Guest Author - Candyce H. Stapen
Adventures aren’t superfluous; these special experiences, whether high-end dream trips in Kenya tracking elephants and wildebeest or budget sleepovers exploring sea wonders at your local science museum, create important family bonds and bring more bonuses than the same old trips.
Unusual outings, whether day trips or dream adventures, deliver much joy. First, adults and kids look forward to the out-of-the-ordinary activity. Then, they revel in the event’s excitement and afterwards, they cherish the memories.
More and more high-end outfitters are putting family-oriented vacations, including trips targeted to multigenerational groups. & Beyond, Butterfield and Robinson, Austin-Lehman and other noted adventure companies, report a dramatic increase in multi-generational trips in the last few years.
“There has been a definite shift in the last ten years toward experiential travel,” says Kathy Stewart, spokesperson for Butterfield & Robinson. “People are looking to create memories with their families more than ever.”
With families scattered geographically, vacations serve as prime time for family gatherings. Instead of, or in addition to, descending on the lake house, families are booking multigenerational adventures. Whether you want to trek the nature paths in the Galapagos, travel to the temples of Thailand, hike the back roads of France, pedal through Holland or raft Alaska’s rivers, there’s a tour company that can make the experience fun, safe and exciting for your family.
These outfitters create less physically challenging itineraries aimed at kids and seniors plus add-in destination specific cultural experiences. In Guatemala, learn to cook empanadas, in Kenya master fire-starting Maasai style and in China listen to music played on traditional instruments.
“The joy of buying a new car or home entertainment center will fade over time,” says Dan Austin, director of Austin-Lehman Adventures. “But the satisfaction and benefits of a great vacation experience delivers a lifetime of great memories and keeps you coming back for more.”
Many exotic family vacations come with a hefty price tag, but you can also enjoy a budget adventure by taking advantage of opportunities in your city as well as booking a nature-oriented family camp hosted by national parks and conservation organizations.
The Sierra Club, for example, offers outings inexpensive outings in many cities plus an array of hiking, rafting and cultural trips, typically priced less than luxury trips to the same destinations.
During an overnight at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History, Washington, D.C., go on search-light led scavenger hunts of the exhibits, create crafts and see an IMAX movie. In Boston get an up-close and free view of the heavens by star-gazing at the observatories at Boston University and at Harvard. Take advantage of New York City’s unusual tours to browse multi-ethnic eateries, go shopping with your teens or visit the Big Apple’s famous toy stores.
There are many ways to add some adventure to your life. You and your family will be glad you did.