Depending on how active and healthy grandparents are, there are a variety of options for taking the entire clan on a break. Cruises and beach resorts seem to be favorable for aging seniors who want to unpack once and have a variety of options to enjoy. However, if grandparents are fairly fit and ready to be on the go, a custom itinerary focusing on the desires of each family member may just be the ticket. The key is to find balance between together time and time for each family member to do what they please. Here are a few options for multi-generational travel that will suit most everyone’s needs.
Cruises are one of the best ways to see multiple cities, have a variety of activities to enjoy, and still have to unpack only once. If convenience and variety are important to your family, you can’t beat a cruise. While the Caribbean used to be the favorite destination, places which offer more cultural and active options are now being sought by families. Most cruise ships offer itineraries not only in Europe, but in Asia as well.
Disney Cruise Lines and Royal Caribbean are considered the best options for families but if the kids are a bit older and have outgrown the waterslides and bumper cars, consider Celebrity Cruises where youngsters enjoy Kids’ Camp at Sea, choosing from a variety of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) options as well as camps focused on culinary, art or recreation. There’s also X Club for teen entertainment, where everything from the latest gaming consoles, sports, to teen-only dance parties can be enjoyed. Celebrity has also completed certification for Autism at Sea, offering sensory-friendly toys and movies, dietary menu options and trained staff at the Fun Factory and other areas of the ships. Parents and grandparents can enjoy lectures about upcoming ports of call or enjoy a live Jazz concert at The Lawn Club. Get your dancing shoes on and move to the rhythm of the djs as they spin tunes for the Liquid Party or head for a nightcap at the ice-topped bar at Martini Bar and Crush.
Crystal Cruises is the best luxury cruise line for families. Yes, parents and grandparents can indulge in incredible cuisine and entertainment, but the kids also have Junior Activities ranging from crafts, board games and video games to cruises with a dedicated Junior Activities Director (holiday and special sailings) where there is a wide variety of activities planned for each age group. Activities may include pool games, scavenger hunts, karaoke, fashion shows and late night pool parties. Kids get their own Junior Cruisers dining menu and the Trident Grill serves complimentary hot dogs, pizza, hamburgers and such. Together, families can go canoeing in Croatia or snorkeling in Thailand. You can even customize a shore excursion specifically for your family with your own personal guide and vehicle, adding an element of exclusivity to each activity.
When you think about vacation resorts, most of us visualize a stunning beach where we can kick back with a cool beverage. This likely isn’t the vision most grandparents have so as a compromise, why not pick a great resort on an island that has more to do and see for those that don’t want to just sit on a beach?
Martinique is one such island, offering everything from historical monuments such as the Anse Cafard Slave Memorial to botanical gardens, waterfalls and the active volcano Mont Pelee. It’s capital, Fort-de-France, is known for its colonial architecture, museums, and historical sites. If it’s shopping you’re after, try Le Grand Marché Couvert a bustling bazaar for everything from produce to handicrafts. For a more upscale and refined experience, head to Rue Victor Hugo where the best of Parisian design awaits.
If your tribe is ready to venture a bit further, about 10 hours from San Francisco or Los Angeles, consider Fiji. Although it encompasses more than 300 islands, the 2 largest, Viti Levu and Vanua Levu, contain the bulk of the population. Suva is not only the capital but also one of the most cosmopolitan cities of the Pacific, with colonial-era buildings, parks, and a thriving nightlife. If you’re looking for a less touristy and more natural backdrop, head to Vanua Levu. Meet the locals in Vuadomo Village, explore the hiking trails of Wasali Nature Reserve, and dive or snorkel in Natawa Bay, where you might just meet a bottle-nose dolphin!
If mobility is not a concern and you have active adventurers in your crew, you can create your very own vacation catering to the various interests and activity levels of your group. You can blend grandpa’s love of golf with your kids’ desire to lounge on the beach and your curiosity to learn about the local customs, spending a few days discovering different areas of a country. The more I know about the interests of each family member, the better I can customize the trip to ensure everyone is engaged and having a great time.
Sure Ireland is a mecca for golf, but it also has the wonders of the Emerald Isle where you can visit Blarney Castle and kiss the famous stone as you enjoy stunning views of the green lands. Get everyone moving as you ride bicycles along the world-famous Lakes of Killarney and spend the night in a castle. Perhaps learn to cook at Ballymaloe, the only cooking school in the world on its own 100 acre organic farm or jive to the rhythms of Celtic music as you master the moves of Irish step dancing.
Why not head to Japan to experience the cherry blossom festival, the incredible Buddhist and Shinto temples or learn more about the fascinating world of Geishas. Take Taiko drumming lessons or engage in a traditional tea ceremony with a renowned tea master. Experience the exhilarating sights and sounds of Tokyo or relax at Kawaguchiko Onsen, a natural hot springs at the foot of Mt. Fuji. Stay in high rise hotels or opt for traditional ryokans. Japan offers something for every age group and its a delight to explore its blend of old world charm and modern city mayhem as a family.
There are endless options for a dream vacation that will leave every member of the family with memories to last a lifetime. Get in touch so we can get started!