Jon and I have been traveling together for about four years already, and we’ve seen many different types of adventure travelers, mostly solo, backpackers, flashpackers and those who are considerably younger. That’s probably the reason why I thought adventure travel is only for a certain age group and that activities for families traveling together had to be less adventurous and perhaps not quite as fun!
This perception all changed when I finally went back to the Philippines to visit my family, including a niece we had never met and my elderly grandparents. So that you know, we didn’t have plans to go to the Philippines just yet. However, I had begun to miss my family, especially when I found out that my grandfather was hospitalized. I thought to myself, “A lot of our readers are happy with our adventures, it’s about time that I share the happiness of traveling to the people I love the most – my family.” So you see, we spent most of our time in the Philippines with them and without even realizing it, we began to plan our first multi-generational family travel adventure! And yes folks, this is highly recommended, I never thought that family travel could be so much fun!
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What Makes Multigenerational Travel Different?
While it is fun to organize multi-generational travel, you have to take note that this is different from planning a couple’s or a solo adventure travel vacation. It is a bit more meticulous as you have to consider people from different age groups. You wouldn’t want to make plans just for the elderly as the younger ones might get bored. The same way that you can’t plan so many physical activities that the older ones will have to skip and feel left out, or too old. Womens’ travel plans might be different to men and so on. You need to find balance! To be honest, that’s quite challenging but in the end – truly rewarding.
Based on our experience, here are the things that we needed to consider before we had our memorable multigenerational travel adventure. If you are planning to have a DIY family trip, checking our quick list might just help you out.
Renting a Car – Since we were in the Philippines, public transportation is not as easy as in many other countries. We had to rent a car, especially when we stayed in the central Metro Manila so that we could easily drive around and fetch my grandparents from the province. Make sure you consider the headcount for your travel adventure as well as the physical abilities of all your passengers, as this will provide you an idea of which vehicle to rent.
Choosing your Stops – When you are traveling with an elderly relative and with kids, you can’t expect them to sit down for long hours with a bathroom break! Make sure you do a bit of research first on the stops that you can make. Since you are traveling with the ‘seasoned’ ones and the young ones, make sure to choose stops with decent restrooms!
Planning your Activities – It is of great importance that you know which activities will make your family members happy. For example, if the kids or the teens would like to go bungee jumping, you should also create specific activities for the older generations. How about some museum or monumental visits? That way, everyone from the family can enjoy and will feel that there is something prepared specially for them. Of course, many grandparents get more happiness out of watching their grandkids have fun than anything else you could plan!
Checking the Facilities – You also have to consider the facilities. When you are a solo traveler, or a backpacker you don’t think of the facilities that much, you just get on with it and carry hand sanitizer gel. But when you are traveling with your family, particularly with the elderly, you have to check if the facilities can accommodate their needs. Otherwise, you will have to worry about it as you travel and that’s not going to help you enjoy your adventure.
Travel Pace – In addition, take note of your travel speed. Traveling with family is different than when you are traveling alone. You need to slow your travel pace so everyone can have time to appreciate each destination and activity without getting worn out.
Overall Travel Experience and Expectations – The real challenge is how you are going to combine all these activities into one travel adventure. We only had to plan a short trip within my own country, and it was a challenge to keep everyone happy. That’s why I’m glad there are companies like Vantage Travel, which specialize in creating amazing multigenerational family travel adventures.
While we know that we still have at least two or three more years left of traveling as a couple, without children of our own, we enjoyed our family trip and wanted to be able to plan more. So with that in mind, we have searched for some of the best family and multigenerational adventure travel itineraries we could find. And now that we know perhaps, I can treat my grandparents to an overseas trip next time!
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Here are five family adventures that are perfect for your future multi-generational vacations
1. River Cruising in Europe – Culinary Delights & Historic Treasures on the Seine
River cruising with family can be such an amazing experience. This activity knows no age limits. It can be enjoyed by your grandparents down to your little toddlers. Imagine seeing great sights while you savor fantastic culinary masterpieces on board.
Check out some of the reasons why you need to join a river cruise in Europe.
2. Road Trip USA – Canyonlands of the American Southwest
If you are planning to go to the USA, the entire family shouldn’t miss this vital part of American history and heritage. Be blown away with some of the country’s most spectacular gifts of nature. With Vantage Travel, you can even have a walking tour of Sedona, Arizona and ride the historic Grand Canyon Railroad. You can definitely embrace the real Wild West on this trip!
3. The Ultimate Family Safari – Best of Africa: South Africa, Zimbabwe, Botswana & Namibia
Can you just imagine how cool it will be to travel in Africa with your family? This is the ultimate travel adventure in some of the only remaining authentic wilderness in the world. Apart from seeing amazing animals, you also have the chance to experience a home – hosted dinner and to see the home of Nelson Mandela. And if you want some serious shopping, Vantage Travel will take you to the local market where you can easily haggle and bargain with the lovely vendors.
4. Canada by Train – Majestic Canadian Rockies by Train, Seaplane & Ferry
This is the perfect way to explore the Canadian wilderness from comfort and warmth, with panoramic views all around. Given this everyone, regardless of their age, will be able to enjoy the tour. You can even check out the Capilano Suspension Bridge or have an adventurous ride on Hell’s Gate Tram over Fraser River. As well as that, you also get to see Icefields Parkway, Athabasca Falls, and the Glacier Skywalk!
5. Ireland: A Deluxe Journey to the Emerald Isle
Many people around the world, Americans in particular, have British and Irish roots. So, imagine traveling with your parents or grandparents and seeing them rediscover their roots in places they may only have heard about in stories from their own parents! Not only that, you get to see and experience the local life and dine with locals. Take this tour with Vantage Travel and have 20 sightseeing tours and cultural connections. This includes a visit to the Cliffs of Moher; scenic drive through the Burren, sheep shearing demonstrations at Rathbaun Farm, a boat trip in Glengarriff and a tour of Blarney Castle among many others. There is definitely something for all the members of the family.
What we realized by having our own multi-generational travel adventure?
We realized just how different family and multigenerational travel could be from the type of travel that we’re more familiar with, but we also learned that traveling with family doesn’t have to restrict you either, you simply have to choose the right destination, suitable activities and try to build in as much flexibility as possible to allow everyone to have the best experience. Vantage Travel has a lot of options to choose from, and I’ll definitely be taking another look when it comes to planning our first family adventure abroad!
This post is made possible by Vantage Travel. All tips and opinions are based on our own travel adventures.
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