Once upon a time guided vacations carried the dreaded stereotype of the white haired granny patrol – snail pace walks, multiple toilet stops, and endless souvenir shopping for the grandchildren.
The reality today could not be further from the truth, after all, travel has no birth certificate. Tour Operators have opened up itineraries to all ages, and growing in popularity are tours for all the family, including the kids!
A guided tour is a dream come true for parents. An experienced and professional tour leader takes care of the stressful holiday logistics, whilst Mum and Dad can relax, and focus on some well-deserved family time.
Children under 18 years are generally allowed on group tours, provided they are accompanied by a parent or guardian who accepts full responsibility and shares a room. Child prices are usually 10% cheaper than adults, and some tours can accommodate triple or adjoining rooms to help keep everyone together.
Tour Operators have different minimum age policies ranging from 5 to 12 years, so do check before you book. These age policies can vary depending on what style of trip it is.
Your travelling family becomes extended once you join a tour group, although bear in mind you may be one of only a few families on board. It’s worth finding out what is the most common age group for the individual tour operator.
In case you prefer to be surrounded by other families, consider the growing trend of specially designated ‘Family Trips’ or ‘Teenage Tours’. The benefit is that your children are more likely to share the experience with travellers their own age, creating a positive group dynamic that will leave priceless memories once they have all grown up!
Family Trips combine the balance of kid-centric activities that make holidays fun, combined with the cultural discovery that parents are desperately seeking. Expect arrival and departure days to be free from activities to allow time to settle in, and wherever possible, handpicked hotels with that all important swimming pool.
Smaller scale tour operators are more flexible for younger children. If you have tots that go below the minimum age policy, then also consider a small group or private/custom tour.
Touring has evolved since yesteryear, it’s now time to holiday on a family tour and enrol together for a summer of travel. It will be the best school holiday they’ve ever had.