Do you prefer to travel in luxury or just dream about it? Today we are talking about luxury family travel with Amie O’Shaughnessy, Founder and CEO of Ciao Bambino, a luxury family travel website and travel agency. We chat about the latest trends in luxury family travel, what hotel brands are really getting it right, hot family travel destinations and what a luxury family travel vacation really costs.
On the Podcast
1:00 Where Tamara is going for spring break
2:30 Downsides of all-inclusives
7:30 Amie O’Shaughnessy from Ciao Bambino
8:22 The genesis of Ciao Bambino
9:20 Why families love Italy
11:15 How luxury family travel is growing
12:30 How luxury hotels are welcoming families
14:20 Unique family experiences
15:57 Meeting the needs across age groups
18:10 Popular experiences for families
19:33 Hot family destinations
23:04 How much a luxury family vacation costs
27:30 Keeping the right priorities
28:00 Chile with Latin Excursions
28:39 Barge trips in France
29:30 Favorite travel gear
31:50 App of the Week
About Amie O’Shaughnessy from Ciao Bambino
Amie O’Shaughnessy is the Founder and CEO of Ciao Bambino, a Family Travel resource pairing award-winning content with a boutique Virtuoso travel agency. She lives in Northern California with her husband and son. You can also find Ciao Bambino on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest.
Trends in Luxury Family Travel Market
The luxury travel market is growing rapidly and in the last year, all luxury brands, from hotels to tour operators, have developed programming and amenities for kids. While most hotels are looking at offering rooms and suites that accommodate families, many are going beyond that to show that kids are not just tolerated but are welcomed in their own way. This includes kid programming, amenities, and check in processes.
2016 is a year when everyone is talking about travel experiences. Hotels are looking to create experiences that form connections between the hotel and the destination. These are bike tours, cooking classes, art classes, or treasure hunts. It is about getting kids into a destination and not just observing, but actively engaging. Many of these programs are geared toward school-aged children, but others try to also address the tweens and teens.
The Peninsula Hotels have a new program called the Peninsula Academy. In many of their city hotels, they have locally inspired programs specifically for kids. In Chicago kids can visit a local firehouse; in Tokyo, there is a Pokemon experience or a plastic-food making workshop; and in Paris they have a meet-and-greet with the French football (soccer) team members.
Some other experiences that are popular are cooking classes, learning to row a gondola in Venice, glass blowing, paper making in Florence and art classes. When Amie was in China last year with Mandarin Journeys, they took her and her son to practice tai chi in the gardens, learn kung fu at a martial arts academy, pick tea at a tea plantation, and make dumplings with a chef.
Popular Luxury Family Travel Destinations
Costa Rica has been huge for a few years because it offers so much variety from beaches to rainforests, plus it is close, English is widely spoken and it is easy to get to. Amie is also seeing a lot of interest in Central and South America including Panama, Nicaragua, Colombia and Cuba. Iceland is also extremely hot with families right now.
African Safaris have become popular with families as a “trip of a lifetime” and so many operators are catering to families. People are very interested in places that are very different from what they can experience at home because that is what makes them memorable.
What Does Luxury Family Travel Cost?
The cost of luxury hotels vary depending on location and time of year but a luxury hotel room that can accommodate a family in a hot destination during peak season are usually about $1,000 per night and up. Villas that can accommodate a multi-generational trip are using $3,000 and up per night. Meanwhile dude ranches are all inclusive and are typically $1,000 per person per day.
A more comprehensive itinerary with accommodations, tours, and drivers for a family of four typically costs $15,000 and up for a one-week trip. However, many of these are trips of a lifetime that people come back and say it was worth every penny.
One strategy to reduce costs is to mix up the trip but staying at a luxury property in one destination and something more budget-friendly in the next. You can also shorten the trip, be flexible about your dates, or splurge on one big wow experience per trip.
Favorite Travel Gear
Amie is always looking for good shoes to do a lot of walking and recently found a great pair of Josef Siebel tennis shoes. She is also a fan of Anatomie clothing for their lightweight, no-wrinkle, all-season pants.
App of the Week
Check out Hotel Tonight to find luxury hotel stays at non-luxury prices! Tamara found a great deal in Boston using Hotel Tonight.
Mentioned on the Podcast
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