If you’ve ever organized a multi-generational family vacation, you know how hard it can be to get family members swimming in the same direction at once. Even in very close families, there are often differences in how the generations approach travel—for example, older folks might have preferences and habits that are different than those of the younger folks. To delve a bit deeper into the heart of the matter, we chatted with Country Walkers guests about their experiences traveling with their adult children—and discovered three important things we think YOUR kids wish you knew about planning your next family vacation:
Stay Longer and Get the Most Out of Your Transatlantic Flights
Many younger travelers are concerned about climate change and the environmental impact of travel. When you travel with Country Walkers, you’re working with an organization that’s deeply committed to fostering a healthier planet—as well as giving back to the destinations we explore. Perfect for pleasing environmentally conscious family members!
Another great way to help family members travel sustainably is by extending your stay—and getting the most out of that transatlantic flight. Rather than traveling two or three times per year, you can reduce your vacation’s carbon footprint by flying once and staying longer. Staying longer also allows you to explore more deeply and build priceless family memories. “We were lucky to have the time to do two Country Walkers Self-Guided vacations back-to-back,” says Country Walkers traveler, and Tour Consultant, Claire Truso. “We took the train to our second destination—and watching our son strike up conversations with locals was priceless. It was a fun adventure.” When you give your family more time to explore, it means you have time for those deep local experiences that set Country Walkers active vacations ahead of the pack.
Country Walkers Pre- and Post-Trip Extensions are another great way to extend your vacation and spend extra time exploring as a family. “In addition to our tour, we decided we wanted to see two other places that were very important to us,” recalls Country Walkers traveler Nicole Voth. “We went to Florence, because my mom had been there before and enjoyed it, and we went to Rome just because it’s Rome. We really had fun navigating those cities—and learned a lot about each other along the way.” With Country Walkers trip extensions, everything is arranged for you—so it’s easy. You stay in excellent Country Walkers-approved accommodations, and transportation to the airport is already arranged. Plus, you’ll get great local tips on the best restaurants, shopping, and attractions.
Find the Perfect Balance of Structure and Independence
Every family is different—and family members need different levels of independence and support. “We loved having some structure—so we didn’t have to think about what we were going to do each day,” says Claire. “I know other families who planned trips independently and spent whole mornings talking about what they were going to do that day—only to find half the day gone by the time they made up their minds. With Country Walkers Self-Guided Adventures, you have plenty of flexibility, but there’s a plan already in place—so it’s really stress-free.”
The flexible structure of Country Walkers Self-Guided Adventures is perfect for family members with different interests and activity levels. Are you stuck together all day, every day? Far from it! “Early on, my mother decided she’d rather go shopping than hike,” says Nicole. “It worked out really well because my daughter and I would hike, and then we would all meet up for aperitifs and we’d tell her about the day’s walk. She would talk about what she saw, and where she went, and what she bought. She loved Positano because it’s so cute and has great shops—and Ravello also, with high end shops and streets that kind of zigzag down to the water.” Families come in all shapes and sizes—if yours has a few zigzags of its own, a Country Walkers Adventure is the perfect way to ensure everyone gets to focus on the activities they love most.
The Right Destination Makes All the Difference
With busy work schedules and limited vacation time, it can be challenging to get younger families to commit time to a multi-generational family vacation. That’s why it’s important to make it as appealing as possible—and for that, nothing beats the allure of a top destination. Many Country Walkers travelers also find it helps to include family members in the decision-making process. “I picked our first Self-Guided Walking Adventure, which was England: The Cornwall Coast,” recalls Claire. “Then I said—you guys pick the second tour. They went back and forth but finally settled on Scotland because the photos are so gorgeous. Logistically, it worked out perfectly.” With the whole family’s buy-in, everyone is sure to enjoy your adventure to the fullest.
Once you’re there, it’s easy to create memories that will last a lifetime. “The walks in the countryside were amazing,” Claire remembers. “The color of the water felt almost Mediterranean—and the terrain was rugged but not challenging. We loved taking little side trips down to the water to check out a hidden cove or sandy beach. Exploring St. Michael’s Mount was amazing—we walked across on the wet sand at low tide to get to this ancient castle, which was a lot of fun.”
Inside connections are a highlight of traveling with Country Walkers. Whether you choose a guided or self-guided walking adventure, Country Walkers keeps you up-to-date on trail conditions and local events. “The day we hiked the Path of the Gods was remarkable,” recalls Nicole. “We didn’t think we’d be able to do it because the website said it had been closed for construction—but we got some insider information from our Country Walkers local representative that explained how to get around the construction. We enjoyed a really lovely walk on the Path of the Gods.” That’s what Country Walkers local connections are all about!