Posts Tagged ‘family’

Multigenerational vacations a growing travel trend

Wednesday, May 29th, 2013

I found this interesting article on a Professional Association of Innkeepers International (PAII) Weekly News email.  Large family groups on vacations may need multiple rooms and even living spaces, which a Bed and Breakfast can offer.  At a B&B you can even eat breakfast together in a nice homey  environment before starting your day of adventure.  Many NABB member inns can accommodate families looking for a place to gather.


Multigenerational vacations a growing travel trend

By: Tracy Frank, INFORUM

FARGO – The family vacation has taken on a whole new meaning for several Fargo-Moorhead area families.

They not only travel with the members of their own household, but with parents, siblings and their families as well.

More families are taking multigenerational vacations by bringing grandma and grandpa along. Preferred Hotel Group, which represents independent luxury hotels and resorts, calls it one of the hottest trends in travel and hospitality.

A few months ago, Shauna Vistad of West Fargo took a weeklong Caribbean cruise with her husband, kids, brother and parents.

She said it was an important trip because her dad had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer the previous March and given three to six months to live.

“To give him something to look forward to, we planned this cruise outside of that six-month time period,” Vistad said. “It was an opportunity for him to take his grandkids on a special trip. He wanted to take his grandkids swimming with dolphins.”

Vistad said it was essential for her kids to have that time with their grandpa, who is still fighting his disease. One of her favorite memories is of her dad swimming with dolphins. When he flew out of the water, perched on the dolphins’ noses, he had the same joyful expression on his face that her children had, she said.

“You have the opportunity to create memories together,” Vistad said. “Rather than just coming back and telling people about that experience, you get to share it with the ones you love the most.”

According to a Preferred Hotel Group poll, 40 percent of families went on a multigenerational vacation in the past year. About 77 percent planned it around a milestone event like a birthday, anniversary, family reunion or wedding.

Michael Gustafson of Moorhead went to Disney World with his family of five, his sister’s family of four and his parents for his parents’ 50th wedding anniversary in the fall of 2011.

“It’s just something we’ve done for years,” he said. “We find it’s a very nice way to do things. My parents might not go on some of these trips if they wouldn’t do it with us to help them get around.”

Taking a multigenerational trip also gave Gustafson, his wife, his sister and her husband a chance to go out on their own while their kids stayed with their grandparents, Gustafson said.

Holly Leistikow of Fargo said almost all of their family vacations include at least one set of their kids’ grandparents.

“We all love to travel and it’s sometimes a little easier to have a set of grandparents along to help entertain or let them watch the kids for a night while we go out,” Leistikow said.

Planning is more difficult with more people, but Grandma and Grandpa can help alleviate children’s tantrums and help parents put the situation into perspective, Leistikow said.

“It’s good for our kids to have those extra sets of influences in their lives,” she said.

There are several reasons multigenerational vacations have become so popular in recent years, according to the study:

• Evenings and weekends are no longer untouchable family time, creating a greater need for escape through travel.

• Baby boomers are “trading briefcases for roller bags” and want to take their kids and grandkids with them.

• Families are living farther apart than at any time in history and a multigenerational trip is often the best way for them to gather in one place.

Heather Johnson of Fargo and her brother don’t talk frequently, but a recent multigenerational family vacation gave them bonding time and helped her get to know his kids better, she said.

They took a trip to Mount Rushmore with their families and their parents last summer for their parents’ 45th wedding anniversary. All 13 people shared a large log house for a week, she said.

“This was the best vacation we had been on as a family and I would absolutely want to do it again,” Johnson said.

Though the trip included things like waterslides, goldmine tours, museums, and of course, visiting Mount Rushmore, Johnson said the best part was bonding over family games at the rental house.

“It really builds a relationship,” she said.

With seven children, ages 8 to 16, they worried there would be bickering and drama, but it went much better than expected, she said.

“That was our biggest worry,” she said.

She said the key was planning days where families could go do their own thing in between the days where everyone stayed together.

“It gave us and the kids a break,” Johnson said. “That really cut down on the frustration level that could happen.”

Communication is key to making multigenerational vacations work.

Family members need to be clear about their expectations, both scheduling and financial, Vistad said. It’s also crucial to understand you can’t please everyone and you’re going to have to make compromises, she said.

Vistad recommends letting one person organize the trip.

“I’m like a cowboy trying to heard water,” she said. “It gets to be a bit of a challenge.”

Cashing in on the Luxury Travel Market

Tuesday, January 17th, 2012

January 2012

Cashing in on the Luxury Travel Market

Despite the worldwide recession, there is one area of the tourism market that is rapidly expanding, that is the upscale or luxury market.  Asian airlines, for example, have not only increased their first class capacity, but continue to offer a wide variety of this new luxury travel products.  In fact, the luxury travel market is the fastest-growing segment of the travel industry worldwide.  For example, in North America luxury travel produces almost a trillion dollars in annual sales.

Business travelers have fueled much of the new luxury travel market. These travelers have discovered that the cost of arriving tired at a destination outpaces the cost of the first class ticket.  Luxury travel and tourism however is not restricted merely to the travel component of the tourism industry.  New opportunities abound throughout this portion of the industry.  Many hotels have now opened a “hotel within their hotel”. These are special areas that afford extra comfort and service to hotel guests.  In a like manner, upscale restaurants are offering a greater and more personal fare that take into account not only caloric intake, but a host of diets that cater to every form of dietary need.  In order to take advantage of some of this growing trend in tourism consider some of the following:

-There is no one definition of upscale travel.  Upscale or luxury travel is determined by a range of products, from offering the unusual in the way of scenery and cuisines to breathing taking decors, to an integrated travel experience that combines everything from gourmet foods to spa experiences.  While there is no one common definition for luxury travel there are a few basic traits that are common to those seeking luxury travel among these are:

-They often seek a full range of travel experiences from the active to the passive

– Luxury travelers are often health conscious travelers

-Luxury travelers understand that time is money and are willing to pay  extra in order to save time

-Luxury travelers seek to guard their privacy

-Luxury travelers often seek unique educational experiences or experiences that enrich them both spiritually and psychologically

-Luxury travel is now often multi-generational, with clients seeking both personal and family experiences on the same trip

-Upscale travelers tend to be both sophisticated and knowledgeable about their products.   Do not try to fool these people.  Although most travelers who want a luxury experience are willing to pay the price, they still want value for their money.  Many of these people are social media savvy, they know how to investigate your offering and are not afraid to praise your successes and criticize your failures.  These clients know what they want and how to make the world know when you fail to provide what you have promised them.

Do not charge for every item that you offer.  It is all too common for upscale hotels to charge for everything from internet usage to extra towels at the swimming pool.  A guest who is paying hundreds or thousands of dollars per night can easily come to resent paying for services that are part of hotels of a lesser category.  If you are going to charge top dollar, then offer top of the line services.

Not every business should cater to the upscale market.  Know what you have, do not claim to be an upscale travel experience if you do not have the facilities and accommodations to make upscale tourism work in your locale.  Remember that the travel experience takes in the entire community, so an excellent hotel in an area that is not desirable becomes a “palace located in the heart of a slum.”  When deciding if you can offer and charge for an upscale experience, consider the total tourism environment in your locale.

-Train your staff to anticipate needs before your guest makes the request.  Do not provide good service; provide excellent service!  All too often tourism entities such as airlines place their most senior personnel in the first class section, even though these people are often jaded and tired of serving the public.   Good service means having personnel who care about the welfare of their guests, are enthusiastic, and find each tourist or guest experience to be a unique challenge that inspires them.

-Test the room or location before the guest arrives.  Luxury travelers do not expect mistakes.  Go over each room or visitor location with a fine toothcomb.  There is no excuse for a toilet over-flowing, the audio not working or the television set not being plugged in.  It would behoove airlines catering to this market to ask passengers which choice of meal(s) they desire at the time of purchase rather than when the traveler is already on the airplane.  All too often first class passengers are told that their choice of meal is not available.  Such errors are not acceptable in the luxury travel world.

-Meet with your staff regularly and encourage them to come up with out of the box ideas.  The luxury traveler expects to be on the cutting edge, that means that no matter in which part of the tourism industry you are located your luxury travelers will expect high levels of innovation coupled with consistent high-quality services, excellent security and safety and no errors. .

-Develop seamless experiences. Luxury travel should begin from the moment the traveler leaves his/her home until the moment that s/he arrives back at his/her destination.  That means that the luxury travel experience should begin by being picked-up a the traveler’s home, passing through airport control with a minimum of hassle, checking into a hotel without having to wait on line and having food in the room that meets the guest’s needs and tastes.  To accomplish this form of seamless travel, the wise luxury travel provider develops a personal relationship with his/her client from the moment that that person has booked the travel experience.

-Learn what others are doing in the luxury travel market.  There are a number of periodicals that cater to the luxury tourism market. If interested in pursuing this market, then take the time to see what other people are offering.  Many of these magazines have on-line editions or can be downloaded very inexpensively.

-Provide the unusual and the chic. What differentiates luxury travel from mass travel is the level of perfection combined with elegant simplicity.  Luxury travelers often seek to separate themselves from the pack.  These are people who want individual attention, desire privacy, and look for the unique. For example, a villa providing a personalized staff, meals cooked to order, and high levels of both security and safety should be part of the offerings of those working in the luxury travel field.   Luxury travel then is all about individual service and a sense of being treated not a part of a herd but rather as a unique individual.

-Remember that the upscale market covers multiple age ranges.  Often upscale tourism businesses forget that the luxury market is composed of more than the business traveler.  Both older and retired people often seek out this market along with families or grandparents who are seeking a once-in-a-lifetime experience for younger children.  Develop innovative ideas for both of these age groups.

Articles About Holiday Traditions by NABB Members

Tuesday, November 2nd, 2010

B&B Geneaology Vacation

Saturday, May 15th, 2010

Plan your next vacation at a B&B in Nebraska to discover your roots.
Whether you come from a big or small family, we all have roots that begin somewhere. Take a closer look at family origins beginning with “Trace Family Roots at a Bed and Breakfast” packages available at any Nebraska B&B that has a genealogy center nearby. Bed and Breakfast let guests who are curious about learning more about their ancestral ties do just that by providing access to genealogical records and historical documents.

Various members of NABB may provide easy options for families or individuals to enjoy the comfort of a special experience, not only at the B&B, but also walk the same paths your ancestors may have walked. Some family ties can be likened to fraternal bond between friends.

In “Bed and Breakfasts Man Up with Mancation Specials – Take a Time Out with the Guys,” we give the guys some hang time or downtime to spend with their buds at B&Bs that offer guys getaways. Guys have a variety of options to spend their free time at a B&B ranging from beer brewing, clay pigeon shooting, watching sports, hunting, fishing or living the life of a cowboy.

Gov. Heineman Declares May 8 – 16 as ‘See Nebraska Week’

Tuesday, May 11th, 2010

(Lincoln, Neb.) Gov. Dave Heineman today kicked-off ‘See Nebraska Week,’ which runs from May 8 to 16 and encourages Nebraskans and other travelers to learn more about vacation options in Nebraska. Several new tourism campaigns were developed this year to promote opportunities for summer travel across the state.

“We want to encourage more Nebraskans and their families to take advantage of travel opportunities throughout the state,” Gov. Heineman said. “Visiting a site along one of our nine scenic byways or exploring our state’s history on a road trip will lend the traveler not just an off-the-beaten-path experience, but a summer full of memories.”

Travelers in Nebraska spent more than $3.7 billion in Nebraska on overnight trips in 2009, and annual spending in the state has increased by more than $2 billion since 1990. Nebraska’s tourism industry provides more than 42,000 jobs and is the third leading industry in the state.

The Nebraska Byways Passport program highlights the many destinations along the state’s scenic byways. Travelers are encouraged to pick up a souvenir passport at one of 27 participating locations along Nebraska’s nine scenic byways and collect stamps from each location visited for a chance to win a prize.

The Division of Travel and Tourism has also created a program encouraging young people to help plan their family vacation. The History Along Nebraska’s Byways program supplements the Nebraska history curriculum offered to fourth graders and will be distributed to 1,140 schools across the state. Designed with the help of educators, the materials include a Nebraska map with icons for various historical locations across the state, a Nebraska byway history video and classroom activities including crafts, worksheets, interactive games, and field trip activities. Subjects include state symbols, American Indians, map reading, explorers, pioneers, forts and military bases, among other topics. More information is available online at

The division is also offering a new RVNebraska brochure with information to make the most of a trip along Nebraska’s scenic byways, including details on campgrounds along byway routes and top attractions.

Nebraska remains one of the most cost-effective destinations in the nation for travelers. AAA consistently names Nebraska one of the top five most affordable vacation destinations in the United States, with average daily vacation costs for a family of four well below the national average.

Richard Baier, Director of the Nebraska Department of Economic Development, said, “Nebraska offers travelers great value and great attractions. After a long winter, this summer is a good time to get out and see a new part of the state.”

Travelers can find interactive maps, road trip ideas, trip planners and more online at

Celebrate National Travel & Tourism Week

Tuesday, May 11th, 2010

Celebrate National Travel & Tourism Week
and See Nebraska Week May 8-16, 2010

LINCOLN, NEB. (May 6, 2010)—Load up the car, pack some snacks and get ready to rediscover the road trip this summer in Nebraska. Whether it’s a drive across the state or just an hour or two away from home, Nebraska is a state where road trips are meant to be taken. Take the family to see one of the state’s many famous historic monuments, tube down a lazy river or visit one of the country’s best zoos: there’s something here for just about anyone, and at an affordable price to boot.

During See Nebraska Week and National Travel & Tourism Week, beginning May 8, show us your Nebraska vacation memories. Submit your vintage vacation photos to and tell us your memories. We’ll post them online and at the end of See Nebraska Week will choose three winners to receive a special “Rediscover the Road Trip” gift bag filled with things perfect to use on the road this summer during a Nebraska vacation.

Nebraska remains one of the most affordable states in the nation for travelers. AAA consistently named Nebraska one of the top five most affordable vacation destinations in the United States, with average daily vacation costs for a family of four well below the national average.

color_verticalThe Nebraska Department of Economic Development’s Tourism Division offers loads of information and planning tools to help you plan your perfect trip. Take advantage of Nebraska Tourism’s Group Travel Planner or Road Trip planners online. Find a day trip near your home and get there and back on one tank of gas. Find an event in a small community near your home and mark the calendar now.

If you don’t have your free 2010 Nebraska Travel Guide, now’s the time to order or download your copy from Nebraska’s one-stop tourism shop,, where you can find road trip planners, photo galleries and fun activities to keep kids busy while you rediscover the road trip this summer in Nebraska.


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