Wealthy Americans are no longer content to rent a cabana and sit on the beach with their spouse when travelling abroad. Now they’re bringing along grandma, the parents, the in-laws and maybe even an ex-spouse.
Rich travelers with money to burn want significant experiences that create memories to connect them more with extended family members, say those in the travel industry.
“The super rich are satisfied with nothing less than meaningful cultural experiences that are connected to the local community they are visiting,” said Horst Schulze, co-founder of the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company and current chairman and CEO of Capella Hotels and Resorts.
The rich are in search of these experiences with multiple generations of family.
“Multigenerational family travel is about collecting photos to put in a family album rather than spending money on the finer things in life,” said Howard Joe, wealth management advisor and senior vice president with Merrill Lynch in Atlanta.
In other words, millionaires and billionaires are placing higher value on closeness and familiarity while vacationing rather than spending money on luxury staples, such as Ferraris, expensive handbags and designer clothing.
“Living longer is one reason that meaningful, multigenerational family travel is on the upswing because of trends in healthcare and the healthier lifestyles people are leading," Joe told Private Wealth.
Healthy and wealthy retiring boomers are also using travel experiences, such as spending a week away at a Dude Ranch, to maintain their relevance among younger relatives.
“Enterprising grandparents are luring family members by planning epic travel experiences that their children and grandchildren cannot resist,” said Henley Vazquez, CEO and co-founder of Passported, a travel agency that specializes in booking family vacations.
For example, Joe’s 67-year-old, high-net-worth client planned a 10-day vacation around the world for her children and grandchildren, during which they participated in history classes about the Roman Empire while visiting Italy.