With Millennials and Gen Z usually taking up much of the spotlight when it comes to trends and predictions, the generation coming up swiftly behind them—Gen Alpha—isn't often thought of. This generation, which includes those born after 2010, are anticipated to be tech savvy to the max, being the first generation to be born entirely in the 21st century.
So, how is Gen Alpha—even at their young age—influencing family travel? A new global study from Expedia Group Media Solutions, Generation Alpha & Family Travel Trends, examined this question and offered valuable insight sure to help travel planners better understand this up-and-coming generation's impact.
Though there can be a misconception that families with young children aren't able to travel as often as those without, the study found that on average, travelers with Gen Alpha children are taking more than three family trips a year lasting approximately 6.9 days. The majority of the trips these families are taking are either a "family play vacation" or are strictly for relaxing, coming ahead of trips meant for visiting family or sightseeing.
When it comes to planning, 60% of respondents said that travel ideas come from both the adults and children in the family.
Great! But where are they headed when they do take those trips?
The report found most trips for those with Gen Alpha children are domestic, regardless of whether they're traveling as a family or kid-free. Ultimately, 95% of respondents shared that no matter what they're doing on their trip, keeping their family entertained and happy is of the utmost importance. Securing good deals, exploring the outdoors and being active, and visiting major entertainment attractions were also considered top priorities to those traveling with Gen Alpha kids.
Notably, 85% of respondents shared they schedule their family trips to coincide with when their children have school breaks and holidays. Also driving family travel decisions are destinations and attractions that have activities the whole family can enjoy, in addition to places where safety is a high priority. As for mode of transportation, flying by plane and driving by car were by far the most preferred ways to travel.
Hotels were far and away the most popular choice for families in terms of accommodations (58%), with staying at a resort (21%) and with family/friends (17%) coming in a distant second and third.
Once they've reached their destination, families with Gen Alpha children prefer using their personal car to get around. Walking came in as a close second choice, emphasizing the importance of a destination's walkability.
Group travel planners and tour operators can seize the opportunity to guide these families in the best direction knowing that 7 in 10 travelers say they're open to help and inspiration when planning a family trip. Those in the industry can also appeal to these families by including appealing imagery, deals and informative content in their marketing efforts. Be sure to also lead with convenience-driven information, as Gen Alpha families are ultimately likely to choose convenience over price.
Written by Sarah Suydam, Managing Editor for Groups Today.