Since we launched Space in Your Case we’ve amassed a wealth of information and knowledge on family travel. We’ve got to know some experts on family travel along the way, so we have invited a few of them to share their take on family travel trends. Some trends you will be familiar with, others you might not have come across, or are waiting to try. There is lots of inspiration here for all your family travel plans, this year and in the future.
The multi generational get together
Sally Pemble, Digital Acquisition Manager, James Villa Holidays:
More parents are travelling with extended families. Particularly in our sector where accommodation for larger groups is more readily available and more family-friendly. We have seen more families than ever before travelling with grand-parents and we see no reason why this trend wouldn’t continue.
Share the childcare, fun and mealtimes, a place all to yourselves with enough room for all, a chance to catch up with family, a relaxed villa environment, privacy and space to bond. Emma from Somerset Yurts has noticed this trend too, spaces and places that are truly conducive to gathering as a multi generational family are increasingly in demand. Read about Penny’s James Villas experience here.
Learning a New Skill Together
Karl Thompson, Managing Director of Unique Vacations UK and Europe – an affiliate of the exclusive worldwide sales and marketing representative for Sandals, Beaches and Grand Pineapple Beach Resorts.
Learning a new skill whilst on holiday has continued to be popular with families in 2015, as not only is it rewarding but it allows you to soak up your surroundings in a completely different way. At Beaches Resorts in Jamaica and Turks & Caicos, we offer a variety of programmes for guests of all ages to learn a new skill, including: a sailing programme in conjunction with the American Sailing Association, one-of-a-kind Professional Association of Dive Instructors (PADI) scuba diving programmes (ages eight years and over) and a Scratch DJ Academy programme, which offers the whole family the chance to learn how to mix, blend and scratch on vinyl, CDs or even iPods.
These programmes enable parents to ‘share experiences’ with their children, which will be another key trend in 2015. Beaches Resorts’ new spa concept, Ginger Lily, exclusive to teens and tweens at the Red Lane® Spa, features new customised treatments and is a fantastic way for families to relax, be pampered and enjoy a special spa experience together.
Find out what Katie and Alison learnt with much younger children at Beaches here.
Living Like the Locals
Nadine Mellor, Kids Collection Editor, i-escape.
The trend for living like a local is still on the up. We have a good number of great city rentals including some newer properties which joined i-escape in 2014, such as Valencia Boutique Apartments and Madrid Boutique Apartments.
Staying in a rental property also ties in with the growth of foodie travel, parents wanting to go to places which are both great for kids and have good grub – so holiday in a foodie region with great local eateries for lunch, and you can buy lovely local produce to cook up a storm back at the rental apartment or villa, or you can find a family-friendly hotel with a great restaurant where the baby monitor signal reaches the room. Examples include Metairie Montplaisir and Castello di Gargonza.
Christopher Hill, Hands Up Holidays
Hands Up Holidays offer tailor made luxury trips around the world in which families can spend a part of their trip immersing themselves in the local community and working as a volunteer. This could be at a rescue centre for endangered animals in Costa Rica, visiting a Maasai village with a Maasai warrior in Kenya, building homes or classrooms in Morroco, just a selection of amazing experiences.
A voluntourism trip is ideal for families in that you can bond together doing something significant, instil the value of helping others into your children, and they appreciate how fortunate they are by gaining meaningful insights in the lives of others in difficult situations. And a true voluntourism trip also enables you to still relax and see the sights of the destination, tailor-made for your family’s preferences. For pre-teens, we recommend wildlife conservation such as in Thailand or Costa Rica, and for families with teenagers, we also recommend house building for a needy family, such as in Guatemala or Zambia.
Emma Cavill, Somerset Yurts
The trend for ‘glamping’ seems to be ever increasing – especially with groups this year. A few years ago not many people had heard of glamping, let alone a yurt! Now most people have at least heard of the various kinds of glamping experiences, and don’t look perplexed when we describe what we do! We are almost fully booked for weekends already, and lots of these are groups, from Hen parties looking for a non cliched Hen do experience, groups of siblings with their children looking for a great space to all come together, to 30th, 40th, 50th and even 60th birthday celebrations! This is a trend we didn’t expect when we opened, but is definitely on the increase. The yurts are perfect for this type of gathering as it’s very informal and relaxed, with excellent shared facilities in our dutch barn – a fully equipped kitchen, large dining area, and power showers!
Read Penny’s account of Somerset Yurts here.
Sabrina Hamilton, Ocean Florida, PR and Content Manager
We’ve noticed that families are really trying to get as many experiences as possible out of one trip, so they’re opting for multi-centre holidays where they visit two or more locations. A good example of this would be families spending a week in Orlando at the theme parks, followed by four nights in Clearwater and three nights in Sarasota, spent on the beautiful beaches or even a cruise.
Find out more about Penny’s experience of a Carnival Cruise in this area here.
Bring History to life
The Landmark Trust is a charity that rescues old landmarks: castles, forts, follies, towers and cottages and turns them into self catering properties. Stay at the disused Alton Station in Staffordshire while visiting Alton Towers theme park, or stay in a water tower on the Queen’s Estate and Sandringham or perhaps the most famous of the Landmark Trust’s offerings, stay in a castle or lighthouse on Lundy Island in the Bristol channel. Guaranteed to fire imaginations and a fascination with the past.
SafeStay hostels make a cultural break in York or London, in boutique surroundings, but at hostel prices possible. Hit Yorvik Viking Centre or spend the money you would have spent on a family room in a London hotel on tickets for Matilda or Charlie and the Chocolate factory.
After refurbishing a number of hostels in the last few years, the YHA family offer has never been better. Stay in a family room, with your own bathroom at a bargain rate. Look out for special deals in school holidays too, not something we get to say here very often!
Check out Penny’s family stay at Castleton YHA here.
Re-honeymoon with kids
Penny from Space in Your Case says:
We all know having kids can be challenging, they might still think romance is yucky, but taking your kids to the places you loved as a couple can be magical. Last Summer we introduced our kids to Corfu, the place we had our first beach holiday as a couple. It was magical to watch them play for hours, watching tiny crabs, on Kassiopi beach which we visited over ten years ago, we discovered so much more with their curiosity and even landed on an incredible restaurant in the Durrells old house which we’d missed first time round.
As the sun set on Corfu, we started to wonder about retracing our Honeymoon Road Trip around Atlantic Canada, with the kids in tow this time. Kayaking and whale watching, grizzly bears, national parks, beaches and a road trip has to be even more exciting with kids right?
Helen, from Space in Your Case agrees…
So from a very simple point of view, I no longer love lounging on the beach with a book and a cocktail as much as I do hunting for strange creatures in rockpools. But Jason and I went to Yosemite before we were married, and spent the time hiking, just enjoying the views. I’m so excited to do something like that with the kids, because I just know that they will find things cool that we never even considered. When we honeymooned in South Africa, and spent time on safari, we were so focused on seeing the ‘Big 5,’ but I know what my kids would have loved – a tiny tortoise that weed on the tracker’s hand in fear when he picked it up to show us, or the baby bird fast asleep on a tree branch, that winked its eyes open when he shone a torch on it. The little things take on a whole new significance when your children find them fascinating, and I love that potential we have now for family adventure, and sharing the memories afterwards.
Off the beaten track
Alison, Space in Your Case
I’m seeing a real trend in families going to more unusual places on holiday. So rather than booking a fortnight in Florida, they might book a fly drive in Texas instead, doing rodeo activities in Fort Worth, hitting the museums and galleries in Houston and then heading for the beaches of the Texas Gulf where they can go whale watching or horseback riding. Arguably all the fun of Disney without the crowds!
The forth member of SIYC, Katie, was on holiday when I wrote this, but her post on Amsterdam reminded me to consider a family city break in places we might never have overlooked as family friendly, and to tick a tree house off our family travel list.