Family Travel Guides
Before signing up for a tour with the grandkids, check out the following:
Take Your Kids to Europe by Cynthia Harriman. A classic book that offers practical and sensible advice on travel for all ages.
Just about every tour company now offers some opportunity to take the kids along. Children can easily get bored hanging around with adults, so try to find just the right balance of education, interaction with people and cultures, recreation, and fun. Here are some of my favorites:
Special Expeditions offers a selection of trips that include learning combined with scavenger hunts and educational puzzles for kids. Small company-owned ships go to remote island locations where all generations can study wildlife and nature.
Earthwatch Institute. Join dozens of scientific field research expeditions
worldwide for 2-3 week long teams, helping university professors in
disciplines from archaeology to zoology, share field costs, field training
provided. No special skills required, but any are welcome.
Global Volunteers encourages families to join together in short-term tax-deductible volunteer programs worldwide. Work includes healthcare, teaching, construction, and natural resource preservation. No special skills or foreign language required.
The Parker Company. In addition to finding rental properties for travelers, the Parker Company arranges homestays combined with wine tours, cooking and painting classes, and creative writing programs, all in Italy. This is one of the best agencies for finding villas, cottages, castles, farmhouses, and apartments.
TransitionsAbroad.com Home Rentals is a section of our TransitionsAbroad.com website that covers vacation home rentals and agencies worldwide.
Idyll, Ltd. arranges European apartment rentals for families and provides local contacts for orientation.
Today virtually every ship includes special facilities for all ages. Investigate before you sign on, though, and be aware that on a few sailings children under a certain age may be excluded. Contacts: www.familycruises.com, www.atlastravelweb.com, www.quinwell.com.
Carnival Cruise Line. “Fun Ships” offer a children’s program divided into four age categories. A trained staff oversees pool and playroom events and takes care of babysitting.
Disney Cruise Line. Probably the most child-focused sailing line around, Disney offers programs for five age groups and even a separate deck for kids.
Holland America Line. Youth programs provided on-board and whille in port.
Norwegian Cruise Line. Programs geared to four age groups are led by highly trained counselors. Special kids’ menus are available at every meal.
Princess Cruises. Activities and facilities vary with each Love Boat, depending on the numbers and ages of participants on board. One of the most popular on-board programs, called “Save our Seas,” is designed to help children understand about the oceans and marine life.
Celebrity Cruises. Luxury cruises with over 300 destinations.