Budget-Savvy Travelers Set Sights on Midwest Cities, Like Lansing, Mich.

Among the hottest trends in travel is family travel, but multigenerational trips — which span three generations of a family — are quickly gaining popularity. Last year, 32 percent of vacationing U.S. grandparents took their grandchildren along. In a recent study, Preferred Hotel Group found that 40 percent of U.S. leisure travelers — about 21 million of them — took a multigenerational trip in the previous 12 months. The study also found that nearly eight in 10 multigenerational travelers plan “milestone vacations,” with half planning around a life event like a birthday, anniversary, reunion or wedding. There are many reasons why such trips are popular. Today’s seniors are living longer, healthier and more mobile lives and are eager to make up for long distances away from grandchildren. Grown children, strapped for time and money to plan relaxing vacations and trips to see extended family, are combining the two. The last decade has seen a significant increase in multigenerational cruising, and the cruise industry has responded to changing vacation patterns by adding enriching destinations, excursions, on-board activities and amenities to cater to every age. The ease of cruising makes it an appealing vacation option. Travelers can see multiple destinations without packing and unpacking, and if it gets to be too much, Grandpa can easily retire to his cabin. The almost all-inclusive nature of a cruise also makes it convenient for families to budget for lodging, meals and entertainment. While mega-cruise ships offer more activities and amenities, many families opt for the unique experience of a sailing cruise. These vessels provide an intimate environment similar to a private yacht while offering an adventurous, educational holiday for the whole group.
Star Clippers’ fleet of three sailing ships provides the thrill of sailing on an authentic tall ship, an extensive water-sports program and exotic destinations with cross-generation appeal. The ships’ smaller size — either 170 or 227 passengers — means families can have an intimate vacation experience without long lines and large crowds.