Author: Scott Dye
Is your family itching to pack their suitcases and beeline to the airport? If so, you’re certainly not alone. Family travel is taking off globally and this trend is only expected to increase.
According to GlobalData, family travel is expected to rise by nearly 25% to 376 million trips annually by 2022. This rapid growth includes a rise in multi-generational family vacations, which presents an important question to consider – What’s the best way for my entire family to travel?
Countless options are available, but organized tours may offer the best opportunity for your family to share a more meaningful overall experience. Here’s 5 reasons organized tours are perfect for multi-generational family vacations:
1. Carefully selected safe and comfortable environments
Safety first! It’s a simple and timeless phrase, but your family’s vacation should begin and end with this principle. When traveling abroad to a new country, it’s extremely important to have a feel for what to expect in your new environment. Tapping into the knowledge of an experienced travel company can make all the difference. Traveling this way ensures your vacation is full of welcoming locals and locales.
Extra Note: Selecting a family-friendly company for your tour is also crucial to remember. It’s difficult to create itineraries with the right amount of free time, activities, and variety that a multi-generational vacation needs, and unfortunately, this isn’t something all tour companies have made a priority. In fact, it’s easy to fall into the 20-something backpacking crowd if you’re not careful when booking organized travel (request a catalog from Discover Corps to learn more about how we prioritize comfort and safety for the multi-generational family vacation).
2. Stress-reducing plans
Oftentimes half the battle while on vacation is deciding what to do. Getting a half dozen or so family members on the same page can leave anyone exhausted. Fortunately, your multi-generational family vacation can bypass this common pitfall by choosing to vacation with an organized tour.
Having your family activities pre-planned months before your flight may not sound like a big perk, but leaving the plans to someone else frees you up to relax, connect and make memories together. Let a seasoned travel company take care of logistics, transportation and finding the best local cuisine.
3. Flexible options for every family member (of any age)
Today, more than ever, travelers have unique needs. As any parent will attest, finding activities the whole family will enjoy is no easy task. Conveniently, organized tours offer the great benefit of thoroughly vetted, yet still authentic experiences. Whether it’s rafting in Costa Rica or being on safari in Kenya these vacations offer something for everyone. Having this flexibility is key.
A perfect example is this Family Volunteer Adventure in Costa Rica. Here, families have the option of an exciting morning on the rapids of the Rio Savegre or exploring the world-famous Manuel Antonio National Park to encounter monkeys, sloths and more. This means mom can take on the white-knuckle river ride with the kids, while dad joins the grandparents on the tropical tour!
Discover Corps guide Esther “Mama” Simba on our Tanzania: Safari & Service adventure.
4. Expert local guides
How great is the feeling of immediately belonging to a community? With the right organized tour, a guide is your ticket to people and sights that could never be experienced if traveling otherwise. Esther Simba “Mama Simba”, a local guide for Discover Corps in Tanzania, says it best when sharing about the experience you’ll have on her tour. ”…some of the travelers that joined [the tour] have never been in a village setting. You’ll find the most kind, loving and caring people in Tanzania.” You can check out her full video here.
Many times it takes a few days to feel connected in a new location, but with a guide from the community, you’re instantly immersed in a rich new culture. Suddenly, your family goes from talking about the activities they witnessed to describing the adventure the entire group experienced.
5. Connect with like-minded families
In one form or the other, we all seek connection while traveling. This can mean connecting with a place, a people group, or even a certain delicious food. One frequently overlooked benefit of organized tours, however, are the connections made with other families on your same tour. These relationships are formed through exciting shared experiences and last far beyond the end of your family vacation.
Organized tours present an excellent chance for families to come together. It’s a special sight when your 10-year-old is playing at the beach with other kids their age, your teenager is sharing her love of dolphins with new friends, and you and your parents can enjoy a nice drink with a couple that sees the world in much the same way as you.
Discover Corps fosters this type of environment with small family-friendly groups. A 16-person maximum means you can enjoy your trip in the company of others, but also sneak away for some alone time when needed. Along with several exotic souvenirs, you may head home with some new family friends.
Discover Corps Trips Great for Multi-Generational Family Vacations
The people will always make the place. For as much as world-class vacation packages can promise to entertain and impress, experienced travelers know that even the globe’s greatest destinations are really only as memorable as the family or friends you elect to bring along with you. The recipe for a truly unforgettable vacation calls not only for an awe-inspiring location, but also for a travel entourage worthy of the memories. Given that family vacations are unique in their ability to commemorate common bonds, resurrect familial friendships and establish a new generation of worthwhile memories, consider this your invitation to pair a worthwhile destination with a deserving audience.
As long as the people make the place, a family reunion is the perfect way to celebrate some of Earth’s foremost sights and sounds! Below are a few destinations that Discover Corps has found successful for family reunions in the past:
Explore the Jungle in Costa Rica
Afford yourself and your entire family the holistic Costa Rican experience where the entire party will contribute to a worthwhile enterprise, while enjoying flora and fauna you won’t find anywhere else on the planet. An eight-day, fully immersive endeavor is your ticket to authentic Costa Rican hospitality, where you’ll spend time making the acquaintance of rainforests, hot springs and open shorelines.
When you’re not introducing your toes to soft, white sands or taking in indigenous wildlife, the entire family can bond over a shared wildlife rescue center volunteer experience, where together you will care for injured or impaired jungle creatures. Find yourself face-to-face with jungle sloths, spider monkeys and marmosets, an educational opportunity and time contribution all rolled into one. There’s so much to love about Costa Rica, from your opportunity to learn the local farming customs of La Fortuna, to morning hikes under rainforest canopies and around volcanoes. All in all, your drive for a top-tier family vacation experience is satisfied the moment you take to Costa Rican soils.
Sail the Seas of The Galápagos Islands
One of the seven natural wonders of the world, the Galápagos Islands provide another sight-worthy destination for the entire family to enjoy. A family reunion in the Galapagos, a volcano-laden archipelago decorating the Pacific Ocean and home to diverse, untold speciation, is a lifelong memory in the making. When visiting these islands, you and the entire family witness restricted sights and sounds, a dream vacation that for most remains a dream.
Beyond just the fantastic wildlife, a family reunion needs comfort. Five-star hospitality accommodations leave you in wonderful proximity to staple attractions like the Quito Cathedral and Independence Square, perfect for family or individual activities. On this trip, you and the entire family are provided every opportunity to learn about local sustainability customs, harvest techniques, smart water usage and more. And of course, you’ll catch sight of a wildlife portfolio available in the Galápagos, and nowhere else. Species like the blue footed boobie and the Galápagos giant tortoise await your discovery in this ideal family vacation setting.
Dance the Night Away in Cuba
Take the entire family to Cuba for a synthesis of culture and cuisine that will make lifelong memories easier than ever to fashion. Havana is a tribute to all things historical in Cuba, with an eye for the sensory. Impress the entire family with a city preserved in its own era, where you punch your ticket toward Havana art, music, and society.
Find yourself in love with Havana’s inviting atmosphere by the end of your first day, when you and the entire family will visit the buzzing Malecon boardwalk and Vedado neighborhood, before a quality dinner with cityscape panoramas. Things only get better on days two and three, Lloyd join your family in frequenting a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a vintage jazz cafe alike. And after you sample the culinary products from Sloppy Joe’s Bar, we promise you’ll end up with a new standard for genuine Cuban cuisine. And best of all, stay casas particulares, or family-run bed and breakfasts, so each day of your family reunion starts the right way – with home-cooked meals from locally sourced ingredients and a healthy dose of Cuban optimism.
Explore the Culture of India
You’ll note the unique aesthetic from your first moment on Indian soil. While this may not jump out as your typical family reunion destination, India is incredibly accommodating when you have a plan of action. On this trip, you’ll join protective efforts for the Tiger Watch. Through involvement with a local tiger sanctuary, bolstered by efforts from communities and associated charities, you and the whole family will be gifted a holistic perspective of natural conservation efforts, including a drive to sustain tiger populations in the country. You’ll even contribute to tiger monitoring campaigns, an engaging, invigorating experience for any and all family members during your reunion.
Your time in India is also characterized by constant movement, so if your family is an active one, you’ve met a worthy destination. One day, you’re snapping photos of crocodiles and leopards in Ranthambore; the following afternoon, you’re gazing upon tiger populations in the National Park. At the end of busy days, family reunions deserve distinctive accommodations that settles the entire family, making having a plan that much more important!
Contribute to Global Sustainability with Your Entire Family
Meet your family’s aspirations for adventure head-on, and provide each member with the satisfactory travel experience of a lifetime whenever you make a family reunion vacation with purpose your getaway of choice. Pair a family reunion with Indian landscapes, Cuban-sourced coffee or Costa Rican action, all with the added bonus of contributing to worthy environmental and sustainable causes, helps your time together take on new dimensions. For more destination guides and accommodation reviews, hotels and vacation rentals, check out Trip101.
John Gallagher is an english and theology double major from San Diego, California. He currently works as the lead sports editor for the Troubadour Newspaper, and serves as the head script writer and editor for university Multimedia organization, the Baron Broadcast. He has also contributed to social content platform The Odyssey as a regular content creator. Gallagher was raised in San Diego, California, and has travelled his home state extensively. He recognizes In-N-Out Burger as the national treasure it is, and misses California’s perfect climactic conditions on a regular basis while at school in Steubenville, Ohio.
Costa Rica is one of the most biodiverse countries in the world, home to fascinating wildlife such as gibbons, sloths, toucans, jaguars, and of course, sea turtles. Unfortunately, the population of Costa Rican sea turtles has declined by 90% since 1980. Sea turtles face myriad threats such as boat traffic, domestic animals, climate change, accidental catch by industrial fisheries, and increased trash in oceans and beaches (which they often mistake for food). As a conservationist, understanding nesting and hatching patterns is crucial to the protection of sea turtles.
On our Costa Rica: The Sea Turtle Initiative trip, we’ll spend three days volunteering on a turtle conservation campaign. Given the declining population of turtles, every bit of help is welcome and each turtle is precious. It’s up to you what time of year you’re interested in learning more about – protecting the nesting female sea turtles, or lending a hand with the vulnerable hatchlings. Check out the infographic below to help make your decision!