From the mailbag:
You wouldn’t believe how many emails we get every day from guests who want to plan a family trip of a lifetime. And the questions aren’t only about where to go. They want to know how family trips work, what to expect, even how to “sell” the idea of a multi-generational vacation to all the generations within their own families. Here’s some advice you can really use from the travel-expert parents at Classic Journeys.
#1 Unpack everybody’s stress.
Adults don’t have a monopoly on stress. Over-scheduled kids race to keep up with their schedules, too. School, sports, and lessons from ballet to ACT prep … it all adds up. Everybody needs to recharge, even if they don’t think it’s true. A night in a Berber encampment in Morocco’s Saharan desert or sea kayaking off the coast of Alaska re-channels energy and breaks the rinse-and-repeat cycle of everyday life. Muscles relax, smiles widen, bonds grow.
#2 Mix it up to build experiences.
Plenty of families enjoy yearly trips to the same beach or mountain cabin. Nothing wrong with that. Yet, at some point, the summer of ’19 can start to be interchangeable with ’17 and ’15. The remedy is to add in, say, a week in the Galápagos one year, or a trip to explore Bryce, Zion and Grand Canyon National Parks. The variety spices up life, and the memories you make are more memorable when you step outside your traditional comfort zone.
#3 Upend everybody.
There’s no better time than on vacation to try on a new role. Car-pool mom can become zip-line mom in Costa Rica. La-Z-Boy gramps can slip into a glacier-melt snorkeling suit in Iceland. The same shape-shifting happens with teens, too, as your tech geek cuts turf in Ireland or a soccer jock participates in a Buddhist alms ceremony in Laos. Family vacations like these are a free pass to try something new (and very possibly life-changing).
#4 Turn “heads down” into eyes wide open.
Apple just introduced an app to minimize time spent in the blue glow of a smartphone. Travel is an even better way to achieve that goal. While you’re paddling to a rainforest village in Panama or whale-watching in Nova Scotia, touchscreens go untouched. Even if your phone is also your camera, you’ll find that grabbing shots of baby sea lions in the Galápagos is a lot more engaging that checking out cat videos or the Museum of Ice Cream on Instagram. The time you all spend in the same moment is time nobody can take away from you.
#5 Don’t worry about bumps in the road.
Pulling off any vacation requires somebody to keep things on track. It just doesn’t have to be you. Planning a trip with Classic Journeys lets you turn the reins over to a team dedicated to you and your family. Sure, you know the itinerary in advance, but you get to let go once the trip gets going. Experienced, well-connected and exceptionally fun local guides handle all the logistics. Your flock can skip the endless line to see Michelangelo’s David in Florence or juggle activities to take advantage of, particularly fine weather for sailing on an America’s Cup yacht in New Zealand.
#6 Family travel is an even better idea than you think it is.
We hear all kinds of motives. “I want my grandchildren to understand the world better.” “A cool trip is the only way I can bribe everybody to spend a week together.” “I want us all to have fun with each other like we used to.” Wherever you’re coming from, going on a travel adventure together really does work to make sure the people you love best stay deeply connected. And being the person who makes it all happen is incredibly satisfying.