Launched this autumn, Two Point Four is a new travel company that designs experiential trips for parents with children aged two to five years old, as well as their older siblings. Whether it’s surfing in Bali or volcano hiking in Costa Rica, Globetrender speaks with founder Richard Liddle about why travel is the ultimate educator.
What is Two Point Four and why is it innovative?
Two Point Four is a new small group experiential travel company focusing on families with young children, as young as two years old. We believe that “fly and flop” is a thing of the past and as cliché as it sounds, travel does not have to stop when you have young kids, nor does it have to become beach, resort or kids’ club focused.
We offer a unique approach to small group travel allowing families to share experiences, as well as giving parents the freedom to enjoy activities and adventures that they may have had to skip in the past.
Whilst they are doing this, their children will be taking part in their own activities under the professional and experienced eye of our childcare supervisors. With an average of three to four families per group, parents and children will be able to build meaningful connections with their shared sense of adventure, whilst confident in the knowledge that they can spend quality time alone and with just their family whenever they wish.
What motivated you to launch it?
My motivation to launch Two Point Four was inspired by my own travels with my wife and my two-year-old son. We packed our bags and set about on an adventure that would change our lives forever encompassing 37 flights, 18 countries and five continents.
After experiencing the profound impact the trip had on my family and I, I felt compelled to launch Two Point Four so that other families could experience the same journey. I have also set up and run an adventure company in the past so travel and adventure has been a part of my DNA for many years.
Is it true that you are the only experiential family travel operator to cater to families with children under five years on the market? If so why is this?
Yes that is correct, currently no other experiential travel operators cater to children under five years old, as well as older siblings. We strongly believe that classrooms go beyond four walls and that travel adds tangibility to a child’s learning and development, as well as creating memories for the whole family.
The reason why no one is targeting this market, is probably because it is not an easy one to get right. We have managed to successfully build the industry’s trust in our approach and thanks to the focus we have put on safety and security, industry partners have got behind us and now see this as a huge opportunity to develop a new market.
How did you spot the gap in the market?
As I mentioned I was lucky enough to be able to travel the world with my own family and so many people expressed their desire to do something similar. I started researching the market because I was sure someone else out there must be doing it.
I found companies specialising in travel for solo people, people on gap years, those over 60, families with older children, as well as many special interests, but none for families with younger children. In my opinion no one deserves a holiday more than the parents of a toddler and so I combined my experience in the travel industry with my recent family adventures and set about creating Two Point Four.
How does Two Point Four work?
We expose families to new destinations and thrilling experiences that in the past would not have been accessible to them. Our local guides will show the families the best that each destination has to offer and take part in a range of activities that really immerses them in the communities.
Where the activities are not suitable for young children, our childcare staff will step in and ensure the children are entertained and kept busy allowing their parents the freedom to participate where they want.
Our childcare staff are mainly all European and have been working in this industry for a long time, giving parents the peace of mind they need to be able to relax and enjoy themselves. From a safety and operational standpoint, we’ve thought of everything.
What kinds of holidays/experiences can families book?
We strongly believe in small group travel with young children as this will allow families to forge new friendships with like-minded people. In addition to this we will also be running trips designed specifically for single parents.
However, if people prefer to travel with a group of friends or extended family or indeed just with their close family, we can take care of that and offer private bespoke tours.
We focus on wellness, nature, culinary, adventure and cultural activities as well as enjoying the space inbetween as a family. Initially we will offer a selection of destinations including Bali, Vietnam, Costa Rica, South Africa, Oman and Croatia with plans to keep expanding our portfolio.
What kinds of trends have you been observing within this sector?
Traditional family travel is shifting, for example more parents and grandparents are wanting to share travel experiences with their families leading to an increase in multi-generational trips.
Furthermore, an increasing number of families are voyaging far and wide in search of active or adventurous trips rather than beach resort stays, Two Point Four opens adventure up to families with children under five who may have felt challenged in the past to travel in this way as they did not feel it was possible, safe or secure to do so.
In addition to this, our itineraries have been designed to satisfy the desire to remain active and focus on your personal health and wellbeing as well as that of your children.
What kinds of families are you targeting?
The families that we are targeting, first and foremost, have to have a desire for adventure and exploration. People who value shared experiences over material possessions. If the parents have travelled and immersed themselves in different cultures and environments, we know they will value the importance of passing this sense of adventure onto the next generation of travellers.
Will you be catering for LBGT families at all?
All of our trips are all inclusive with regards to the families we welcome. We understand that in today’s modern and open society, families come in all variations and we value that as much as they do.
What do you hope children will be able to learn from your trips?
We believe our itineraries will enhance children’s learning and development from being exposed to new experiences, cultures and environments. Imagine, your toddler being able to greet in more than one language, create stories set in jungles or on mountaintops, hop to the drums of the Masai Mara and make the traditional bread of a forgotten tribe, because that’s the context we’re offering.
What do you hope to offer families that they can’t get from other travel companies?
Age is no longer a barrier. Whilst most travel companies only offer family trips to older children, we welcome families with children of all ages. Where the activities on offer are not suitable for the youngest members of the family, our qualified and experienced childcare staff are on hand to entertain the children with
fun activities and games, ensuring parents don’t miss out on the “must dos”,
We are showing families the freedom to explore, experience and excite.