Ever heard of a 3G holiday?
If not, it’s a vacation trend that is seeing multiple generations of a family travelling together. In our increasingly busy lives, it’s becoming a popular way for parents, children and grandparents to spend quality time together. Other reasons for travelling together can include family occasions such as weddings and anniversaries.
According to a 2019 Virtuoso Luxe Report, multi-generational travel is the No. 1 travel trend for 2019.
As British Virgin Holidays puts it, “More holidaymakers are choosing to go on holidays with their granny than ever before.” Virgin, for example, offers suites of three- and four-bedroom villas in Florida and the Caribbean for just that purpose. And they aren’t the only ones.
Another trend, known as skip-gen travel or “gramping,” is when grandparents travel with their grandchildren, leaving the middle generation at home to relax. Drawing on data from over 22,000 travellers, Booking.com reports 71 per cent of grandparents believe parents should spend time alone without their children.
Meanwhile, here at home, Allianz Global Assistance Canada reported a five-per cent increase in the purchase of travel coverage for multi-generational trips. The Conference Board of Canada – which researches and analyzes economic trends – revealed among the 26.9 per cent of Canadians who travelled with a group in the past year, more than a quarter included two generations.
Since these types of trips are becoming more popular in Canada and abroad, specialized insurance policies are rising to meet the demand. Depending on the insurer you choose, the definition of “family” can vary. Some, such as Saga in the UK, cover up to 10 family members and include free insurance for customers’ grandchildren if they are travelling on a skip-gen vacation. Their definition also includes step-children, foster children, legal guardians and common-law partners.
Dan Keon, Vice-President of Market Management at Allianz Global Assistance Canada, told the International Travel and Health Insurance Journal recently that travelling with family members from different generations can be a rewarding experience, but it also raises issues that should be addressed in advance.
“Organizing the itinerary so that each generation can enjoy the trip is challenging enough, but travelling families should be mindful that children can be more prone to illness due to changes in routine, environment or diet,” Keon said, adding “while seniors might have pre-existing medical conditions that could affect coverage, so having adequate travel medical insurance is vital.”
Another thing for travellers coming from different parts of the country to consider is out-of-province and out-of-state coverage and cancellation coverage.
“While the destination is usually the major decision, travellers might not recognize the need for coverage if they are staying within Canada,” Keon told ITIJ. “Provincial health insurance does not cover everything in other regions across the country.
“And it’s not uncommon for family members to come together at a destination from different cities, which makes the need for trip interruption or cancellation beneficial to help protect your travel investment.”
If you’re planning on organizing a multi-generation trip in the future, be sure to talk to your insurance broker about coverage options. And, stay tuned for Part 2 of this post: Tips on how to plan a multi-generational trip everyone will enjoy.