It’s the question most hotel booking sites ask their guests before they arrive. However, this inquiry doesn’t give staffers enough information about their future visitors. It’s just the start of missed opportunities, should a family come for a vacation.
By 2022, the number of family travelers will increase by 25 percent. As such, you should start now in making your accommodation a great place for them to visit. Here’s how to cater to multigenerational guests.
1. Ask who’s coming
As previously mentioned, your hotel booking system might not allow guests to specify the type of leisurely travel in which they’re partaking. If you can, add a box where they can describe with whom they’re traveling. When they call to book, make sure to ask the same question. Then, follow up to find out how old the children are and if they have any additional needs you can accommodate.
To make check-in seamless, have your staff prepare the family’s room before they arrive. This means outfitting it with cots or cribs as needed. For an added touch, you might also provide some complimentary snacks — any parent can tell you that little ones might be cranky and hungry after a long day on the road.
2. Add amenities kids will love
From fitness centers to spas to laundry services to in-house cocktail bars, most hotels come with a laundry list of adult-friendly amenities. If multigenerational travelers stop by, though, they’ll want to know their little ones will be taken care of, too.
Making such an adjustment doesn’t have to mean major changes to your hotel’s grounds or offerings. Instead, it could be as simple as adding a kid’s menu to the on-site restaurant’s roster of dishes. Some hotels have toys and entertainment you can check out at the front desk. Bigger resorts will have a slew of kid-friendly amenities. Some of 2018’s best family hotels offer activities such as whale-watching and extra-large pools with slides and splash zones younger visitors love.
3. Negotiate discounts with local attractions
It’s not cheap for parents to take the whole family on vacation — even a beach trip can cost more than $4,500 for a family of four. You can help make their getaway more affordable by reaching out to local businesses and negotiating a discount for guests. For instance, if your hotel’s close to an amusement park, you might be able to get a reduced admissions rate. Even a special price for the movies or indoor play center would make a huge impression on families searching for something to do.
To that end, you might want to put together package deals to attract guests to your establishment. Back to the amusement park example, you could bundle together admission to local activities with a night’s hotel stay to make a trip easy and cost-effective for families.
4. Provide an on-site sitter
Adults traveling with their kids might still want to sneak away for a night to relax and reconnect. Screening and electing trusted nannies to care for visiting children would make a huge impression on your guests. You might want to make nannies available at more times than just evenings — sometimes, parents wish to partake in the daytime, non-kid-friendly activities, too.
Bigger hotels and resorts take this to a new level by planning kids’ camps, which entertain little ones all day while parents do their thing. Such an offering should never feel like daycare, though. Parents want to know their children are having fun too, so putting together a slate of memorable activities will keep everyone happy. With enough participants, kids’ camp could be a moneymaker and a draw for potential guests.
5. Prepare kids’ kits
Even the most organized moms and dads will probably forget something their child needs. Such an oversight can be stressful for parents and kids while on the road. Your hotel can bridge this gap with pre prepared kits of must-haves.
For instance, parents traveling with toddlers might need playmats, training potties or kid-friendly DVDs. They might want to rent strollers, depending on the size of your hotel’s property. Swimming floats and other safety-minded accessories could put people at ease, too.
Think ahead and have some of these items on hand. It’s up to you if you want to make them complementary or rent them out. Either way, you will delight parents who would otherwise be upset to have forgotten the necessities.
Make them all happy
It doesn’t take much to please multigenerational visitors — the above five points prove that. All traveling families want to make memories together in a place where everyone feels comfortable. With just a few steps, you can make sure your hotel is that destination.