‘Revenge Journey,’ Household Version – The New York Instances
“We could have just taken them to the west side of Florida, to a nice hotel,” said David Egozi of his three children and the dream of their first big family trip during the pandemic. But Mr. Egozi, a 36-year-old real estate developer from Aventura, Florida, and his wife Jessica have always been avid travelers and have put trip after trip on the calendar, including regular visits to family in Israel.
“They’ve been locked up for so long,” said Mr. Egozi of his children, ages 10, 8, and 4. “We had to do something great; We wanted to make sure we gave them an unforgettable trip. “
Last month the family whizzed down water slides, whizzed across the waves on a jet ski, saw sharks and turtles up close, and dined at high-end restaurants in Baha Mar, a 1,000-acre resort complex in the Bahamas.
Although not all parents (or children) will share the strong stomachs of the egozis for, for example, cliff jumping in pools, the general tenor of their last vacation – make up for the lost time and double the fun factor, because if you look back on the past 18 months, ” Want to return the favor ”- is one that is now running the family travel sector in large and small ways.
“Suddenly it was ‘boom’. Everyone is looking: Travel is back, ”said Karen Akpan, founder of The Mom Trotter and Black Kids Do Travel, a pair of family travel websites and social media communities. “Many parents are more comfortable with the idea of traveling than they used to be.”
But the worrying Delta variant and the lack of vaccines for the little ones are also in the parents’ focus for families who love to travel. In preparation for a trip to Disney World in Orlando, Florida in mid-August, Erica Tijerina-Rojas, 36, practiced social distancing, wearing masks and washing hands with her daughters, 10 and 11, who didn’t had no classroom training since March 2020.
“I’m still a little nervous about it,” she said. “My husband and I are fully vaccinated, but the girls are not. But that will be the new normal, and we have to teach them to take care of themselves – how to protect themselves. “
The Delta variant now accounts for the majority of coronavirus cases in the United States and has created another line of virus hotspots, many on the Gulf Coast. Disney reintroduced its inner mask policy for employees and guests 2 years and older regardless of vaccination status in late July.
As for Ms. Tijerina-Rojas: She will hardly be the first parent to regain lost time under the doe-eyed – albeit distant – gaze of Cinderella. In the Walt Disney Company’s earnings report for the second quarter, visitor numbers for the parks in Orlando and California were reported as “at or near” reduced capacity. And while the family regularly visits South Padre Island – about an hour and moving from their home in Pharr, Texas, the week at Disney has added weight and meaning.
“This could be your last chance to go to Disney together because you could grow out of it – at some point you will be no longer interested,” said Ms. Tijerina-Rojas, office manager at a real estate agency.
Careful but ready, parents
In a recent survey of around 3,500 active vacationers, the research company MMGY Travel Intelligence found that family travelers – those with children under the age of 18 – are more interested in vacationing than non-family travelers this year. Data from Vacasa, a major vacation rental platform, shows that summer reservations with children have increased by around 33 percent compared to 2019. In an undoubtedly parent-friendly move, Hilton is in the process of implementing “Confirmed Connecting Rooms,” a new online feature that will allow guests to book and instantly confirm connecting rooms across its 18 hotel brands. Tour operators who are not normally associated with drinking cups are also getting involved: the recently renovated W South Beach is currently offering outdoor yoga classes for children.
“The pandemic was a wake-up call that went beyond wake-up calls,” said Nicole Wineland-Thomson, director of Family Expeditions at Thomson Family Adventures, which runs private and bespoke small-group private tours. “Parents have a sense of urgency that they didn’t feel two years ago. We always said, ‘Oh, we have the rest of our lives to place our kids.’ That has changed. “
Even though Priyanka Desai Agrawal, 36, is suspicious of infection and vaccination rates as she ponders where to go in December for a four to six week international trip that will bring the 40 two children, 3½ and 1.
“My older son was on 32 flights when he was 2,” said Ms. Agrawal, who lives in Tysons Corner, Virginia. “I was devastated not being able to travel; I tried at least to go for a walk, but that wasn’t enough for me. “
In the spring, when the number of participants was severely limited, Ms. Agrawal and her family spent nine days at Disney World. She took her sons to Indiana to see their family. It’s a day trip to Dutch Wonderland in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, as well as Labor Day Weekend in Myrtle Beach, SC. planned
Thomson Family Adventures’ most popular departures this year include Hawaii, Baja, and Costa Rica – all outdoor destinations that are relatively easy to get to. But for 2022 and 2023 there is an unprecedented demand for much more ambitious trips venturing to Europe and beyond when the world reopens; let’s say Italy, Peru (where Ms. Wineland-Thomson just took her 6 year old son just to come across an almost empty Machu Picchu), Tanzania and parts of Asia.
“People look to the future and think, ‘Okay, there is a chance we can reach these places that we haven’t even been able to touch in the last 18 months,'” said Ms. Wineland-Thomson.
At Backroads, an adventure travel company that breaks down its family trips based on the age of the children, bookings for family travel next year are 150 percent higher than they were at this point in 2019, with Ecuador, Costa Rica, and Peru heading for fall and the holidays .
“There is a lot of catching up to do,” says Tom Hale, Founder and President of Backroads. “People plan ahead and are now putting vacations on their calendars so they can look forward to an adventure on the horizon.”
Chris Miller, 56, who lives in Houston, wanted to make it big this spring, so that there wouldn’t be more time before Madison, 21, the oldest of his three children, entered the world of work.
“We probably won’t have another chance to spend two weeks as a family,” said Mr. Miller, head of North America Energy Investment Banking at Citigroup. “It was that summer so we were damn sure we’d go somewhere if things got feasible.”
The Millers hired Indagare, a members-only boutique travel planning company, to coordinate a 12-day trip to Egypt, open to Americans with a virus test. They cruised down the Nile, went kite surfing in Sharm El Sheikh and marveled at the Great Pyramids of Giza.
“The children love the adventure of long transatlantic flights,” he says. “It was a bit exciting just to get on the plane and drive off.”
Sarah Firshein is also ours Stumbled columnist. If you need advice on a best-put together itinerary that went wrong, Send an email to email@example.com.