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Extended family can enrich your next vacation

By Lynn O’Rourke Hayes, FamilyTravel.com
Published: June 15, 2024, 5:34am

Plan your next getaway with the extended family in mind. Here are five ideas that may appeal to multiple generations.

Join an organized tour

Feed your junior explorers’ natural curiosity on a memory-creating trip. Do they yearn to learn more about art, history or climate change? Is there a burgeoning scientist, chef, musician or engineer in your midst? How about a language-immersion class? Are your kids curious about other religions, cultures or lifestyles? Whether you opt for magnificent cities, nature’s classroom or immersive experiences, expand their knowledge (and your own) by exploring new places and ideas together. An organized tour can provide the opportunity for kids to connect and share the experience with others in their own age group and for adults to enjoy their own camaraderie.

For more: www.RoadScholars.com; www.nationalgeographic.com; www.abercrombiekent.com

Find adventure in Alaska

Our sparsely populated and endlessly captivating 49th state lures generations who yearn for epic scenery, spouting whales and glaciers the size of small countries. Experience family travel in rugged Alaska by road and rail, or via boutique yachts and expedition ships that set sail for adventure beginning each spring.

Aboard smaller vessels, you’ll have meaningful cultural experiences, find your way to natural nooks and crannies, opt for hiking and kayaking, and discover rarely visited wilderness areas, increasing the chance for up-close wildlife viewing. Those who venture to America’s last frontier will be rewarded with Mother Nature in all her glory.

For more: www.uncruise.com; www.travelAlaska.com

Sleep in something special

It’s fun to spend the night in a better-than-ordinary kind of space. Increasingly popular, yurts, a Mongolian original, fit the bill.

At the Snow Mountain Ranch at the YMCA in Winter Park, Colo., your multigenerational family can snooze the night away in a yurt featuring one queen bed and two sets of bunk beds, accommodating up to six people. An outdoor tent pad makes it possible to expand the party by adding another two people. (Guests must bring their own tents.)

The yurts also include a microwave, mini fridge, prep table, picnic table, outdoor grill and fire ring. All yurts offer electricity and complimentary Wi-Fi. The bathhouse, located nearby, has flush toilets, handicapped-accessible hot showers, hair dryers, a coin-operated washer and dryer, and deep-well sinks. Yurts are available year-round and are pet friendly.

For more: www.ymcarockies.org/snow-mountain-ranch

Plan a skip-gen outing

Give busy parents a break by planning a skip-gen vacation. Young parents will take a deep breath while grandparents and grandkids get to know each other without the filter of Mom and Dad on the scene.

Grandparents: Whether you share your stories on a cruise ship, in an all-inclusive resort or at a dude ranch, plan now to pass on your experiences and knowledge with the younger set. Are you a veteran? Did you grow up inspired by jazz or classical music? Did the ethnic or rural neighborhood of your youth greatly influence the person you are today? Consider a visit to a war memorial, take in a small concert or stop by the old stomping grounds. It will mean more to hear a bit of history from someone who has been there than what they’ll find in schoolbooks. And remember, you are part of their history.

For more: www.destinationhotels.com; www.duderanch.org

Follow Maine’s Lighthouse Trail

Travel the 375 miles between Kittery and Calais, Maine, visiting picturesque lighthouses along the way. Learn about the dangers that seafaring vessels and their crew endured along the craggy Northeastern coast. Hear tales of shipwrecks and ghosts and of the difficult and lonely life led by those who kept the lights burning brightly. If possible, visit the Maine Lighthouse Museum, where artifacts and hands-on exhibits for children provide an enticing break.

For more: www.MaineLighthouseMuseum.com; www.VisitMaine.com

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