Back in February I posted about a family trip to Tuscany – Bonding Italian Style. Based on what I have been reading, it appears that pricey family vacations continue to be on the upswing.
One company that specializes in planning luxury family travel is My Little Swans founded by Katrina Garnett. The company links families to regional tour operators to over thirty destinations, across six continents that were personally taken by Katrina, her husband and three children. You name it; the Amalfi Coast, an African safari, exploring Inca archeological treasures in Peru, a week’s stay at the Wolgan Valley Resort in the Blue Mountains of Australia, etc. Oh yes, you pay for it. Some of My Little Swans trips can cost a family of five, tens of thousands of dollars for a customized itinerary. Expensive? Not for families that can afford deluxe family vacations. They believe they are teaching their children an invaluable life lesson; a worldly experience. Smithsonian, a competitor, offers a family trip called “Voyage to the Lands of Gods and Heroes.” The cost for a family of five for a ten night, small ship Mediterranean cruise with stops at famous Greek and Italian destinations is approximately $30,000 excluding airfare. Abercombie & Kent is another upscale travel company that is capitalizing on this trend. Recently they indicated that twenty percent of their bookings are now for families compared to five years ago when it was five percent. Tour operators recognize that thanks to the hectic lifestyles associated with people climbing the economic ladders, travel is a way to spend time together, plus share a memorable experience outside the day to day norm. In the words of Abercombie & Kent’s president Scott Wiseman: “It’s not the price of the trip that creates value, but the experience. It’s not about going to China, it’s about hugging a panda bear.” I guess I will have to stick to the Discovery Channel. What about you?