• Kayak canoe on Emerald Lake, Canadian Rockies

    10 Reasons Why Families Should Absolutely Vacation Together

    Every family needs someone like you — the person who dreams big about how memorable it would be to get away together ... and who grabs the bull by the horns to make it happen. Every day, we help folks just like you plan a memorable multi-generation family vacation.<br><br><b>1. Think of it as stress release ... for everybody.</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. 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 <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/alaskafamily/" target="_blank">the coast of Alaska</a> re-channels energy and breaks the rinse-and-repeat cycle of everyday life. Muscles relax, smiles widen, bonds grow.<br><br><b>2. Try something new and different.</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 National Parks</a>. The variety spices up life and the memories you make are more memorable when you step outside your traditional comfort zone.<br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/grandcanyonfamily/" target="_blank"><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T0000026SFj&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000012BcE" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br><b>3. K.I.S.S. –  Keep it super simple.</b><br>The <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/family/" target="_blank">best family vacations</a> are the ones that are plug-and-play simple. After all, you don’t want to be obsessing about logistics while everybody else is having a good time. Arranging a family trip with Classic Journeys is a surefire way to treat everybody to an active, engaging, out-of-the-ordinary experience that will run like clockwork. This strategy works whether you’re pulling something together last minute or planning a year out. Whatever your personal planning style, we can make your next family vacation one of the simplest you’ve ever taken. <br><br><b>4. Turn “heads down” into eyes wide open. Don’t worry about bumps in the road.</b><br>Apple just introduced an app to minimize screen time. 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 than 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><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/novascotiafamily/" target="_blank"><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T0000026SFj&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000012BcJ" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><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. You can count on <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/" target="_blank">Classic Journeys</a> to dedicate a team of experts to make sure your vacation runs just right. It just doesn’t have to be you. Experienced, well-connected and exceptionally <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/local-tour-guides/" target="_blank">fun local guides</a> 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><b>6. Tempt your family into staying connected.</b><br>We hear all kinds of motives for<a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/family/" target="_blank"> family trips</a>. “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 <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/multisport-tours/" target="_blank">travel adventure</a> 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><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/costaricafamily/" target="_blank"><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T0000026SFj&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000012Bc9" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br><b>7. Prove that you’re cool enough to matter.</b><br>Rocket Grandma — our affectionate nickname for the leader of her family pack — didn’t just make sure her grandchildren could go zip lining and river rafting in <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/costaricafamily/" target="_blank">Costa Rica</a>. She geared up, strapped in and went for it herself. If you propose a vacation that sets your family free to set their own paces, you get some serious street cred, even if you decide to hit the spa while they take a roller coaster ride on the rapids. <br><br><b>8. See the USA (but not in a Chevrolet.)</b><br>The <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/usa/" target="_blank">U.S.</a> — and <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/canada-tours/" target="_blank">Canada</a> for that matter — offers great options for vacations that can fit neatly in a week. If any of you have driven together to <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/national-park-tours/" target="_blank">national parks</a>, you know that the old traditional quick in-and-out visits are not going to cut it now. And yet parks like <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/glaciernationalparkfamily/" target="_blank">Glacier </a>and the trio of <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/grandcanyonfamily/" target="_blank">Bryce, Grand Canyon, and Zion</a> are great venues for family travel when you explore with<a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/local-tour-guides/" target="_blank"> local guides</a> who get you past the crowds and into the real fun. (Dune surfing, anyone?)<br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/glaciernationalparkfamily/" target="_blank"><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T0000026SFj&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000012BcO" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br><b>9. Luxuriate in your time together.</b><br>“Back in ancient times — the 20th Century — we took some fairly economical vacations,” admits Debbie H. “We still could, but we’re all kind of over it.” That’s why she proposed their recent trip to <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/vietnamfamily/" target="_blank">Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia</a>. “We have more affection for <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/hotels/" target="_blank">luxury hotels</a> than we used to, and nobody seems to complain about that!” The luxury hotels and inns on our <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/family/" target="_blank">family trips</a> guarantee plenty of comforts.<br><br><b>10. Be smart and safe, but not boring.</b><br>Feeling safe and carefree is important, but don’t let caution cause you to settle for an overly timid trip. All of the destinations where Classic Journeys has handcrafted <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/family/" target="_blank">family trips</a> are places where you can all cut loose, have a super fun time, and feel perfectly secure in the process. Our super-well-connected<a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/local-tour-guides/" target="_blank"> local guides</a> know their regions inside out, and they know all of the where’s, how’s, do’s and don’ts you’ll ever need to have a smart and utterly unforgettable vacation together.

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  • Family jumping in field, Family Journeys

    Top 5 Family Vacations for 2019

    Taking a vacation with kids or teens is easy when you join us on an active family vacation. To help you choose your next family trip, we&#39;ve rounded up the top 5 family vacations for 2019. From <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/moroccofamily/" target="_blank">Morocco </a>to <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/iceland-family-adventure-tour/" target="_blank">Iceland</a>, these <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/family/" target="_blank">family itineraries</a> will satisfy the curiosity, energy levels and attention spans of multiple generations.<br><br><b><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/perufamily/" target="_blank">PERU &amp; MACHU PICCHU</a></b><br>Machu Picchu is on so many travelers’ Top 10 lists. After this family tour, your kids and teenagers will recommend it to their friends, too. You see, it&#39;s not just the wonders of Inca culture. This multi-sport vacation includes some real thrills like whitewater rafting on the Urubamba River and mountain biking in the <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/perufamily/" target="_blank">Inca&#39;s Sacred Valley</a>. Our local guides introduce them to llama herders and a Peruvian family who invites them to dinner. Just when it doesn&#39;t seem like it could get any better, we ascend to Machu Picchu. This mystery city peeks out of a cloud forest, and we provide personally guided visits to suit every age. (And if you&#39;re wondering about the altitude, our highest point is about what you&#39;d experience at a ski resort.)<br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/perufamily/" target="_blank"><img alt="Girl feeding Alpaca" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y50000001boOx&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM50000000jj7K" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br><b><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/galapagosfamily/" target="_blank">ISLAND-BASED GALÁPAGOS</a></b><br>The Galápagos Islands can really push a family’s “happy buttons.” The close-up looks at penguins and iguanas and sea lions are almost too cool to believe. The landscapes are like nothing you’ve ever seen, and the climate is great. Too bad for most visitors that they tour the islands by cruise ship. Everybody can get stir-crazy in the limited space. And the fun of ship-to-shore Zodiac rides wears off after 4 or 5 trips. That’s why we prefer an<a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/galapagos-tours/" target="_blank"> </a><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/galapagosfamily/" target="_blank">island-based Galápagos family vacation</a>. There’s plenty of elbow room to walk, swim in our boutique hotels’ pools, and watch for blue-footed boobies out the back door. You can go sea-kayaking right from the dock outside your door. We have easy access to clear lagoons for snorkeling, great trails for mountain biking, and white beaches for lounging. Even if you weren’t bumping into a titanic tortoise or a strutting flamingo at every turn, this would still be a fantastic active family vacation. And unlike those tourists marooned on their boats, we get to hang out with the locals and get a feel for what human life is like among the wildlife!<br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/galapagosfamily/" target="_blank"><img alt="Mom and children looking at an iguana in Galapagos" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y50000001boOx&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM50000000jj7P" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br> <br><b><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/moroccofamily/" target="_blank">MOROCCO</a></b><br>Our own kids say it was their best day EVER. Our <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/moroccofamily/" target="_blank">family vacation in Morocco</a> found us four-wheeling the Moroccan plains, then clambering onto a camel, swaying into steep Saharan dunes to watch the sun set, and settling into a Berber encampment to eat and sing and dance around the campfire before nodding off in a carpeted luxury tent. The very best day...unless you count spotting wild monkeys on a walk in a cedar forest, hanging out with shepherd families, watching the snake charmers in Marrakesh, squeezing past donkey carts in the ancient alleys of Fès, or biking along the dikes in an oasis. As adults, we love Morocco, and it&#39;s even better to enjoy family vacations in Morocco with the kids. The terrain ranges from snow-capped mountains to deep, colorful valleys carpeted with fields and date palms. You&#39;ll meet members of our extended family who welcome us onto their farms and into their homes. We stay in lovely hotels, every one with a swimming pool. And the best surprise of all is the warmth and pride with which the Moroccans welcome us and make everyone feel comfortable and well cared for.<br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/moroccofamily/" target="_blank"><img alt="Children in the Sahara Desert in Morocco" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y50000001boOx&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM50000000jj7U" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br> <br><b><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/italyfamily/" target="_blank">VENICE, FLORENCE, &amp; ROME</a></b><br>Join us in these three must-see cities...to see them like most families never get the chance! In one perfectly timed week, you&#39;ll <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/italyfamily/" target="_blank">discover the best of Italy</a> without feeling like you&#39;re in a rush. Our local guides know how to get you a ride in the best gondolas, find the creamiest gelato and pull strings to get kid-friendly access to Michelangelo&#39;s David and the Sistine Chapel. Near Florence, you&#39;ll live and play like a Tuscan famiglia at a countryside hotel with swimming pool, easy access to bicycles and walking paths, and a treasure hunt in Siena. We bring sprawling Rome down to size from the Trevi Fountain to the Colosseum. Best of all, you&#39;ll meet pizza-makers, art experts, and gladiator trainers whom all give Italy a happy personal spin for your family. <span> </span><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/italyfamily/" target="_blank"><img alt="Family on gondola ride in Venice" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y50000001boOx&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM50000000jj7Z" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br> <br><b><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/iceland-family-adventure-tour/" target="_blank">ICELAND</a></b><br>Iceland may just be <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/iceland-family-adventure-tour/" target="_blank">the perfect outdoor family vacation</a> destination. How can you go wrong with volcanoes and puffins and walking on glaciers and rides on Icelandic horses? The island has a unique cultural story and a bubbling, steaming, erupting geology that’s unlike anywhere else on earth. Short attention spans do well in Iceland because there are so many fun and different things to do. If you’re not walking on a black beach, you’re snorkeling in clear-as-glass water or walking in wavy lava fields. And all of the multisport activities are included at no extra cost. In the company of your local guide, you’ll get the inside scoop on the human history and tectonic action that is constantly changing this amazing land. Family-friendly hotels include a deep country lodge named the “Best Hotel in Iceland” and a hip Reykjavik property right on the main shopping street. Prepare to be totally amazed!<br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/iceland-family-adventure-tour/" target="_blank"><img alt="Girl petting Icelandic horse" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y50000001boOx&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM50000000jj7e" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br> 

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  • Group of kids in Cuba

    Cuban and American Kids Connect (with a little help from our friends).

    <p>One of the best benefits of spending extended time in Cuba for the last 4 years, is that we’ve been able to create long-term friendships there. A regular highlight of our <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/cubafamily/" target="_blank">Cuba for Families</a> and <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/cuba-travel/" target="_blank">Havana to Viñales trips</a> is a visit to a small rural school. We know the principal and the teachers, and best of all our tour leaders like Heather Harding and Eric Kessler have come to know the kids themselves.<br><br><img alt="School children in Cuba" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y50000001z7kz&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM500000002qWt" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img><br> </p> <p>Back home in Washington state, Heather had the idea of connecting the students at her local schools with the Cuban kids she’s come to know. The result has been an amazing pen pal style back-and-forth. Check out this article in the <a href="https://www.ptleader.com/stories/pen-pals-connect-cuba-chimacum,16128/" target="_blank">Port Townsend Leader</a> for the whole story.</p> <p>One of the perks is how enthusiastically our guests are greeted whenever we arrive at the school. <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/" target="_blank">The people of Classic Journeys are a “known quantity”</a>, so there’s no shyness or need to work our way through school bureaucracy to get inside the classroom for an experience that basically defines “immersive”.<br><br>After scores of adventures in Cuba, we’re thrilled to get that kind of reception wherever we go. While a lot of visitors to the island end up feeling like spectators, we’re welcomed as friends. The difference is incredibly important. For instance, in Havana our friends Julio and Nidialys love it when we stop by the workshop where they restore and update classic cars. There’s none of the distance or testing of the waters that happens when strangers meet strangers. The welcome is warm and immediate, and we get full value from our time together. The same thing happens from the tobacco farms in the <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/cuba-travel/" target="_blank">Viñales Valley</a> to the Santeria temple in Trinidad.<br><br><img alt="Cuban car workshop" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y50000001z7kz&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM500000002qXI" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img><br><br><br>If you follow the news, you know that travel to Cuba has skyrocketed in the last couple of years. We think that’s nothing but good for the island. But large groups of travelers suffer the same problems in Cuba as they do anywhere in the world. <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/" target="_blank">Our small groups, averaging just 10-12 guests, </a>avoid the traps of only going to places that can cope with a swarm of visitors. As time has gone by, we’ve only found more and more opportunities to slip out of the mainstream and relax into our visits. It’s the difference between marching in lockstep and being waved down by a friend for a leisurely conversation.<br><br>On the flip side, the Americans who are trying to visit Cuba on their own are shut out of these experiences too. A teacher won’t temporarily suspend a lesson for a casual passerby. If you walk into a cigar-rolling workshop on your own, you’ll get a pre-packaged reception rather than the clear signal that it’s just fine if you want to hang around for a while to learn what’s happening.<br><br><img alt="Cuban cigar workshop" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y50000001z7kz&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM500000002qXN" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img><br> </p> <p>We’re proud of the kind of work that Heather and Eric do to create and sustain our relationships with the wonderful Cuban people. And nothing makes us happier than when we get to share those warm and happy connections with the good people who travel with us.</p>

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