This time of year, grandparents start thinking about Spring Break and the kind of travel they might do with their grandchildren. It’s a great time to travel—everyone’s ready for a break in routine and traveling in nearly any geographical direction offers many unique opportunities.
As “Family and Multigenerational Travel” once again takes the top spot in Virtuoso’s 2012 Luxe Report for the biggest travel trends, there’s also the reminder that Spring Break is an occasion where grandparents will spend more to get the experience they seek. And of those grandparents who travel, a third travel with their grandchildren. That constitutes a defined market that’s accessible and buying.
As a company within the hospitality and travel industry, it’s important to take a fresh look at your planning to see if you are really positioned for attracting these discriminating grandparent buyers who are on the hunt now for their next family experience.
This family-friendly experience also extends to mealtime. If you are having formal lunch and dinner sittings, provide a more casual option for “family style” dinners during the Spring Break season. Grandparents also want their grandkids to eat and socialize with others of the same age, so it’s all about providing options that makes the time together most enjoyable.
These affluent grandparents are typically robust, active and
engaged in their children’s and grandchildren’s lives. They often crave the kind of extended time together with their grandkids that they can’t get by just visiting them. If they
visit at home, their grandkids continue to shuttle off to soccer or music lessons and there’s little time together.
Grandparents long for this separate, protected time to fit into their grandchildren’s lives, and they look for brand experiences that can provide it.
On a recent luxury trip, grandparents were sharing stories of how they often chose travel brands based upon whether they could send their grandkids to a website and build their excitement for the trip. Grandparents were complaining that on some websites there were too few pictures of kids. And if there were pictures, often there was little variety in the kids’ ages and activities shown.
Grandparents want to see children of various ages. There may be an age range of their grandchildren, and they want to make sure age-appropriate activities are available for each child. If the children in the visuals look older than their grandchildren, it can still be useful information, providing them with ideas for future excursions.
Grandparents also prefer brand sites that include pre-trip guides for their grandchildren, to help build excitement, as well as educational sections that speak to kids directly rather than comment about them.
Grandparents are typically investing a lot of money to create good times with their grandchildren and often like to annualize the activity if it seems really fulfilling. By helping both grandparents and grandkids preview the experience, enjoy it as a family unit and share it with others, you create an informal ambassador program that is strong and renewable.