12/16/2011 04:19 pm ET

Multigenerational Travel On The Rise: Our Top 8 Destinations

Some 40 percent of U.S. leisure travelers, nearly 21 million people, took a multigenerational trip in the previous 12 months, according to a new study by Preferred Hotels, and this may just be the tip of the iceberg.

"Because of their numbers, frequency of travel, and use of traditional travel agents, the multigenerational traveler presents a powerful opportunity for the international travel market," noted Lindsey Ueberroth, President of Preferred Hotel Group in a statement.

Geographically, families live farther away from each other than at any time in history, and millions of Post 50s are trading briefcases for roller bags. With time, health and disposable income on their hands, they are taking the kids and grandkids along.

Of the multigenerational travelers surveyed, four in ten had traveled outside the continental U.S., and a third had been to Europe. Among the other findings:

-They travel more often: The typical multigenerational traveler takes more trips (4.4 per year) than the non-multigenerational control group (3.6 per year).

-Multigenerational travelers are planning "Milestone Vacations": More than three-quarters had planned a vacation around a life event such as a birthday (50%), anniversary (40%), family reunion (39%), and wedding (37%).

Preferred anticipates more travel companies offering special packages and programs to cater to the market, such as group pricing, celebration event packages, multiple-room packages, family-style dinners, and reunion activities. In 2012, Preferred is launching a family website with a section for people planning multigenerational trips.

Huff/Post50 teamed up with Hotwire to identify some top destinations for multigenerational travelers. Check out the slide show and vote for your favorite!

Top 8 Destinations For Multigenerational Travel