Last updated: 10:00 AM ET, Thu April 21 2016

Is Travel the Newest Passover Tradition?

Features & Advice | Janeen Christoff | April 21, 2016

Is Travel the Newest Passover Tradition?

PHOTO: Travel for Passover is a growing trend. (courtesy Thinkstock)

Traveling for the eight days of Passover is becoming more and more popular as hotels and resorts cater to Jewish families visiting during the holiday. This particular niche is growing to more and more destinations around the globe, as the trend grows in popularity and destinations spread farther afield. Heading to Florida, the Catskills or Israel is still the most common but, these days, having your Seder somewhere like Mexico, Miami Beach or even Italy or Greece is not unheard of.

Travel agent Jessica Pentland, owner of Clementine Travels, a Cruise Planners Agency, sees the advantages of traveling for Passover within her own family.

“Modern Jewish families, like mine, are often cast across the globe, and opportunities to see each other are rare, so we use the holiday as a Jewish spring break,” said Pentland. “For example, this year the family will come together for a week at a Hawaiian resort. Our beautiful Bubbe will be poolside with a lava flow, not slaving over a hot stove making flavorless boiled chicken, and the kids will be destroying the beach instead of someone’s house. It’s the perfect way to celebrate our peoples’ freedom from slavery and appreciate how far we have come.”

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She said that hotels often cater to Jewish families traveling for Passover.

“Most higher-end properties will plan a kosher menu with you, arrange a private banquet room for your Seder and provide waitstaff. Just bring your Haggadah and favorite Seder plate and sit down, relax, eat and enjoy your family.”

Atlantis Paradise Island in Nassau, Bahamas, is a prime example of a hotel that caters to Jewish families celebrating Passover away from home. The resort features an array of accommodations, a variety of activities, 20 swimming areas, a kids water park, 11 swimming pools, an abundance of activities, world-class entertainment, kids camps and, of course, award-winning kosher cuisine prepared by a dedicated culinary staff.

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The five-star Rancho Bernardo Inn is another upscale option for Passover celebrations. In addition to all of the property’s amenities such as an award-winning spa, inviting gardens and Mediterranean-style décor, the property offers a Passover menu that is hard to beat. The Passover holiday includes three Glatt Kosher meals daily, prepared fresh under the rabbinical supervision of the Vaad Harabonim of San Diego.

There is also a variety of entertainment throughout the holiday including programming for children and Jewish scholars in residence.

Other niches are also developing around Passover, such as tours and cruises that cater to Jewish guests. Many families are starting to look beyond just hotel accommodation and Pentland suggested families consider taking a cruise over the holiday due to both convenience and price.

“Sailing as a group can be an even better value, as the cruise line will add extra amenities when booking multiple cabins,” she said.

As Passover travel continues to push the boundaries of international travel, some think that it may diminish the family focus, but others see travel as an advantage and as a way to reconnect without the stress of preparations. So, maybe instead of “Next year in Jerusalem,” more families will be saying “Next year in … Hawaii.”


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