Traveling with the entire family (and we’re talking THE ENTIRE FAMILY) can be overwhelming. On our last trip, we traveled with ages 1 to 75, with every age in-between. Everyone has different travel perspectives, budgets, needs, wants, and desires. So, finding multigenerational travel experiences that will please the whole crew can be burdensome, to say the least. Narrowing choices down to these 2 tour companies, the planning and execution of our multigeneratiional travel experiences for this TravelingMom just got a whole lot easier.
Multigenerational Travel Experiences
For our annual multigenerational family vacations, we have always opted for a rental home somewhere convenient for everyone. We pick a different destination each year, an adventure for the teens and young adults, great relaxing areas for those who want to do nothing, and space for everyone to be together. But, as the kids grow older, we are looking into spreading our multigenerational travel experience wings to a grander adventure.
5 Things to Consider Before Booking Your Travel Experiences
As we dive into brochures, websites, and recommendations, keep in mind a few important considerations.
1. Budget. Each nuclear family has their own budget, so we are careful to talk openly and honestly about these expectations.
2. Location. We have to be sure all members are happy with the location and comfortable with the travel time getting there. We have family gatherings from NYC to Calgary. Depending on where we go, travel might be 7 hours for some in the group and 14 or more for others.
3. Options for activities. Can those who want to explore more find things to do? Will those who need a rest take a rest?
4. Length. We have some in our group that get two weeks vacation a year, some who get unlimited, and others who are retired and have all the time in the world.
5. Timing. With college kids, work, school schedules, and what not, we have limited windows. So, finding a company that has private tours for a group our size or trips that meet our schedule is a necessity.
Our Top 2 Picks for Family Travel Experiences
For planning this year’s adventure, I first turned to my fellow TravelingMoms and then looked at tour companies I have traveled with before. While there are so many great tour companies out there, we narrowed our list down to two. And no, we don’t have a destination picked quite yet…that’s next. To us, finding the right brand and fit for our family was our first priority.
Intrepid Multigenerational Travel Experiences
I recently met with a friend who traveled with Intrepid to Asia and she loved it. Her personal group was so large that the tour group ended up being just them. This made me realize our multigenerational family group was that big, too, so we could take an entire group trip. When I discovered our Solo TravelingMom had taken an Intrepid trip to Africa, my interest sparked even more.
Why Intrepid Travel Topped the List
1. More family travel experiences.
In 2017, they are actually doubling their family trips, giving us so many more options. This will increase the country offerings to 20, with 48 different itineraries.
2. Travel experiences for all family members.
Intrepid offers two “styles” of travel; Comfort and Active, giving us the option to really tailor the travel experiences for all 14 family members.
3. Personal recommendations.
Everyone we talk to LOVES Interprid’s travel experiences, saying the guides are flexible and will work with your group. Our friends also said they were able to keep everybody happy from the little ones to the grandparents.
4. Few Limitations.
We are not limited to where we go, except by the age of the youngest child, and with a custom tour, we will be able to make it work.
5. Private group boooking.
Intrepid offers Private Group booking, allowing families to personalize the travel experiences. This allows you to have the experience of their itineraries, but make it personal to meet your needs.
6. Local Guides!
It is a priority for our family to experience new destinations with local guides.
7. Environmental footprint.
Very important to us is that Intrepid Travel is carbon neutral and limits the environmental impact. Part of this pledge allows experiences loved by our multigenerational family, like small inns, local transportation, and eating where the locals eat.
8. Protect local wildlife.
And most important to us, there are no elephant rides, no selfies with sea turtles, or anything of the sort. Intrepid has taken a strong stance to protect wildlife. They have gone as far as to have an entire section on their website, not just saying this, but stating why! This really boosted Intrepid to the top of our family’s list.
We are looking at a two options with Intrepid for our group, Thailand Family Holiday and the Morocco Family Holiday. We were thrilled with the number of countries offered including in North America.
Le Boat Multigenerational Travel Experiences
I know. Le Boat is not a “tour company,” but sort of. Le Boat made my short list for many of the reasons on my Intrepid list above. I recently learned about Le Boat after visiting their booth at the New York Times Travel Show. Although not the traditional “tour” company, it meets many of our needs and will still get us to an international destination.
After meeting the team from Le Boat, I knew our multigenerational crew had to plan a trip. Le Boat is basically a giant bumper boat with beautiful bedrooms, bathrooms, a kitchen, bikes, a living room, and a patio and grill. It just happens that you self-drive it down amazing canals all over the world. Different than a traditional tour, but similar, because along your journey, LeBoat can offer as much or as little guidance and services that your group would like.
Why Le Boat for my Multigenerational Travel Experiences?
1. Multiple boat configurations
With our group, we are looking at renting two boats and staying together on the journey. One boat will be for my family and my two older nieces, as well as for family gatherings. The other will be the “quiet” boat, for the little ones (and grandparents) who need to nap. Le Boat boats come in many different set-ups, so you can find the one right for your group.
2. Schedule flexibility
Adjust the trip to meet everyone’s needs. With ports all along the way, those in the group who need to leave early can jump off and head home, while the rest continue on the journey.
3. Budget friendly
The boats can meet everyone’s budget. Renting a combination of boat sizes and classes when traveling with a group, keeps everyone’s wallet happy.
4. Explore or stay on the boat
You can tour as much or as little as you want. With towns lining the canals, you can jump off and explore for the day or stay on the boat and chill. The group does not have to do everything together all the time. This allows everyone to be comfortable and not overly tired.
5. Eat with the locals or dine on deck
We like to do a combination of eating out and cooking for ourselves. We are looking forward to sticking with our rental home idea of eating one meal out a day in a village or town, while still using the full kitchen for breakfast and dinners.
6. Endless destinations
The options of locations are endless. Right now, we are looking at Italy and Holland due to the accessibility of airports from all the different places our group originates. In 2018, Canada is being added as well!
7. Hands on or Hands off?
You can have as much or as little support as you need. We like some comforts like someone else doing some of the cleaning and clean-outs and Le Boat can help you in planning and arranging what you need.
With all of Intrepid Travel’s new family trips and Le Boat cruising options, where will you go next?
We will be booking both for our next multigenerational travel experiences!