In Generational Marketing

grandparents on the beach with their grandsonYou’ve probably heard of “glamping,” but what about travel’s latest trend, “gramping”? Unlike glamorous camping, gramping doesn’t have to involve the outdoors (though it could!). Also known as skip-gen, gramping is more akin to multigenerational travel. The difference: Instead of three or more generations traveling together, it’s just two—grandparents and their grandchildren.

Skip-gen travelers are a lucrative market. According to AARP, about 40% of grandparents travel with their grandchildren, and they report spending an average of $1,746 per year on these trips. Additionally, four in ten grandparents still work, which means they have an income they can spend.

Furthermore, the number of grandparents is continually on the rise. There are currently 70 million grandparents—a 24% increase over the 56 million in 2001.

So how can you tap into this growing market?

Milestone celebrations
Oftentimes, these trips coincide with special occasions, like milestone birthdays or graduations. If you’re a hotel or resort, or even a tour operator, it’s important to acknowledge these events and provide ways to commemorate them.

Kid-friendly is key
Make it clear that your property or tour company is a good fit for kids. Include children in your marketing materials, and take it a step further by adding photos that will appeal directly to the skip-gen set. On-property, offer things like coloring books and crayons at check-in for younger guests, and have a lounge for teens with free wi-fi and games (just in case Grandma and Grandpa need a break). Also consider accommodations like adjoining rooms, villas and suites, as well as larger tables in restaurants––and ensure staff know how to handle kids.

For tour operators, take a cue from Road Scholar, a Boston-based company that has been offering skip-gen trips since 1985. They have over 150 trip options catered towards grandparents and grandkids, ranging from 4 to 17 days in locations spanning the world.

Vacation variation
When taking their first skip-gen trip, many grandparents opt for a shorter vacation—i.e., a long weekend—to test the waters of traveling with their grandkids. Usually, their experience the first time around is a success, so they plan longer voyages. With this in mind, be sure to provide a variety of short- and long-term packages.

Multigenerational appeal
It’s important to offer activities that can span generations. Grandparents aren’t taking their grandkids on trips to have them run off and do their own thing the whole time—they want to bond and experience things together. Cooking classes, nature tours and history outings are all popular among this demographic.

Finding a balance
While quality time is the main goal on these trips, it’s likely that Grandma and Grandpa will need a break occasionally. For properties, that means offering kids’ camps or other childcare options. (And don’t forget about the aforementioned teen lounge.) Tour operators can offer some adult-optional excursions.

Tap into tourism
Tourism bureaus would be smart to target skip-gen groups. Grandparents may want to share their favorite destinations, but not be familiar with what interests their grandkids. Combat this by creating itineraries that cater specifically to skip-gen travelers.

Let’s talk about how you can incorporate gramping into your offerings. Reach out to Lynn Kaniper at or 609.466.9187 ext. 117.

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