Friday, September 30, 2011

Let the Adventures Begin!

Take a moment to think about your most treasured family memories from growing up. Chances are that several, if not all, centered around some sort of family vacation. Isn't is amazing that out of all the thousands of days you spent sitting around your dinner table, or in your living room as a child or teenager, that the moments that stand out most in your head are those that took place elsewhere?

As the youngest of five children with a thirteen year span between us, I don't have a lot of memories of us all being together at the same time. Someone was always coming and going, and it was rare that we were all together. I would imagine that families with even one or two children nowadays aren't able to all be together much, with the many activities going on in our daily lives. But my most treasured memories definitely bring me back to vacations. When I look back now on the pictures of camping and exploring, I see a bunch of greaseballs in bad 70's clothes and hairdos, but boy does it make me laugh!

Not my family, but you get the picture!

Rarely do these memories have to do with just sitting on the beach reading, but more often they are associated with an event or activity...something that forces the family to DO something together. Now I know it seems like a lot of work for us parents to put together an itinerary for our families filled with activities. Isn't that what we're trying to get away from? Don't we want to just get away for a week and chill? It might sound great to the adults, but what usually ends up happening on Day Two of your beach vacation? Inevitably you hear, "I'm bored."

This is where the Guided Vacation comes in. What has always been known as "Escorted Tours" is now morphing into something more suitable for families. In fact, there are itineraries specifically designed for family travel, with a nice mix of down time as well as exploration suitable for children ages 5 and up, and even the grandparents! The best part is that everything is taken care of and planned out for you in advance, so you the parent do not have to worry about getting out the map, following directions, or waiting in the long lines at every attraction.

The hotels included are hand-picked because of their family-friendliness, and the Vacation Guides are well-trained in keeping the kids entertained and the adults engaged. They are there to answer all of your questions, and can recommend off the beaten path options for your free time. Here are some of the most popular itineraries and a highlight of the trip:

Magic and Make Believe: Your fair maidens can explore Windsor Castle, one of the Queen's favorites!

Castles and Kilts: See the Dining Hall that inspired Hogwarts at Oxford University

An African Adventure: Safari at the Lalibela Private Game Reserve
If you would rather not spend your time traveling in an airplane overseas, there is plenty to do and see right here in our own Americas!

Pioneer Adventures of the Old West: Stay inside the Grand Canyon park for two nights and marvel at the sights

Rockies Thrills and Glacier Chills: Get splashed in a rip-roaring white water rafting adventure

Monkeys, Jungles and Volcanoes: Zipline in the Rainforest

Dude Ranchin' Yellowstone and Glacier Roundup: Become a Junior Ranger at Yellowstone
If you don't see something that appeals to you here, rest assured there are many other options. Whatever you decide to do for your next family vacation, keep in mind that the most important thing is that you are there together creating memories to last a lifetime, and someday when the kids are grown with families of their own, you will look back at the photos and video and treasure every moment.

No comments:

Post a Comment