Taking the whole family on a vacation

The choices can be a little overwhelming but hopefully we can give you some great trips to think about.

  • Feb. 24, 2017 5:00 p.m.

Family travel. There are now so many options to experience this huge world with your family and multi-generational travel is one of the fastest growing segment in travel. Grandma and grandpa are young and active and are interested in travelling with their grandchildren now more than ever.

The choices can be a little overwhelming but hopefully we can give you some great trips to think about.

One of everyone’s favourite family vacation is a trip to either Disney World or Disneyland. We had so much fun seeing our girls go from Disney character to Disney character getting their signature and of course a picture taken with every princess in the park. We had so much fun, we had to go back a second time when they were a little older so we could go on the rides they missed the first time. Both of these parks are truly the most magical place on earth.

The all-inclusive’ s have so many options from the Beaches Resorts with the characters from Sesame Street to Toopy and Binoo. Many of the family resorts have a discount for children and lots of great kid’s activities. Just ask us which one would be the perfect fit for your family.

Besides Disney, there are many other options for cruises that cater to your family. Carnival, NCL and Royal Caribbean have amazing slides and lots of active adventures. From zipling, rock climbing to skating at sea on ice, there is something for everyone. While the kids are lying by the pool getting some much needed sunshine, grandma and grandpa can be going down a 10-storey waterslide or trying their hands on the plank that extends beyond the confines of the ship. The shows in the evening are incredible and your children will fall fast asleep with all of that sunshine and activity throughout the day. We love the option that Royal Caribbean has that they will feed your kids first in the dining room and then come and take them away for some fun activities so you can enjoy your meal and laugh and reminisce about your family memories you have just created. The kids’ club on the ships have highly-trained childcare workers, so there is no concern that your little one won’t be taken amazing care of.

Our girls are still talking about them zipling in Roatan, swimming with the dolphins in Cozumel and cave tubing in Belize to name a few. These are family memories that we are still talking about.

If you are thinking of wanting a family vacation besides a hot destination there are getting to be more and more organized options. Disney has now joined forces with AMA Waterways to experience sailing along the amazing Danube River. Uniworld River Cruises also has some exclusive family sailings that have excursions that cater to the children onboard.

Looking for more of a land destination we would recommend that you check out Trafalgar. They have an amazing 13-day South Africa tour with some of the highlights of tracking the ‘Big 5’ and other endangered species. At the tip of South Africa, you might even see a penguin or two. They also have amazing tours to Europe with their Castle and Kilts or even a Greek Island Hopper Tour. Not wanting to go so far? Then what about the Wild West Cowboys and Buffaloes to Nevada, Utah and Arizona. Who doesn’t want to go for a wild ride through the land of castle, drives, gun-toting bandits and the Grand Canyon.

If your family is a little more adventurous but still want to be a part of a smaller group. Then we highly recommend G Adventures. This Canadian-owned tour company is one of our favorites and their family tours are some of the best in the industry. Experiencing Thailand and having some incredible hands on experience. If your kids are now teenagers (12 years and up) they have some tours that specifically designed to keep them engaged.

One of our favourite family holidays was our two week trip to Australia. We designed the trip around what the girls were interested in and to experience as much of Australian life as we could. Our youngest gave her best at her surfing lesson in Manly beach. The experience of snorkelling the Great Barrier Reef together and sand surfing in Brisbane are what memories are made from.

As you can tell, there is so much to see and do with your family in a safe environment and they will have memories that will last them a lifetime.

Susan Walker is a travel agent and the owner of Expedia CruiseShipCenters in Red Deer.