• Family jumping at sunset

    6 Winning Strategies for Families That Travel Together

    <b>From the mailbag: </b><br>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.<br><br><b>#1 Unpack everybody’s stress. </b><br>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 <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/moroccofamily/" target="_blank">Morocco’s Saharan desert</a> or sea kayaking off the coast of <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/alaskafamily/" target="_blank">Alaska</a> re-channels energy and breaks the rinse-and-repeat cycle of everyday life. Muscles relax, smiles widen, bonds grow.<br><br><span style="color: black;"><span style="font-family: calibri,sans-serif;"><span style="font-size: 11.0pt;"><img alt="Girl&#39;s Kayaking in Alaska" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y50000001bnZT&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM50000000jgya" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></span></span></span> <br><br><b>#2 Mix it up to build experiences. </b><br>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 <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/galapagosfamily/" target="_blank">Galápagos</a> one year, or a trip to explore <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/grandcanyonfamily/" target="_blank">Bryce, Zion and Grand Canyon</a> National Parks. The variety spices up life, and the memories you make are more memorable when you step outside your traditional comfort zone.<br> <br><b>#3 Upend everybody.</b><br>There’s no better time than on vacation to try on a new role. Car-pool mom can become zip-line mom in <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/costaricafamily/" target="_blank">Costa Rica</a>. La-Z-Boy gramps can slip into a glacier-melt snorkeling suit in <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/iceland-family-adventure-tour/" target="_blank">Iceland</a>. The same shape-shifting happens with teens, too, as your tech geek cuts turf in <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/irelandfamily/" target="_blank">Ireland</a> or a soccer jock participates in a Buddhist alms ceremony in <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/vietnamfamily/" target="_blank">Laos</a>. Family vacations like these are a free pass to try something new (and very possibly life-changing).<br><br><span style="font-family: calibri,sans-serif;"><span style="font-size: 11.0pt;"><span style="color: black;"><img alt="Woman zip lining in Costa Rica" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y50000001bnZT&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM50000000jgzE" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></span></span></span><br><br><b>#4 Turn “heads down” into eyes wide open. </b><br>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 <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/panamafamily/" target="_blank">Panama</a> or whale-watching in <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/novascotiafamily/" target="_blank">Nova Scotia</a>, touchscreens go untouched. Even if your phone is also your camera, you’ll find that grabbing shots of baby sea lions in the <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/galapagosfamily/" target="_blank">Galápagos</a> 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.<br><br><b>#5 Don’t worry about bumps in the road. </b><br>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 <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/italyfamily/" target="_blank">Florence</a> or juggle activities to take advantage of, particularly fine weather for sailing on an America’s Cup yacht in <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/new-zealand-north-south-island-family-tours/" target="_blank">New Zealand</a>.<br><br><img alt="Family walking the streets of Havana" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y50000001bnZT&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM50000000jhC3" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img><br> <br><b>#6 Family travel is an even better idea than you think it is.</b><br>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.<br>  <br> 

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  • Woman on Cliff in Iceland

    Oh, Those Icelanders

    <h3><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/iceland-tours/" target="_blank">THINGS GET INTERESTING WHEN 320,000 PEOPLE</a><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/iceland-tours/" target="_blank"> LIVE ON AN ISLAND WITH 130 VOLCANOES</a></h3> <p>Fresh home from a <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/iceland-tours/" target="_blank">trip to Iceland</a>, traveler Julie Hart gave her guide one of the highest and most extreme compliments ever: “I want to be with Atli when the zombie apocalypse comes.” Taking nothing away from one of the island’s finest guides, you’re likely to feel the same way about many of the Icelanders you meet.<br><br><img alt="Woman on Cliff in Iceland" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y50000001z7kw&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM500000002lUw" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img><br><br>Glaciers, auks, volcanoes and rollicking off-road truck rides are among the draws that have turned <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/iceland-tours/" target="_blank">Iceland into a top travel pick for 2017</a>. You’ll have to accept that you’re still on Earth, though at the foot of a mist-shrouded mountain with the subtle thunder of a calving glacier in the distance, you can easily have a Planet X moment. It probably shouldn’t be a surprise that the people who live here are a special breed.<br><br><img alt="Guide Atli in Iceland" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y50000001z7kw&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM500000002lV1" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img><br><br>Iceland’s entire population is roughly the same as St. Louis, Missouri, and a third of them live in Reykjavik. The city is outside the country’s major volcanic zone, but there’s a popular theory that the island’s combustible geology and the changeability of North Atlantic weather have made it an evolutionary advantage to be spontaneous and independent. It’s a country where no one quibbles over your credentials as a Viking priestess. Being a professional shark fisherman is a thing here because, after all, one of the national dishes is fermented and dried shark. Everybody seems to know a glacier guide or two.<br><br><img alt="Icelandic mountains" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y50000001z7kw&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM500000002lV6" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img><br><br>According to the World Economic Forum, Icelanders are the Friendliest People in the World. As you’ll quickly discover, they certainly take good care of each other and of visitors, too. Thanks to their almost eccentric sense of fairness, Iceland is home to the world’s oldest parliament founded in 930. It’s emblematic of these people and this place because it was located deep in the wilderness so that no chieftain had to travel more than 17 days to get there.<br><br><img alt="Woman on crack in Iceland" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y50000001z7kw&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM500000002lVG" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img><br><br>The “let’s-do-it!” gene is a dominant trait in Atli and his guide colleagues. That drive over the lava flow to get to the waterfall is nothing at all. If he spots wild mushrooms and herbs, he might forage them for a chef. And when a shift in the wind opens a cloud to pull a sharp shaft of sunlight down on the estuary, he’ll stop everything to take it in. Icelanders take their pleasures as they come, without a question – and it’s hard to resist people who grab life so boldly.<br><br><img alt="Woman holding ice from glacier in Iceland" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y50000001z7kw&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM500000002lVL" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></p> <p> </p>

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  • Family jumping

    Families Dream Bigger this Summer

    <h3>WHAT’S HIGH ON THE LIST FOR THE NEXT GENERATION OF TRAVELERS</h3> <p>For traveling families, 2017 is shaping up as a primo check-it-off-your bucket-list year. Junkets to the beach and amusement parks aren’t going away. But a generational shift is underway as kids are being shown at earlier ages how to dream big when it comes to vacation. “I’m fierce about making sure everyone in my family is an aspirational traveler,” says Jim of New York City. If that means formulating a bucket list for them, he is fine with that. “Actually, nobody objects when I say, <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/costa-rica-tours/" target="_blank">‘Pack your bags. We’re going to Costa Rica.’”</a> It’s easy to see why. A change of venue shakes up family patterns in good ways. When the experiences are new for everybody — a hummingbird lands on your finger or you share an adrenaline rush on a whitewater raft — the fun is mutual<br><br><img alt="Whitewater rafting" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y50000001z7l3&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM500000002qcc" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img><br>.</p> <h3>UPPING YOUR EXPECTATIONS</h3> <p>Selfish motives are permissible, too, when you plan a blockbuster family vacation. Plenty of adults have been to <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/italyfamily/" target="_blank">Venice, Florence and Rome.</a> And who among us hasn’t wished for a reason to go back? Returning doesn’t have to mean repeating yourself. <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/family/" target="_blank">Planning a family vacation </a>to Italy’s top cities includes gliding with a gondolier into Venice’s hidden canals, seeing David in Florence with an art expert without standing in line, and a gladiator training session in Rome. After this summer, the kids will be hunting for future reasons to return, too. “Frankly, I like to mess with their expectations,” quips Becky of San Diego, California, referring to her love of a multi-generational vacation that veers away from clichés. <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/switzerland-family/" target="_blank">A multisport trip to the Swiss Alps</a> fits that bill. You go mushing with a dogsledder and his team, walk on a glacier with an expert guide, and get a lesson in cheese making from alpine dairy farmers. “My family really wanted to go to Switzerland. They just didn’t know it in advance!”<br><br><img alt="Gondola ride in Venice" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y50000001z7l3&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM500000002qcr" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img><br> </p> <h3>CONNECT TO THE CULTURE</h3> <p>In warmer climates, <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/cubafamily/" target="_blank">Cuba is at the head of the pack again for summer ’17</a>. Of all of the never-before experiences you’ll have, one of the coolest is to meet a family of classic-car restorers in their workshop. Even better, they hop behind the wheels of their tail-finned treasures and take you for a cruise in the streets of Havana. You just lean back, laugh and return the waves of the super-friendly Cubans. A lot of us know people who remember Cuba before the Revolution. Your Family will come home with its own stories and bragging rights for being there at this turning point in history. <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/moroccofamily/" target="_blank">Add Morocco to your must-visit list, too.</a> When you greet the Berber nomads known as Blue Men, ride their camels into the Saharan dunes and sleep in their encampment, it’s impossible not to rethink how the world works. In the span of a few days, you can have an incredibly fun trip where you also explore the medina of Fes, go mountain biking in oases and see the snake charmers of Marrakesh. This is the power of travel to open eyes and minds. “We used to default to resort vacations,” Becky remembers, “because it was just easier for me to make it happen.” Therein lies the best rationale for expanding your clan’s vacation wish list this summer.<br><br><img alt="Camel ride in Morocco" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y50000001z7l3&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM500000002qcm" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img><br><br> </p> <h3><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/" target="_blank">YOU CAN SHOW YOUR FAMILY HOW TO ASPIRE TO</a></h3> <h3>MORE — AND HAVE A FABULOUS TIME</h3> <h3>MAKING IT COME TO LIFE.</h3>

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