, even if they aren’t currently packaged this way.

Grand Velas Riviera Maya is a great example. The resort offers two different packages designed specifically for the skip-gen traveler group.

More hospitality brands can easily capitalize like Grand Velas. It could be as simple as special deals for loyalty members or room or local experience packages that would be of interest to both generations. Knowing that consumers are looking to take more meaningful vacations and the hotel criteria for a skip-gen traveler varies from typical family travel, these small offerings could be the decision maker.

It’s not just lodging; tourism bureaus should take their marketing beyond family travel. Grandparents might want to share some of their favorite destinations with grandkids, but not necessarily know what activities are of interest to their boomer-generation Z group. Itineraries or content specific for the skip-gen traveler groups would allow everyone to be involved – something the grandkids would no doubt appreciate very much – and would make travel planning simpler overall.

The way I see it, there is only an upside for travel and tourism organizations to market to this growing traveler group.

Will your travel plans include skipping a generation anytime soon?

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