You already know the basics of researching vacation spots and booking a hotel room. And, if you’re thinking that it might be nice to invite your dear old Mom to join you this year, there are additional details to consider. Spending downtime with your parents offers precious moments you will remember forever.
For starters, think about traveling with a focus. Choosing a vacation that enhances the possibility of strengthening family relations adds more fun while creating new experiences to your lives. The range of focused vacation possibilities is almost endless. Here are a few ideas:
- Participate in archaeological digs
- Take lessons at some of the country’s great golf courses
- Learn to cook Italian, Chinese, Thai or any ethnic cuisine
- Sign up for historical and architectural tours
- Join photography expeditions
- Trace the life and works of composers and visiting famous opera houses
- Learn to paint and study the masters
- Travel scenic river floats
- Go on bird-watching safaris
- Go flight-seeing and view volcanoes and canyons from the sky.
The next consideration is deciding if you want to travel independently or sign up for an organized program. To find specialized group tours, start with organizations that have already considered the special needs of older travelers:
- Church groups
- National parks
- Colleges and universities
- Road Scholar (formerly known as Elderhostel)
If creating a custom vacation is what you have in mind, here are a few ideas that accommodate most families’ interests:
A treasure trove of lectures, concerts, workshops, social gatherings, theater, music, sporting events and more awaits the entire family when a college town is the getaway destination. Not only that, campus lodging is often relatively inexpensive, and some are now available year-around. Over the years, mature-traveler magazines have featured the following towns that exemplify the best qualities of the college town experience:
- Austin, Texas
- Ann Arbor, Michigan
- Bloomington, Indiana
- Charlottesville, Virginia
- Columbia, Missouri
- Iowa City, Iowa
- Las Cruces, New Mexico
- Madison, Wisconsin
- Princeton, New Jersey
- State College, Pennsylvania
The greatest advantage to taking a cruise with family members is you do not have to organize the activities. The ship’s staff takes care of every little detail. Your job is to kick back and have fun with the people you love.
Choose from a variety of tours. Visit different countries or stay local. Many cruise ships dock for hours to allow cruisers to sight-see on land.
Motor Home Travel
From visiting national parks to tracing historic events, renting a motor home is another popular family vacation option. Sleeping up to six persons for less than $100 a day can’t be beat. If this idea appeals to you, ask about unlimited mileage and insurance when you rent your vehicle.
One of the easiest family vacation ideas might be right under your nose. Do you have a work-related conference coming up in your near future? Take Mom. These days, juggling work/life responsibilities is not easy, and employers are beginning to see the benefits of encouraging employees to combine work travel with family vacations. They know how difficult it may be for you to get away, and bringing the family along might be a “win-win” solution. While you’re off at a workshop, Mom can shop or read by the pool.
Continued on Thinking About Taking Mom on Vacation? (Part Two)