Travel: A Gift That Spans Generations


Filed under Travel & Leisure

(ARA) – Have you ever returned from a trip anxious to share your stories and pictures with family members, only to be disappointed as you’re going through them? It’s a common occurrence; photos don’t always capture the true essence of your experience.

So what’s the best way to truly share your travel excursions with family? Take them with you! In fact, intergenerational travel (grandparents taking their children and grandchildren on trips) has increased in recent years. More than 30 percent of grandmas have taken at least one trip with a grandchild, according to the Travel Industry Association of America. And those numbers are expected to climb, with a large increase coming from international travel.

Joan Wyer and Sherry Lund, both from Minnesota, are two such grandparents. They’ve taken family members to domestic and international destinations alike and say it’s a wonderful, fun and enlightening way to build relationships.

“I could travel alone or with friends,” says Wyer. “But I’d much rather share these memories with my family.” Wyer has taken her family of 18 (four children, their spouses and nine grandchildren) on three excursions in the last several years including Alaska, the Sea of Cortez (Mexico) and the Galapagos Islands.

“There is no better way to build deep relationships than by traveling together,” says Wyer. “There are definitely bonding moments as you experience unique places and people away from the day-to-day routine of home.”

Lund couldn’t agree more. “Traveling with my grandchildren has given us a gift  a special bond of memories that only we share, no one else.” Lund has started a family tradition with her grandchildren. When they reach 10 years of age, she takes them on a unique trip that helps broaden their world view. To date, she’s shared the Galapagos Islands with her granddaughter Laurie and Peru with granddaughter Libby.

Both Wyer and Lund sought guidance from Travel Beyond, a 30-year-old international travel consultancy in Wayzata, Minn., to design their trips. The consultancy has invested more than 25,000 hours personally visiting and pre-screening destinations around the world. This first-hand knowledge was a big comfort to Wyer and Lund.

“Many of today’s baby boomers want an experience that

doesn’t involve a tour bus and hoards of people,” says Craig Beal, chief executive officer of Travel Beyond. “They want to get out and explore new destinations in a way that’s unique to them. That’s why we agonize over the details and customize every aspect of their travel.”

According to Beal, several international destinations have emerged as excellent options for intergenerational travel.

Three to 10 Day Tours  Experience the Uniqueness of Canada
• Observe the polar bears in Churchill
• Ride through the Canadian Rockies on the Rocky Mountaineer
• Visit the 400-year-old city of Old Quebec

Five to 15 Day Tours  Enjoy the Diversity of South America
• Explore the ancient Incan ruins of Machu Picchu, Peru
• Visit the Galapagos Islands, known for its impact on Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection
• Star gaze through a private observatory in the Atacama Desert of Chile
• Experience ‘March of the Penguins’ in real life in Antarctica

10 to 20 Day Tours  Discover the Wild Side of Africa
• Interact with one of Africa’s oldest tribes (Himba) and see the largest collection of ship wrecks in the world in Namibia
• Seek out the “Big Five” (lions, leopards, elephants, cape buffalo, rhinos) on a safari through Botswana
• View the impressive Victoria Falls in Zambia, one of the seven Natural Wonders of the World

“Many of the trips I’ve taken through Travel Beyond are experiences of a lifetime,” continues Lund. “I’m fortunate to give those experiences to my grandchildren as a special gift. Walking among the iguanas, seeing birds and animals that are unique to that location and exposing them to parts of the world they’ve never heard of before. Those are cherished gifts any grandparent would love to give.”

To learn more about intergenerational travel or general travel to the destinations mentioned above or many other locations, visit

Article courtesy of ARA Content

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