Sitting around the table at a family
gathering celebrating her granddaughter’s 23rd birthday, 78-year old
Dorothy Mandigo of Medfield, MA was struck by a fond memory, “Remember
our tour guide from the Tower of London? I was just thinking back to how
animated he was ... he truly made the tour come to life.“The greatest gift Dorothy could give her family was the gift of shared
memories—a true, intergenerational family vacation, a growing trend
according to a British Airways survey (conducted online by Harris
Interactive) which found 77% of 749 parents/guardians with children
under the age of 23 consider traveling an important opportunity to build
memories and 68% say it helps bring the family together.
London was an easy choice for Dorothy’s oldest daughter Jackie. With its
rich history and kid-friendly attractions, she knew it would be perfect
for the various ages of her children. What made it tough was the 6 hour
flight—how could the entire family stay entertained? Jackie
researched the amenities that London carriers offered and settled on an
airline that offered the most for a fair price. Half of
parents/guardians with children under the age of 23 (50%) like airlines
that recognize that family travelers have special needs (e.g.
kid-friendly meals, place to change diapers, etc.) according to the
British Airways Survey.
The decision to go as one big happy family was Dorothy’s. Her son Mark
had come back from a brief vacation with his wife full of great stories,
most starting with “You should have been there.” So Dorothy decided that
instead of ‘should haves’ they would go as a family, somewhere everyone
would enjoy, and make the memories together.
Trend Drives Industry to Make Trips More Attractive
Emily Kaufman, more popularly known as ‘The Travel Mom’ and author of
“The Travel Mom’s Ultimate Guide to Family Travel” says “According to
the Travel Industry Association of America, one in every three family
vacations includes three generations of families traveling together.”
And it’s not going unnoticed, adds Kaufman, “The travel industry seems
to be embracing this trend and truly catering to this important market.”
Travel experts say when planning an intergenerational trip, keep the
following in mind:
* Plan Ahead - Research and make your travel plans as far ahead as possible to ensure the best value on your trip. Involve your
children in the planning—they will appreciate having a say in developing
* Something for Everyone - Take advantage of the many London museums
and programs that offer free/discounted admissions. Research ahead
and incorporate them into your itinerary.
* No Food Fights! - Vendors at popular sites aren’t the only food
option while traveling. Since you have palettes of all ages, pack some
tasty sandwiches, fruit and biscuits to feed the family after a few
hours of site seeing, and also remember to pack plenty of water.
Besides the joy of having her entire family together to experience a
once in a lifetime vacation, Dorothy’s best memory of the trip was
“Exploring the history and culture of London with that London pass that
got us in everywhere for free!” Never one to back away from a deal,
Dorothy urged her family to purchase The London Pass once they arrived
at the airport. The pass offered free admittance to a long list of
popular tourist attractions such as the Tower of London, St. Paul’s
Cathedral and the London Aquarium. Not only that, but they were offered
discounts at some of the restaurants and shops around the city.
And after all the planning and all the preparation what was the outcome
of the Mandigo family vacation? Well cut back to the granddaughter’s
23rd birthday party and Dorothy’s smile ... and the start of talks of
next year’s all inclusive family vacation.