The Best Trips to Take With Your Grandparents
There's a lot of freedom when planning a trip with your grandparents. Their children are grown and, if they're retired, they're not beholden to a meager two weeks. That being said, traveling with multiple generations can get tricky fast. Interests and abilities run the gamut, so flexible schedules and opting for trips that don’t require a lot of walking (think cruises or train travel) are key.
Remember: traveling with your grandparents doesn't have to be lame. There are plenty of adventures to be had stateside—just think of the fun to be had at a dude ranch—as well as overseas. African safaris, in particular, can be an amazing experience for an intergenerational group. Below, six grandparent-friendly adventures.
River cruises offer the opportunity to see the wonders of Europe’s greatest cities and smallest towns from the banks of the rivers that run through them. These tours allow travelers to take deep dives into a handful of destinations with all the ease that a cruise offers, including guided tours of museums, historical sights, villages, and restaurant reservations. River cruises are excellent for intergenerational travel, because everyone can set their own itinerary, meaning grandpa can go wine tasting in the Rhine Valley, while grandma takes a walking tour through town. It’s a win-win solution for group travel.
All aboard for a memorable family vacation on the rails. From the Oslo-Bergen rails to the famed Glacier Express to the Rocky Mountaineer, the world is filled with train trips that will leave an indelible impression on travelers of all ages. Whether you’re taking a train through the Alps, shuttling alongside lochs in the Scottish countryside, experiencing the Trans-Siberian Express, or hitting the Incan Trail in style on the way to Machu Picchu, there are train trips for every interest. Europeans have long excelled at making train travel a treat (and the U.S. is getting there, too) with bedroom suites and cooked-to-order meals in the dining cars.
Spend your days searching for humpback whales in Glacier Bay, witness new ice blocks calve from the Hubbard Glacier, or watch the frozen landscape for wildlife like bears, wolves, Orcas, and sea otters. Most Alaskan cruises give passengers the chance to get off the boat and explore the wild in kayaks or inflatable motorboats, and some offer the chance to snorkel, hike, explore, and camp on shore, and even climb glaciers with trained guides. While you’re off in the Great White North, there’s no need to give up every luxury—most cruises offer high-end dining, bespoke cocktails, and onboard amenities like yoga classes, hot tub, and spa services.
Whether you want to explore the California coast, sip a cocktail at sunset, take an hour-long nature hike followed by an hour-long massage, or pair a yoga class with s’mores at the beach, you can do all of the above when you head to a family resort. The best resorts offer activities that the whole family can enjoy together—or, you know, separately, because the best family vacations include some time apart. Some of the best values in family vacations can be found at all-inclusive resorts, and with outposts at desirable destinations like St. Lucia, Italy, and Mexico, they can be a great option for intergenerational trips.
Dude Ranch Vacation
Take your family on one of the most iconic American West vacations—a dude ranch. Look to Colorado, Wyoming, or Montana for plenty of options for city slickers wanting to get in touch with their inner cowboy. Disconnect from your electronic devices, saddle up for a horseback ride, try your hand at a cattle drive, or simply hang out at the lodge with a good book. In winter, try your hand (and feet) at downhill or cross-country skiing, or other winter sports like dogsledding, ice skating, sledding, and snowshoeing.
A trip to the African savannah sits on the top of many travelers’ wish lists and the adventurous journey can be a great option for intergenerational travel. Spend your days traveling across the veldt in Tanzania, South Africa, Zimbabwe, or Kenya looking for giraffes, zebras, and lions. Spend the evenings swapping stories with your family without the distractions of smart phones or laptops. While safaris are traditionally an expensive endeavor (it costs a lot to experience five-star luxury in the wild of the Serengeti), with a few tips and tricks, safaris can be a surprisingly affordable journey that every member of the family will love.