What can family travelers expect in the year ahead?
Here are five trends to consider:
1 More multigenerational travel options.
While technology may make it easier for modern and mobile families to stay in touch, there is no substitute for spending time together. Geographic diversity, two careers and busy school schedules makes it difficult to find time to convene.
That’s why an increasing number of clans are celebrating milestone moments and annual holidays in destination resorts, on cruise ships and in places that hold sentimental value.
To make planning easier, the industry continues to develop programs and packages intended to engage every member of the family.
More hotels and resorts are catering to large family groups, offering new room configurations and more resort options with multiple bedrooms. Vacatia, a resort marketplace, makes it easy to book spacious resort residences online. Family travelers can use Flexpay to split the bill or make payments.
2 More sharing.
From unique accommodations to urban bike-share stations, the options for authentic, peer-to-peer experiences continue to expand.
Uber, the leader in the car-sharing movement, launched UberFamily in several major markets with plans to expand in the year ahead. Families can request rides in vehicles that offer car and booster seats.
Contact: airbnb.com; uber.com.
3 Enhanced technology.
Strap on your smart watch or access new functionality on your smartphone or tablet, and check in, track, plan and post with ever-increasing ease.
Guests of the B Resort & Spa in Orlando, Fla., and the B Ocean in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., can tap a smartphone app or lobby kiosk to send virtual postcards, check the weather and print boarding passes.
4 More authentic experiences.
Think behind-the-scenes access, opportunities to volunteer and the chance to learn from locals.
Expect a continued commitment to locally grown and crafted food and drink, and culturally significant traditions. Get the inside scoop or tap an expert for hikes, surf lessons or walking tours through Vayable, where you can book your own experiences with destination insiders.
5 Themed Suite Spaces.
More hotels and cruise lines will offer spaces designed to delight and comfortably accommodate your brood.
In Orlando, the Despicable Me-themed suite at Universal’s Loews Portofino Hotel offers two rooms, providing a private space for the adults and a second room for the kids with no access to the hallway. At sea, Celebrity, Royal Caribbean and Princess cruise lines are among those with new family-minded cabins.
Contact: cruising.org; universalorlando.com; www.RoyalCaribbean.com.