Generations On The Move

Family holidays. They come in all shapes and sizes and form a big chunk of our leisure travel in the UK. We’ve taken a closer look at one type of family holiday in particular. We’re calling it ‘multigenerational travel’.

By that, we mean a leisure trip with at least 3 generations of the same family, like a grandparent, parent and child travelling together.

But, jokes about the mother-in-law aside, what does multigenerational travel really look like in 2018? We ran a survey and 670 people shared their experiences. *

What does a ‘typical’ multigenerational trip look like for UK families?

Most of our respondents had taken 2 multigenerational trips in the past 3 years.

27% - 179 respondents 1 trip 34% - 226 respondents 2 trips 24% - 164 respondents 3 trips 6% - 43 respondents 4 trips 4% - 27 respondents 5 trips 5% - 31 respondents 6+ trips

Most multigenerational trips were taken abroad

32% 68% 455 respondents Abroad 215 respondents UK

For their most recent multigenerational trip, the most popular region was Europe:

Australasia 7 respondents Africa 26 respondents Americas 47 respondents Asia & Middle East 67 respondents UK 160 respondents Europe 319 respondents

And, by country, the top 10 destinations are mainly short-haul:

There was definitely a ‘typical’ multigenerational trip for our respondents:

It was in July in Spain for 7 days costing £250-500 per person and 5-10 people were in a travel party. They travelled there by plane and stayed in a hotel (part of a chain).

Among those who made UK trips, the typical multigenerational holiday looked more like this:

It was in August in South West England for 4-6 nights costing £250-500 per person and 5-10 people were in travel a party. They travelled there by car and stayed in a holiday rental.

Among the UK trips, South West of England was the big favourite destination.

With minibreaks (1-3 nights) as you might expect...

trips were made in the UK

were by car

used hotel accommodation

For longer trips of 15+ nights...

Stayed in private accommodation belonging to a family member or friend.

of these longer trips were to destinations outside of Europe.

Similarly, of those spending over £1000 per person

were trips outside the UK

How to choose a destination?

The general consensus is that affordability, weather and ‘ease of getting there’, are the most important factors influencing choice of destination. While social media ranked lowest as an influence, on average.

Lowest ranking factors influencing choice of destination:

Ease of getting there 37 Weather 38 Ease of getting around once there 39 Affordability 41 Somewhere new to discover 80 Somewhere we are familiar with 102 Social media 333

However, interestingly, 15% of respondents actually ranked social media as the factor that influenced them most when choosing a destination. This group skews younger on average:

Generation Z

Millennials

Generation X

Baby boomers

But where does each generation most commonly stay?

In terms of choosing accommodation, on average, affordability, activities within walking distance and good communal spaces were the most important factors for our respondents.

Respondents felt customer reviews mattered most

amongst Millenials

Felt internet access was the most important factor

among Gen Z-ers

Generation Z

When Generation Z are part of a multigenerational holiday, the majority lean towards hotel stays or private accommodation owned by family or friends

Millennials

When the slightly older Millennial group is part of a multigenerational holiday, hotels are still favoured, but with more people favouring holiday rental accommodation

Generation X

When Generation X are part of a multigenerational holiday, hotels are still favoured, but there is even more of a lean towards holiday rental accommodation

Baby boomers

When baby boomers are part of a multigenerational holiday, the majority now lean towards holiday rental accommodation (catered or self catered)

So how do people organise multigenerational holidays?

In a nutshell, everyone thinks they’re in charge!

‘in general terms, the person who was mostly ‘in charge’ of the holiday was me’

Across generations, some differences emerge. We split people into four age cohorts:

9% - 63 respondents Aged 55 and over Baby Boomers 38% - 252 respondents Aged 35-54 Generation X 30% - 204 respondents Aged 25-34 Millenials 23% - 151 respondents Aged 24 and under Generation Z

28% Gen Z-ers felt they were in charge of the holiday:

‘in general terms, the person who was mostly ‘in charge’ of the holiday was...

This rises to 41% for Millenials.

‘in general terms, the person who was mostly ‘in charge’ of the holiday was...

And even more so for GenX-ers:

‘in general terms, the person who was mostly ‘in charge’ of the holiday was...

And yet 44% Baby Boomers felt that they were in charge too

‘in general terms, the person who was mostly ‘in charge’ of the holiday was...

Similarly, for men and women, everyone is in charge:

‘in general terms, the person who was mostly ‘in charge’ of the holiday was me’

45% women 40% men

So we perhaps should avoid making assumptions about who is the party leader!

When asked ‘Who was mainly in charge of choosing the destination?’

Baby boomers

felt it was a task split evenly amongst the group

Millenials

felt it was mainly me.

Gen X-ers

felt it was mainly me.

Gen Z-ers

felt it was someone else in the family.

Everyone seems to take some responsibility. Across all ages, (with the exception of the younger Gen Zers), people felt themselves responsible for coordinating dates, booking travel, accommodation and insurance.

When asked ‘Who was mainly in charge of researching things to do (in advance)’:

Overall

it was mainly me.

Gen Z-ers

it was mainly me.

Baby Boomers

it was split evenly amongst the group.

Whilst on holiday, who was mainly in charge of researching things to do?

Baby Boomers

felt it was a task split evenly among the group.

Millenials

felt it was mainly me
 (the highest of any group)

And whilst on holiday, who was mainly in charge of handling day-to-day spending?

Millenials

felt it was mainly me.

Gen X-ers

felt it was mainly me.

Baby Boomers

felt it was a task split evenly among the group.

So a few differences in perceived experience begin to emerge between the generations...

How do people actually feel about going on multigenerational holidays?

In a word, good!

Overall

nice way of spending time with my family

Overall

something they look forward to

Overall

are planning to do it again

However, it seems the younger you are, the more negative you tend to feel about these types of holidays

Agree or strongly agree with ‘it is something I dread’

Agree or strongly agree with ‘I would rather be on holiday with my friends’

Similarly, the younger you are, the more you feel the tensions

Agree or strongly agree with ‘it can be hard juggling different wants and needs within the group’

Agree or strongly agree with ‘it can be hard juggling different budgets within the group’

In terms of how respondents generally described multigenerational travel, in their own words, common themes emerged:

There was a general sense of needing to compromise to manage the complex balance of different needs between generations:

“Other holidays you have more freedom to do what you want, with multigenerational travel, you have to make concessions so everyone is happy.”
“Having to accommodate people who want to do different things, it’s more difficult to come up with an itinerary that suits everyone, and also choosing places to eat to suit everyone”
“Needing to cater to other people’s wants and needs above your own”

But sometimes the support is welcome

“I enjoy outdoor activities but with a young child it's difficult. My parents normally look after our child so me and my partner can have an adventurous break. We cook a lot more on family holidays”

And ultimately, it creates a breadth of perspective

“You get to appreciate all aspects of what a holiday means to someone, no matter the age. It makes you see things differently.”

So what does this mean for 2019?

respondents

are already planning another multigenerational trip for 2019

respondents

still undecided

It seems these kinds of trips work for everyone in general, despite the predictable family tensions that sometimes emerge.

50% respondents are already planning another multigenerational trip for 2019 60% planning their next trip ‘The main priority is about spending time with loved ones.”

On average relaxation seems more important than having adventures, following outdoor pursuits or soaking up culture on this kind of trip. When it comes to multigenerational travel, it would seem that peace is the aim of the game.