NEW YORK -- Familymoons are an "emerging trend" and need to be
taken seriously by agents and destinations, according to Rebecca
Grinnals, president of the Florida-based honeymoon and wedding
consulting company Engaging Concepts.
"This is a golden opportunity to develop expertise in a new but
rapidly growing market niche," Grinnals said.
"It's a very natural outgrowth of the destination honeymoon
There was a time not very long ago when agents would never book
a honeymooning couple into a place with families and kids, she
"That's all changed," Grinnals said. "Especially with so many
second and even third marriages. Parents today don't want to leave
their kids behind, and the kids certainly don't want to be left
behind while their parents take off without them."
But planning a familymoon is a complex event, cautioned Sally
Black, president of Vacationkids.com, a Pennsylvania-based travel
agency specializing in family travel.
"There are usually kids of different ages, so they have
different physical and emotional needs," she said. "There are time
constraints and child-care issues.
Experts like Grinnals and Black suggest agents assist clients by
keeping in mind the following caveats and incorporating them into
• Suggest that everyone in the family be involved in the travel
and planning process; let each one plan an event.
• Expect the unexpected and keep a sense of humor.
• Choose a neutral destination, not one where either parent has
spent a family vacation.
• Opt for a large resort or cruise. Camping trips are out. No
privacy for anyone.
• Be sure the destination has flexible accommodations, affording
the parents privacy but still enabling the family to be
• Be aware that single parents traveling with minors outside the
U.S. should bring proof from the other parent that they have
permission to travel with the child.
• Choose a destination that has significant experience in family
travel, preferably in familymoons. -- K.S.
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