Family getaways, multigenerational holidays and family reunion trips are all on the rise in 2023. More families are using travel to strengthen bonds, have new experiences and create lifelong memories. We look at why family travel is trending, the types of family trips we’re seeing and the benefits of travel for family wellbeing.
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Family travel is on the rise
A Booking.com survey of 24,000 travellers found that 54% want to plan a family holiday or family reunion abroad. The 2022 Family Travel Association (FTA) survey found that 85% of parents are very likely to travel with their children in the next 12 months and 47% of respondents say they are planning a multigenerational trip. New research by GlobalData discovered that 76% of respondents say their children are the main inspiration for taking a family trip, while 52% want to see other family members.
Here at Trafalgar, we’ve certainly seen a rise in families booking trips and we love welcoming these families on our tours. So we know that family travel is definitely trending – but why?
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Family travel has increased in popularity since the outbreak of COVID-19, and it’s no coincidence. After years of restrictions, with many families separated by international borders, people are eager to travel and make up for lost time together. Even for those families who weren’t kept apart, the pandemic has shifted priorities. They’re just as eager to spend quality time together, making happy memories.
The pandemic also ushered in the era of remote working, with workers who once may have been tied to an office now suddenly able to work from anywhere – even overseas, where their families may be based. Family holidays which, pre-pandemic, might have been hard to organise are now more accessible.
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Strengthening family bonds
If your goal for travelling as a family is for some quality bonding time, you’re doing the right thing. The findings of this research paper show that, while travel is often used for relaxation, education and escapism, it has deeper benefits for families. These include improved communication, strengthening of family bonds and an increased sense of wellbeing in children and adults. Another study found that family travel increased parents’ wellbeing and children’s skill development. Meanwhile, this researcher claims that travel boosts your family’s overall brain health. It all makes a great case to take a family trip this year!
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This trend isn’t limited to the nuclear family – increasingly, the traditional family holiday is expanding to include the grandparents. Families are eager to have shared experiences and create deeper intergenerational bonds. It also helps that – for the parents especially – there’s another set of hands to share the load of logistical planning and, if they’re lucky, the childcare!
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There’s nothing like a family holiday to celebrate a significant life milestone – and from birthdays to wedding anniversaries, more families are using it as an excuse to spend quality time together. For that brief-but-glorious window of time you can pack away the stresses of everyday life and focus on the things that matter the most.
Learning through experiences
The trend for unique and immersive experiences, or experiential travel, has extended to family travel. More families want to learn about new cultures and try new activities together. They say travel is the best teacher, and what could beat learning about different cultures and communities from the locals themselves? It’s all about helping our kids learn about the world in a fun and authentic way.
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The 2023 Booking.com survey found that 88% were planning nostalgic holidays this year. Perhaps it’s because we’ve spent years reminiscing about past trips. Or maybe it’s a desire to get back to our family roots. Whatever the reason, trips that evoke childhood memories are top of the list for many travellers this year. From theme parks to the beach towns they visited as children, families are embracing their old favourites – and the good old days.
What are your favourite family holiday spots? Let us know in the comments below…