Making priceless travel memories with our own families and helping our clients do the same is a passion for every single member of our Ciao Bambino team (just check out the video above for proof!). There’s no greater satisfaction than knowing we have truly hit the mark, and our continuous feedback loop from happy travelers ensures that we are tapped into the very best of what the world has to offer globetrotting parents and kids. While much of this feedback comes in the form of follow up after a trip, this time around we’ve gotten a head start.
Our new #TimetoTravel2020 campaign is designed to help you make bucket-list vacations a priority and start planning sooner rather than later, before the children are grown and the window has passed. In that spirit, we reached out to our readers to find out exactly what tops their wish lists for the next year and how we can make it happen. Here’s what we discovered …
Given our company name, it’s no surprise that Italy has always been and continues to be our No. 1 most requested destination for families. Excitingly, we’ve seen a big bump in interest for Spain and Greece, our No. 2 and No. 3 survey destinations — followed by the United States in fourth place. Our expertise in all these countries is incredibly deep and varied … that said, no matter where you dream of going, we’ve got you covered. The CB! Family Travel Advisor team has visited every continent (yes, even Antarctica!) and we are continually scouting and road testing the best kid-friendly accommodations, guides, activities and hidden gems all over the world to make your wish list a reality.
We also recognize that with popular vacation spots come very real issues like overcrowding. Our team is deeply committed to sustainable travel and not making the problem worse in cities like Venice and Barcelona that struggle to support the tourist influx. But these destinations are favorites for a reason, and it’s natural that families want to experience their highlights. That’s where we come in: We help our clients avoid the worst of the crowds in popular places, then pair those with an under-the-radar escape that isn’t overrun.
Our valued travel partners have collaborated with us on exclusive hotel discounts and special offers for the coming year. Most are bookable by January 15, 2020, so act fast!
We hear it over and over: Today’s kids (and adults) are too plugged in. It’s no wonder that outdoors-focused activities like wilderness and adventure travel, dude ranch getaways, polar expeditions and ski vacations are in demand among the majority of our clients — a digital detox is easy when there’s no WIFI or cell service! Even better, electronics can’t hold a candle to exhilarating experiences like whitewater rafting, horseback riding, helicopter tours or surfing. Our survey responses prove that families crave the deep and singular bonds that result from turning off the screens and truly focusing on each other.
CB! readers are reluctant to sacrifice creature comforts for the sake of getting away from it all, and we maintain a hand-selected list of kid-friendly hotels and resorts that satisfy discerning travelers. From glamping in Montana to a Costa Rican ecolodge to an elephant camp in Thailand, these properties allow you to immerse yourselves in the wildest and most remote corners of the world while still enjoying plenty of vacation pampering.
We can help! Our Family Travel Advisors can work with you to choose the right destinations, book vetted kid-friendly accommodations, recommend age-appropriate activities and more. Click to get started!
More than 60 percent of readers listed multigenerational family travel as a top priority … quite a change from the not-so-distant past when grandparents kept the kids so parents could get away on their own! These days, with families often scattered far and wide, fostering connections across different generations is especially important. Kids, parents, grandparents and even great-grandparents want to come together and experience new places in a way that works for all ages and needs. We’ve planned a huge variety of incredible multigenerational trips, from a private villa escape in rural Tuscany to a safari in Africa, and we can design one that’s uniquely perfect for you and your extended family.
We’re seeing more and more interest in destinations that allow families to engage meaningfully with the local culture, whether it’s in a classic locale like France or England or a farther-flung spot such as Chile, Morocco or Vietnam. The top request from our clients? Culinary experiences like market tours, cooking classes and helping out on local farms. Food is the common denominator that binds us no matter where we come from, and it is a perfect medium to introduce kids to a new set of norms and customs.
Second only to culinary vacations in our survey was the chance for readers to spend time with local families in their destination of choice. Our network of global travel partners, accessible via our planning service, knows the secrets to helping parents and kids from different countries connect, socialize and play together, learning about each other’s lives and broadening kids’ perspective on the world.
Common wisdom is that travel gets easier as kids get older, and in some ways that’s true (no more diaper bags, strollers or car seats, for starters). But tweens and teens come with their own set of challenges, like working around school schedules, activities and social lives or finding destinations that appeal to this notoriously picky age group. Among the top requests from those who took our survey was for ideas to excite older kids about travel and keep them engaged.
Those of us on staff with teenagers polled our own kids for their input — a great place to begin gathering ideas! It’s key to get their buy-in throughout the planning process and book a few out-of-this-world activities that will wow them. We have arranged for families to snorkel with sea lions in the Galapagos Islands, hike glaciers in Norway, climb the Harbour Bridge in Sydney and countless other spectacular adventures. Many of these are available only to kids over a certain age, just one more thing that makes traveling with tweens and teens so wonderfully special.
Feeling inspired for 2020? We’re ready when you are — get in touch!
Editor’s Note: Photos courtesy of the individual families featured.
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This is a challenging time for our clients given the uncertainty around the spread of coronavirus, particularly for those with near-term travel plans in impacted areas. We’re working with our suppliers on being flexible with their booking conditions, and enabling families to postpone travel to a later date without a penalty, when possible. Likewise, given the unpredictability around destinations that may be impacted in the future, we’re helping clients planning new trips and understand ways that they can protect themselves until the situation improves. We are ready to help our clients work through questions and concerns.