While the FlashLight Insights pandemic puppy begs to differ, one of the most positive of the many lingering effects of Covid-19 might be an even greater need for multigenerational family vacation destinations. While many were happy to see their family members anywhere, families, particularly in the U.S. are suddenly seeking opportunities to take their reunions off-site and to memorable vacations. This summer, the NY Times travel section identified the ways to make sure a multigenerational family vacation is really a vacation, with practical concerns like discussing childcare and who-pays-for-what at the forefront. But perhaps a more likely outcome is one in which gratitude and pent-up wanderlust lead to demand for more optimized experiences. For resorts and restaurants, upping the multi-generational game is a long overdue mandate. Families who are paying to be together often find themselves split up, while grands are relegated to only somewhat “grand” events and kids hit the “club.” In the past, this passed for everyone getting their way, but with this generation of grandparents, there’s like a middle ground that looks and feel much more interactive, playful and interesting.
Post-Covid, with families re-thinking some old habits, spending time with older family members feels more like a privilege than it might have before. These families are seeking accommodations, entertainment, experiences and services that make this type of travel accessible, safe and fun. But the uncharted territory might be understanding the “cross-functional” nature of multigenerational travel in a deep and meaningful way. What works for kids and families is well documented, as is the nature of Boomers’ needs. But what it means for families seeking engagement and novelty, with a sense of urgency, is our next big question.