When you were a teenager, did you want to go on vacation with your parents? I certainly didn't! In fact, once I reached the age where I didn't have to go on vacation with my parents... I simply refused to go! You see, when I reached my twenties, my parents visited me and I visited them for holidays and special events but we never considered taking a vacation together as adults. There simply wasn't a vacation option out there that equally appealed to every one of us.
Now as a parent myself, I feel differently. But I also understand that I have cultivated a different relationship with my own kids than my parents had done with me. For one thing, I am very active with my kids. Our family vacations have always been about biking, hiking, skiing... exploring the world while engaging in active adventures. And I've found that this has always resulted in a whole load of fun for everyone. Don't get me wrong--vacationing with my kids and teenagers was not without the customary conflict and drama. Very few of us can escape that! But as our teenagers moved into their late teens and early twenties, my husband & I became saddened to think that the days of vacationing together as a family might come to an end. As the kids got older, we didn't think they would want to travel with us anymore. And it didn't help that we were unsure of the kind of vacation that could keep us all interested and engaged.
As our kids grew up, they became more and more independent; they went on to school, got jobs and started careers. As their lives got busier and busier, they often traveled with friends or for work and for the first time seemed to be developing new and different interests than they had as children. Despite this, my husband & I decided to extend an invitation to our two sons to join us on an active adventure in Japan. While our younger son was unavailable, we were thrilled that our older son accepted our offer. The three of us spent twelve days together and we had the best time! Not only was there zero drama, we discovered some unexpected advantages. This trip was the first time that we three had traveled together as a cohort. Our son was now our co-pilot... an adventure buddy! And we were able to appreciate a whole new side to our son that we hadn't seen before - patience for his parents and a real curiosity about culture, food, history and architecture. I can honestly say that during this active vacation together we became better friends. We shared and expressed feelings, exchanged adult conversation and bonded as co-collaborators in ways we had never been able to connect in the past.
When Backroads recently announced a brand-new trip experience specifically for families with grown kids in their 20s and early 30s, I immediately thought of our trip to Japan with our son, and what a special opportunity that trip had been. I'm excited for Backroads guests to discover similar opportunities to connect with their own grown children, while simultaneously exploring new corners of the world in active ways. To think, there was a time when I never imagined that I would travel or vacation with my adult kids and now I can't wait for the next adventure!
Interested in traveling with your adult kids in their 20s and early 30s? Check out our new Family Vacations for 20s & Beyond: Biking, Walking & Hiking & Multi-Adventure Tours.