Anything can be made new through the eyes of a child. The overflowing enthusiasm a child experiences when seeing a penguin in the wild or looking at the Serengeti from a hot-air balloon is contagious to even the most jaded traveler.
Sharing the world with children creates treasured memories yet can be a headache to plan yourself. That’s why multigenerational group travel has recently been on the rise. Loyalty group travel planners took note and have been introducing multigenerational travel options for years now. For example, Mary Beth Kurasek, director of Busey Bank’s travel club, makes sure to include a yearly grandparents and grandchildren outing.
Planning for this type of tour can seem intimidating, since you have to keep all age groups in mind every step of the way. But with a little research, multigenerational tours can quickly become your group members’ favorite way to travel.
How do you choose a destination that excites both a 60-year-old and a 6-year-old? It might be easier than you think.
Many tour operators have paved the way by identifying destinations that all ages enjoy. For example, when Abercrombie and Kent’s staff begin constructing a new tour for its Family Journeys brand, they do is to consider the variety of activities available.
“Certain destinations offer a lot of different activities, which is what you want,” said Jean Fawcett, media relations manager for Abercrombie and Kent. “The Galapagos is a great multigenerational destination. I did it two years ago with my mother and my sons. It worked well for all of us with the range of activities and interest levels available.”
Active places like the Galapagos allow plenty of options for a grandmother who wants to rest on board the boat while the grandchildren take an active morning hike.
Multigenerational tours can also go beyond what you might expect, as Tauck’s family travel brand, Tauck Bridges, proves.
“We take people to locations you don’t necessarily think of as a place you would take a family,” said Steve Spivak, vice president of global sales for Tauck.
Activities for One and All
Dragging an unappreciative child through the Louvre might sound unpleasant. But the idea of an adult appreciating the Louvre’s art while the child enjoyed a scavenger hunt through the museum sounds much more manageable for everyone.
Tour operators like Tauck always try to build in activities that all ages love, as well as ones geared toward individual age groups.
“It’s always a constant balance to keep the kids engaged while not falling into the trap of dumbing it down,” said Spivak. “Certainly, you don’t want to go through the Bordeaux region of France without a wine tasting, but that’s not a good activity for the kids. So you have to create moments of togetherness and moments where everyone can find their own meaning.”
For instance, all ages can appreciate short hikes, wildlife safaris and engaging workshops.