As Restrictions Loosen, Families Travel Far and Spend Big

Newly vaccinated families are opting for private jets, luxury resorts and guided tours in elaborate new twists on the old-fashioned family reunion. Far-flung families are combining traveling and being together — two of the most longed-for practices during more than a year of pandemic lockdowns — into elaborate new twists on the old-fashioned family reunion. In a recent survey by Wyndham Destinations, the nation’s largest timeshare company, 75 percent of respondents said they were planning to travel for a family reunion in 2021; in a MAR survey from American Express Travel, 71 percent of respondents said they planned to travel to visit loved ones they hadn’t been able to see during the pandemic, and 60 percent said a 2021 family reunion was in the works. While the demand for travel across all sectors is high, family travel was predicted to eventually lead the way for the industry’s rebound after a staggering collapse. Travel advisers spent most of 2020 creating socially distanced itineraries for nuclear families that were already living together during lockdown. But now, they say, the most popular type of family trip is the reunion that brings far-flung relatives back into the fold. Spending is up, as well, as families splurge on longer and more elaborate trips together than they might have pre-pandemic.

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