We Specialize in Group Travel Which Also Means Family Travel
Life is full of surprises…
Professionally speaking, we have had our share in the last several years. We have been astonished at all the amazing products and services the travel industry offers families that go beyond what we call the Big Three: Cruises, Theme Parks and All-Inclusives. We were stunned when we read in a travel publication that 40% of U.S. travel agents specialize in family travel, surpassing niches like luxury (22%), adventure, (10%), and even weddings (11%).
At the same time, we scratched our head at how relatively little the average travel agent seems to know about what’s out there for families. Not all of them, but many. That’s why we rely on our group and family training opportunities.
For those travel agents who already work in family travel know all too well, doing so is no easy task. There often are unique challenges in working with non-traditional families, kids who have special needs, groups that are multigenerational, and so on. We must be prepared to offer best practices and advice.
For example, perhaps the most important piece of advice to give parents of school-age children is to plan their vacations well in advance. They shouldn’t wait until the last minute — or even up to three months out — to book summer, spring break, or winter recess vacations. Waiting can result in paying higher airfares and finding “no room at the inn” at popular destinations. We tell parents to start planning school-break trips immediately after the kids go back to school. Parents just returning from a vacation may lack motivation to think about the next one, but they won’t regret it when the time comes. So, don’t wait.
Have you noticed that there are more products and services being created for the group and family market? Look no further than Disney. Then there are places like Costa Rica, which now attracts families in record numbers, while more tour operators are introducing African safaris tailored specifically for families.
How about river cruising? Thanks to AMA Waterways’ partnership with Adventures by Disney, this product is relevant and appealing to families — something unheard of just a few years ago. Meanwhile, ocean cruising has seen a growth in family travel over the past 15 years, to about 32% today.
According to our 2017 U.S. Family Travel Survey, only 15% of you parents use a travel agent to help plan your family travels. Fifteen percent! I’m convinced that the more educated and prepared travel agents become in working with families, the more families will begin to use travel agents.
So, look to TravelKatz to help put together a wonderful vacation for all your family members. You will want to call us at 352-277-7300 or email us at [email protected]