Charlotte Cullinan rounds up adventurous breaks for millennial clients with children but no sign of waning wanderlust
Millennials are famed for their love of travel, and for perfecting the art of Instagramming their latest adventure.
While there’s no exact birth dates for each generational demographic, millennials are classed as those born between the early 1980s and mid-1990s.
Now in their early 20s to mid-30s, many of those at the upper end of the spectrum are starting to navigate family life, but show no signs of packing up their wanderlust. Here, five specialists suggest how millennial parents can continue their adventures while keeping the kids in tow.
Thailand has been a cornerstone of the millennial backpacker route, but clients can enjoy new experiences when revisiting the country with their young children.
Premier Holidays sales and marketing director Debbie Goffin says: “There’s no reason for parenthood to stop people from enjoying unique experiences and adventures. Destinations such as Thailand cater for families and they can explore different areas and enjoy various activities and excursions in a safe environment.”
She encourages families to meet elephants on a jungle safari at the Elephant Hills tented jungle camp, and visit the River Kwai. “These are fun, unique and educational trips for children and adults alike, and it will feel like a big adventure for the whole family. They’re areas that parents wouldn’t necessarily have visited in their younger years.”
Goffin encourages customers travelling with babies to stick to the same routine they have at home. She advises packing their own food and milk in case of delays, and adds: “I would also suggest clients forget flight cots unless they’re flying with a tiny baby. Instead, price up the cost of a seat for the child; often it isn’t that much more expensive and it’s well worth it.”
Book it: A 12-night Thailand adventure holiday starts at £4,399pp, based on two adults and one child sharing. Departing in September 2018, it includes three nights’ B&B in Bangkok, two nights’ full-board at Elephant Hills and seven nights’ B&B in Phuket. Flights from Heathrow and transfers are included.
Cater for adventure-loving parents and the unpredictable whims of a toddler with cycling specialist Bspoke Tours’ self-guided Loire Single Centre holiday. Activities director Ben Roseveare explains:
“We know that every family is different, so flexibility is key, and a self-guided tour really does provide the best of both worlds. We have local support available if needed, but you also get the freedom to decide how adventurous you want to be depending on the weather and your moods.”
Guests receive information on five cycle routes and three walking itineraries to help them explore the area’s stunning chateaux, villages and rivers.
Bikes are provided, and while children need to be at least seven to cycle independently, those aged two to five can enjoy the ride in a toddler seat or pull-along trailer.
Roseveare says the trip often comes with a dose of childhood nostalgia, explaining: “Particularly with millennials booking this tour and similar family holidays, we see they often return to the areas where they holidayed as a child or young adult, keen to create new happy memories with their own children.”
Book it: Seven nights’ self-catering starts at £645 per adult and £435 per child (7-15 years) in September and October 2018, based on four people sharing. Includes luggage transfers, bike hire and a welcome pack. Excludes flights.
For parents looking to spark wanderlust in their children, serve up Exodus Travels’ single-centre Amalfi Coast Pompeii and Pizza trip. It’s suitable for children over five, but younger siblings are also welcome.
As well as exploring the area’s beaches and towns, families can scale Mount Vesuvius, explore the ruins of Pompeii, and try ceramic painting and paper making. They will also visit a mozzarella producer, before learning how to make an authentic Neapolitan pizza.
Exodus has a rigorous process for curating family itineraries, and parents in the team have crafted guidelines for each age range. They consider everything from the temperature and humidity of a destination to the physical level of each activity, alongside daily start and finish times, the amount of downtime and the number of accommodation changes.
Partnership manager Ben Lee says the tour leaders also play a vital role in making each trip a memorable, and hassle-free experience. “They will engage the children, often using games, and bring things to life for them, teaching them a little of the local language – making them ask for an ice cream in Italian, for example.”
Book it: The seven-night tour starts at £1,299 per adult and £1,169 per child, departing between July 21, 2018 and March 30, 2019. Includes accommodation, transport and transfers, flights from London and selected meals.
Explore’s programme manager for family adventures, Antony Barton, says families are getting more adventurous: “They are willing
to travel further afield than previous generations; the biggest expansion
of Explore’s family tour portfolio in the last couple of years has been
Explore’s open-age departures have a minimum age of seven, but five- and six-year-olds can join if travelling with an older sibling. Private departures for larger groups can be arranged, and have no minimum age.
When selling adventure holidays, highlight what children will gain. “Our trips offer a window to the world: to enlighten, amaze, sometimes shock a little, and generally inspire young people in a way that can complement their formal education,” Barton adds.
He says the best destinations for balancing the needs of young children with adventure and lots of family-friendly activities include Egypt, Morocco, Turkey, Finland and Italy.
For adventurous families he recommends heading to India: “Customers will never forget the look on their children’s faces, eyes out on stalks at the sights, sounds and smells and sheer awe of this truly beautiful country.”
Book it: The nine-night Family Taj and Palaces trip starts at £1,399 per adult and £1,175 per child, including accommodation, flights from London, transfers and select meals, and is based on an August 2018 departure.
Intrepid’s family product manager Dyan Mckie says the number of bookings from multi-generational family groups has increased over
the last year, and that the optional activities and free time incorporated into the trips helps cater for different travellers. “For example, on the Jordan Family Holiday, there’s an option for a tour of Petra by night once the kids are asleep under the watchful eye of grandparents (or vice versa)!”
Most family trips are also available as private departures for larger groups.
Mckie suggests Intrepid’s island-hopping Croatia Family Holiday as the ideal trip for millennials and their children. Suitable for those aged five and above, it normally includes three to five families.
“Once the kids have hit it off, adults can enjoy some well-earned R&R,” Mckie says. “Every day provides a balance of action-packed adventure and flexible free time. Our local leaders can suggest activities and ways to engage kids based on their hobbies. For us, education is the passport of the future and we educate children through travel.”
Book it: The nine-day Croatia trip starts at £1,309pp, with a 10% discount for those under 17. Includes accommodation, local transportation, select meals and activities, and excludes flights. Based on departures from July 14, 2018 to August 3, 2019.