More people are taking the entire family on holiday- from teens to their grandparents. Picture: Supplied.

Family travel has taken off in a big way. Multigenerational travel is changing the way people travel- and many people are swapping luxury holidays for budget-friendly ones. 

According to a survey conducted by leading global travel network, Virtuoso, multigenerational travel emerges as this year’s top vacation trend. 

This means that industry experts need to make certain that they devise plans to cater to the preferences among cross-generational travellers. A big trend is home rentals. It was identified as one of the top travel trends for 2019 by Conde Nast Traveller, with family members and groups of friends clubbing together to rent homes away from home.

According to Velma Corcoran, Airbnb Country Manager for South Africa, accommodation disruptors is aimed at travellers who want affordable and immersive experiences.  With particular regard to family travel, Corcoran said places like Airbnb offer homes ideal for families who would never be able to travel together due to the high cost of accommodation. 

There is also the challenge of catering to different expectations in terms of family dynamics. For instance, grandparents are increasingly travelling with their extended families. They’re the baby boomers who are now all grown up, in their sixties and seventies and are the “empty-nesters” who want to spend quality time with all their offspring. Heading for (or already being in) retirement means value for money has become extremely important in their travel decisions. But while budgets count, they still expect a level of comfort, style and great travel memories in terms of where they rest their heads, eat their breakfasts and see the sights while on vacation.

Meanwhile, on the other end of the scale, their Generation Z grandchildren want immersive experiences and Instagrammable moments. Ranging anywhere from pre-teens to those in their early 20s, members of this generation are now being called the “destination disruptors” and are calling the shots on family holidays. Virtuoso claims they hold the most influence over their families’ travel decisions. 

Travel destinations that incorporate things such as “voluntourism” (volunteering holidays that benefit local communities), nomadic journeys spent discovering familial roots, or culturally immersive experiences that take them out of their everyday lives and into those of other cultures are high on the Gen Z list.

Combining these very different expectations across the generations is resulting in a paradigm shift away from traditional travel choices, as extended families look for both the most pocket-friendly solutions and innovative attractions to suit and satisfy the entire brood.

Indeed, outdoor adventures and, in particular, coastal towns that offer these are rising high in popularity stakes.