Traveling in groups isn't limited to families, either. Luxury travel operator Abercrombie & Kent also reported that 11 percent of its reservations in 2011 were for groups of five more, compared to eight percent the year before.
As might be expected, resorts are focusing on the large-group angle, creating programs and specialties for families and those traveling with a crowd. The all-inclusive Curtain Bluff Resort in Antigua is running a multi-gen package valid from May 15-July 28, based on two interconnecting junior suites for seven nights, and includes private sunset sail on a 49-foot sail boat; private family cocktail party at The Bluff House; and photographer for family portrait, to include CD of the shots, for a cost of $8,950. Additional junior suites are available at $4,325 for the week. Check it out at www.curtainbluff.com
Villas are ideal for family travelers and on the 1,400-acre private island of Mustique in the Grenadines, there are 74 rentable villas, from two to nine bedrooms, fetching anywhere from $6,000 to $150,000 a week. Mustique's only resort, the Cotton House, has 17 suites and babysitting services. Anyone staying on the island has access to nine beaches and a downtown market, and kid activities including pony camp, tennis camp, sailing classes and movie nights. Check it all out at www.mustique-island.com and www.cottonhouse.net
In Turks and Caicos, the upscale The Somerset on Grace Bay has 53 villas and estates and new this year is the "Caicos Kids Club," a free program for kids ages five to 12 and run by certified teachers from a local school, a day program that offers a variety of changing, kid-friendly activities. They also have a group kids' dinner on select evenings to give their parents some alone time. Rates at the resort, with accommodations ranging from 1,400 to 5,000 square feet, start at $900 a night. For more info, visit www.thesomerset.com