Why Gen Xers Love Family Travel

Local festivals, such as this one in central Italy, are custom-made for family fun.

Local festivals, such as this one in central Italy, are custom-made for family fun.

Generation X is often called the “Lost Generation” - caught between Baby Boomers, who view using a travel agent as a given, and Millennials, who often turn to social media. Travel Agent spoke with expert agents, many Gen-Xers themselves, for this Special Report on what makes these travelers tick. We've looked at Gen-X versus Millennial travelers and top Gen X travel stats -- now we break down how Gen-Xers view family travel.

Just like it is for Boomers and even some Millennials, multigenerational travel is huge for Gen-X clients and because of that, many of them look for great kids’ clubs, whether they are in hotel or on cruise ships.

“Family travel has really exploded lately,” says Jill Taylor of Jet Set World Travel, Inc. in Chicago. “We are seeing families traveling far and wide. For shorter trips that are closer to the U.S., it is important to the parents for a good and educational kids club. I saw an increase to high-end all-inclusive properties such as Grand Velas as the parents want luxury and good food and not to worry about the bill adding up when their kids want a hamburger and only eat two bites.

“Some of our clients do not need a kids’ club as they want to be with their kids as they are really busy working and want to take this time to enjoy making memories as a family on their vacation,” Taylor adds. “In this situation, we usually have private guides who are kid friendly who can take the pressure off the parents while traveling and help educate and entertain everyone. Other clients travel with their nannies or grandparents so the kids’ clubs are not as important.”

“Many Gen-X clients are parents, and family travel is a huge segment,” says Stephen Scott, owner and CEO of Travel Hub 365, an independent contractor of First in Service Travel, based in New York City. “It can be tough to steer them toward experiences that aren’t cookie cutter, or built for crowds due to the advertising their children are subjected to by various large brands. It’s usually domestic, and full of value adds. The cruising experience is a massive growth area because not only do you get the all-inclusive atmosphere, but also the kids clubs are stellar, and the destinations will vary. Kids’ clubs are key, because if the kids aren’t having fun, then they are sitting right next to you while you secretly sip your cocktail on the beach.”

Melissa DeCourcy: “Family travel is certainly part of travel for Xers.”
 
Melissa DeCourcy: “Family travel is certainly part of travel for Xers.”

But Melissa DeCourcy of SmartFlyer, based in New York City, says that family vacations for Gen-Xers are a little tougher to plan.

“Family travel is certainly part of travel for Xers, although it can be more difficult to plan,” says DeCourcy. “The goal is to stay closer to home. Perhaps ski trips to Vermont or quick stays at something like the Inn at Perry Cabin in Maryland.”

Taylor says obstacles can arise from other milestone events that Xers need to be home for.

“They are also wanting to knock off their bucket list items while possibly still having young children or young adult children or new grandbabies,” says Taylor. “That brings up a good point: I do see a lot of my clients planning trips around grandchild due dates. This is very common.”

Stay tuned to www.travelagentcentral.com for the rest of our Gen-X Travelers Special Report.