Lifestyle Wanderlust the June 2020 issue

Oh, The Places You’ll Go!

Planning a vacation now to someplace special for next year will give everyone something to look forward to.
By Carrie Williamson Posted on May 26, 2020

It is also a message for our time. You and your family may be stuck in “The Waiting Place” right now, but as the wise one notes, “There’s fun to be done.” Like the character in the book, “Somehow you’ll escape all that waiting and staying” and once again set out in the world, wending over fanciful landscapes, perhaps even accompanied by an elephant or 20 along the way. Why? Because traveling as a family, with friends, or even with newfound adventurers is a great way to explore new cultures and landscapes while having fun together.

Planning a vacation now to someplace special for next year will give everyone something to look forward to. To help you “get on your way,” check out the active, cultural and adventure tours offered by Thomson Family Adventures and Backroads. Both companies specialize in family tours—scheduled and custom—and offer creative ways for kids to make friends, whether it is with other children on the tour or through a cultural exchange with local children from the country you are visiting.

Big Island Multi-Adventure Tour in Hawaii

Thomson Family Adventures focuses solely on family vacations—parents traveling with young children, teens or young adults as well as generations of families traveling together. The founder, Judi Wineland, is a pioneer in adventure travel. A trip to Africa in the late ’70s inspired her to launch her first tour company, Overseas Adventure Travel, “a more authentic, adventurous, and affordable safari experience than the typical ones available at the time.” In 1998, she and her husband, who were raising two daughters, saw a need for offering adventure travel for families in order to provide an easy and safe way for families to explore exotic places that were otherwise out of bounds. Today, Thomson Family Adventures’ tours range from high adventure to cultural explorations to wildlife expeditions.

Tom Hale’s middle-of-the-night inspiration to start a bike touring company motivated him to pedal 5,000 miles alone through the West, all the while formulating plans for his new business. He founded Backroads in 1979 and established its reputation as one of the best by offering fully supported experiences that you could never arrange by yourself. Backroads has evolved into a multi-sport tour company and now offers its active vacations for families with kids of various ages that are designed to suit the fitness level and pace of the age group: 20s & Beyond (i.e., adult kids can join in wine tasting as you bike through France); Older Teens & 20s (a mix of family activities and adventures with new friends of a similar age); Teens & Kids (options for kids to enjoy cool activities with the trip leaders while parents explore on their own); and Younger Kids (junior-sized routes and activities with Kids Adventure Leaders.)

The places you can go with Thomson Family Adventures and Backroads span the globe—Europe, Africa, North America, Central and South America, Asia and Antarctica. With their family travel experts taking care of all of the details, the hardest part of planning your family’s next excellent adventure may beg getting everyone to come to a consensus on where to go and what to do. As Dr. Seuss said, “Simple it’s not, I’m afraid you will find, for a mind-maker-upper to make up his mind.”

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