There’s a light on the horizon. I think we can all feel that things are slowly shifting and that our optimism for the coming year is justified (hallelujah). From a hospitality side, there’s no doubt that we see reservations coming back in a huge way for 2021, with travelers generally feeling safer and more confident with booking travel for spring 2021 and beyond. Here’s the rub though: many travelers’ trips in 2020 were pushed to future years which means 2021 and 2022 are already starting to book up. Those bucket list experiences we all daydream about? It’s time to plan and get those trips on the books. 2022 seems like an eternity from now but many hot spots and preferred properties are seeing bookings well into 2022 already, which means you’ll want to get brainstorming if you have some special getaways in mind for the next couple of years.
COVID has also put some things into perspective for us; particularly how precious our face-to-face family time is, and how rare these moments can be. International travel was something we long took for granted, too, and it took this wild year for some of us to really appreciate how wonderfully simple our travel lives were pre-COVID. Multi-generational trips have always been something that I’ve loved because I’ve experienced the joy of them personally, and have witnessed the impact of the experiences first hand. As a traveler, jet setting with my family overseas has helped create some of our most vibrant memories together. On the other side, as a hotelier, I’ve witnessed many multi-gen trips that have created the most magical memories for families traveling to the Caribbean: private boat trips to off-island cays, beach BBQs, water sports adventures, and family photoshoots. Those small moments add up to magical memories that only seem more vibrant and momentous in hindsight. Thinking about your 2022 trips but need a bit of inspiration? Below, I’m sharing 5 multigenerational trips to plan now for 2022. I’m here for more travel inspo when you’re ready to plan!
An African Safari
1Are you tired of me talking about Africa already?! Sorry, it’s my favorite place on earth… and for good reason. An African safari is truly a lifetime experience, and it’s a way to amplify personal connections through a digital detox. Is a wildlife-focused African experience really multi-gen worthy — or multi-gen appropriate? Absolutely. Of course, it depends on the ages of the youngest travelers in the group, which will dictate a bit of which experiences will work best (e.g. gorilla trekking is a no-go if you’re under 16) but there’s a lot on offer for all ages if you have someone to point you in the right direction. A selection of safari camps and lodges are kid-friendly and offer vehicles dedicated to your group. Camps that do allow kids often have some unique offerings that really engage children in the learning process. There are walking safaris to teach about wildlife on all scales, plus there’s the education they’ll receive in seeing the impact of conservation work first hand! One of my favorite aspects of Africa travel? Safari camps are the perfect place to be totally off the grid (some don’t offer Wi-Fi and many that do have very thin connections), which means you won’t have family members sitting around the table playing on their iPhones – you’ll be connecting, chatting, playing games, and talking about your day. Cap off your safari experience with time at the beach (think Zanzibar, Mauritius, or beachy Mozambique) for an extra dose of R&R.
👉🏼 Exciting news: I just completed Abercrombie & Kent’s Africa Specialist Program which has me on a super-high with all of the fun potential trips for African adventures! You can read about our experience witnessing the Great Migration in the Serengeti in case you needed a reason to put East Africa on your list!
A Scotch & Golf Trip through Scotland
2Okay, so this is more appropriate for multi-gen trips that skew on the older side but a bucket list adventure nonetheless. We’re planning this with our own family for next year (all adults) and have had friends do this for kids’ college graduations or for milestone birthdays. Any excuse will do! Scotland’s size makes it approachable to move around and explore some of the country’s gems, from Edinburgh to St. Andrews, up to Inverness and the Highlands and postcard-perfect places like the Isle of Skye. If golf and scotch aren’t your things, you could easily substitute castles and scenic drives into your adventure, staying at charming boutique hotels along the way.
👉🏼 Side note: Ireland is a worthy substitute here! We did Ireland with my family about 5 years ago and it still stands out as one of our favorite trips EVER.
A Countryside Escape in Italy
3Let’s be real: Italy is on everyone’s list. I mean, honestly, have you ever met anyone who didn’t have it on their wishlist or rundown of favorite places? There’s a reason that Italy is so beloved: it has so much on offer, genuine warmth and ease, and it’s beautifully diverse with its offerings. One of the best aspects on the planning front is that villas are readily available throughout Italy and the villa market is vibrant, which makes multi-gen trips an easy prospect. Even with little ones in the picture, you’ll have the ease of having your own home base plus the flexibility of fun activities on offer that are family-friendly. Traditional activities like bike riding and cooking classes can be catered to a younger audience, and you can choose how much of the history and arts to integrate based on kids’ ages, interests, and attention spans.
👉🏼 Depending on kids’ ages, you’ll be better off choosing just one or two home bases to keep moving to a minimum. For first-timers, consider a traditional trio of locales like flying into Florence (2 -3 nights), spending a longer span in Tuscany (4 – 7 nights), and then ending in Rome (2 – 3 nights) to get a dose of culture, history, food, wine, museum, and arts!
A Boutique-y Caribbean Vacay
4We see multi-generational trips all of the time in Anguilla and there’s no doubt that the Caribbean is a perfect region for family trips that blend the ease of island life, R&R for adults, and activities that kids love. Active travelers will have water sports and boat days to stay entertained, while those in need of a bit of extra rest (hello, moms and dads) can treat themselves to zenned out spa days and lazy beach afternoons. The Caribbean provides a perfect no-pressure low-key backdrop for family bonding, plus each island has a different personality to cater to a family’s personal travel style.
👉🏼 For luxe R&R, head to Anguilla for a family-friendly setting. For a boat-based getaway, boating in the BVIs is a perfect way to enjoy different scenery each day. For an off-the-grid barefoot beach escape, check out the Out Islands of the Bahamas.
An All-American Adventure
52020 has been the year of American travel. With international travel being halted, so many friends and family members that would typically jet further afield found themselves investigating places closer to home. The real gems in all of this? US National Parks, some of which saw record numbers of visitors this year and had a bit of a renaissance, reminding us that there’s some serious beauty in our own backyards. In some ways, national parks in the US remind me of what I love about being on safari in Africa: they bring an opportunity to disconnect from the tech-infused day-to-day and allow us to reconnect with nature and with each other. I have fond memories of visiting Yosemite National Park with my family, laying in sleeping bags and stargazing under the night sky, seemingly a world away from city life. If the idea of planning an international trip seems too difficult with your crew, why not celebrate some of the gems closer to home?
👉🏼 Depending on how much time you have, you can look at pairing places like Yellowstone and Grand Teton, Yosemite and Sequoia, and Zion and Bryce Canyon together for combination trips.
Multigen travel lovers, any recommendations for favorite places or regions for family getaways that cater to a variety of age groups?