With more and more people being vaccinated and pandemic restrictions easing, family travel will present a welcome escape after a year of Zoom meetings and remote learning towards the end of 2021. In fact, the Family Travel Association reports that “85 percent of parents anticipate traveling domestically in the next 12 months.”
Family travel has presented an opportunity to trace one’s ancestry, embark on a learning vacation and to truly immerse oneself into a local culture. It is a very lucrative segment for the travel industry since a “the family of four will spend on average $4,580 on a family vacation.”
To help marketers tap into reinvigorate the family travel market, Allen Marketing Communications, a boutique travel and lifestyle PR agency,highlights five popular family vacation trends for 2021.
Road trips, whether you take an SUV or an RV, have been a popular choice for families looking for a memorable vacation for years. This year doesn’t seem to be any different, and affordable gas prices have increased their popularity even more. There are plenty of breathtaking sights and desirable destinations just a car ride away, and families are taking advantage.
“Nearly 7 out of 10, or 67 percent, who want to take a vacation by year-end aren’t sure they’ll actually be able to travel, and 1 in 5 expect to book at the last minute, within a week of departure.” reports CNBC
“That’s according to a recent survey by AAA of traveler attitudes amid pandemic-era travel restrictions. The survey found that 80 percent of planned vacations will be road trips,” reports CNBC.
National parks are always a good choice for a trip. Other highly traveled and recommended routes include the San Juan Skyway in Colorado and Arizona’s Monument Valley. With plenty of options for destinations and stops along the way, road trips have established their appeal as a family vacation.
While we’ve been stuck inside with our immediate family for over a year, we haven’t seen our extended families in a long time. To solve this problem, many families are going on vacation with multiple generations, from grandparents to grandchildren.
Skips trips is a growing trend in the family travel industry. According to a recent AARP survey, more than a third of grandparents have taken their grandchildren on a skip-generation trip, leaving mom and dad at home. And industry experts predict those numbers will continue to climb once we’re back to traveling. (Source: Boston Globe)
Whether it’s a destination trip on a warm beach or renting a cabin in the great outdoors, families just want to reunite and spend time together.
Reconnecting with Nature
You can find some of the most breathtaking views and calming experiences out in nature, and many people are craving these things after a year spent cooped up in the house. Parents want to show their children everything they’ve been missing, and they want to escape and breathe some fresh air too.
On top of that, there are so many options that the great outdoors offer. Whether you want a tropical paradise, a snowy wonderland, or something in between, there’s a place for you. Some families opt for a stay in a treehouse (a popular option in California) while others go glamping and others choose a stay in the Caribbean. No matter your taste, you can reconnect with your family and nature this year.
Bucket List Trips
Now is the perfect time to cross something off of your bucket list. Why not a trip for the whole family that you’ve been wanting to take forever? Isn’t that the perfect way to celebrate making it through one of the most stressful years?
Besides, we’ve been stuck inside for so long, and we never know what’s going to happen next. Now is the time to spread your wings and explore all of the places you’ve been meaning to with the people you love by your side. This “why wait?” attitude is inspiring many families this year.
Maybe one of the spots on your bucket list is outside of the country. If it is, you wouldn’t be alone. Plenty of families are expected to travel internationally this year; other countries are lifting their restrictions and allowing Americans in, and many are finally being vaccinated. International travel is finally possible again.
Some destinations, such as Costa Rica and Aruba, are already accepting American visitors, making them the perfect option for families ready to escape on a vacation now. If you have another destination in mind, take the time to plan it and make it perfect for later in the year. Either way, this is the perfect year to book those international flights and take the trip of your life!
Family trips will increase this year as more individuals become vaccinated. Allen Marketing Communications, a boutique travel and lifestyle public relations agency, can help you navigate the trends!
By Kendall Mason at Allen Marketing Communications, Inc.
Planning a Destination Wedding During the Pandemic? Boutique NYC PR Agency Spotlights Five Key Trends
COVID-19 has added a number of obstacles to the already complicated process of planning a destination wedding: testing, quarantining, and contact tracing have to be considered on top of group flight bookings, reserving blocks of hotel rooms, and legal marriage requirements.
Wedding Insights reports, “couples worked tirelessly with their vendor teams to create a safe and memorable wedding day—from keeping guests socially distanced at the ceremony (62 percent) and hosting them outside (68 percent) to embracing technology, such as streaming, to allow for guests to witness the day from afar (43 percent).
To help navigate these challenges in a confusing and always-changing environment, Allen Marketing Communications, a boutique travel and lifestyle public relations agency, spotlights five trends to expect this year for destination weddings.
Deals to Encourage Weddings
You’re not the only one who misses destination weddings; hotels and resorts in popular locations are hurting without them as well. To attract couples, these resorts have begun offering accommodations and deals.
Testing for the coronavirus is absolutely essential for destination weddings, as it helps to ensure that nobody brings and spreads the respiratory virus. Armed with this information, certain hotels are now offering COVID-19 testing to make your trip and stay easier. In terms of deals, perks that were once reserved for the newlyweds are now available to all guests. Things such as resort credit, free excursions, and private transfers encourage people to attend the wedding.
Hotels are even making an effort to include guests who still don’t feel comfortable or cannot travel to the wedding. Many offer an option for virtual guests, who can then view and participate in the wedding even if they aren’t there physically. A number of resorts go the extra mile, gifting virtual guests with party favors and treats.
This trend has been gaining popularity for some time, and there is no near end in sight. Couples are consistently choosing options that minimize their impact on the planet, and it looks like they’re going to continue to do so for the foreseeable future. As destination weddings tend to have a smaller effect on the environment, their popularity is surging as well. Otherwise, couples are making choices like Evites, biodegradable and natural decorations, and buying conflict-free, ethical jewelry.
The pandemic has made a lot of couples rethink what they want in a wedding. By not being able to travel or really go outside for a year has made people miss the great outdoors and faraway destinations. They want their wedding to be a truly special event that they can relive for years to follow.
This sentiment has led to a rise of weddings in neutral locations that are connected to neither person. This way, the married couple can revisit the spot on anniversaries or vacations. They can show the spot to their children, friends, and family on later trips as well. Overall, the pandemic has pushed couples towards destinations that will serve as the perfect spot to visit time and time again.
Popular Destinations for 2021 and On
There are a number of very popular destinations that are constantly busy with weddings, and these locations change over time. Before the pandemic, places such as Mexico have been very popular, according to The Destination Weddings Blog. Cancun, Cabo San Lucas, and Riviera Maya were in the top five, with Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic and Montego Bay in Jamaica rounding out the list.
Now, after a year of uncertainty and fear, we see new destinations jumping into the spotlight. These include St. Lucia, Ochos Rios and Negril in Jamaica, Puerto Vallarta in Mexico, Livermore in California, the United Kingdom, and Iceland. If you have your eye on any of these places, you should know that you aren’t the only one.
Lots of Planning and Waiting
As much as we want to jump headfirst back into the wedding craze, the pandemic has thrown a wrench in all of our plans. For many, waiting for things to settle down is the best option.
This gives them more time to plan, save up money, and make sure the special day is absolutely perfect. High Emotion Weddings estimates “that we’ll see many of these weddings in 2022 and 2023, which is the same timeframe that they suggest if you’re planning your wedding right now.”
If you don’t want to wait, there are things you can do to make your life easier and less stressful, because we all know how hectic wedding planning can be. Firstly, go into everything with flexibility and be realistic. Things may change, get postponed, or even be cancelled. We’re in a crazy time and there’s little that can be done about it. If it does happen, be prepared and have a backup plan.
The next step would be to hire an experienced destination wedding planner, as they are best equipped to help you. The same goes for any business that you work with, and make sure to carefully read every contract you sign. Do plenty of research, too!
And if you don’t want to wait but also don’t want to plan your wedding around COVID-19 restrictions, you can always sign the papers now and celebrate later! A legal marriage requires no fanfare or planning, just a trip down to the courthouse to sign some papers. If you really want to marry your partner, that’s always an option. The fun part can always come later, because in the end, the love is what matters most. The destination isn’t going anywhere.
According to the Boston Globe, “the roughly $16 billion per year romance travel industry — an umbrella term for destination weddings, honeymoons, proposal travel, and babymoons — is holding its collective breath and chanting the mantra of “keep calm and carry on.”
While the pandemic has made it very difficult to plan a wedding, it has not made it impossible. As more people are vaccinated and we continue to fight the coronavirus, destination weddings will regain their popularity.
Our travel and lifestyle public relations professionals at Allen Marketing Communications can always help you to navigate these confusing times in the destination weddings industry.
By Kendall Mason at Allen Marketing Communications, Inc.