Is there anything better than a truly memorable family holiday? For me, the holiday I remember most is hiking through Tasmania with my parents and my older sister. The people we met, the jokes we made and the active experiences we had together are still some of my fondest childhood memories.
It's no different with Backroads family trips! We have a huge array of family options that are designed specifically to promote this incredible bonding through being active and enjoying the company of each other and our traveling companions. We also recognize that throwing a bunch of children of all ages together isn't necessarily best for parents' peace of mind, nor for the kids themselves. That's why we've developed four specific types of family trips. Keep reading to see the differences between them and find out which one is right for your family.
These trips are aimed at children aged 4 to 12. Both the itineraries and the options provided are crafted with youngins in mind - providing challenging yet manageable routes for children and parents alike. I was lucky enough to lead a Younger Kids trip in Switzerland and loved that it was a Multi-Adventure trip - the alternating days kept the kids engaged and entertained, while also offering more strenuous options for keen parents.
We also take the kids on kid-only activities (though I'm not sure who had more fun, me or them!), which gives them a great chance to bond, and provides parents with some time alone - something that can be quite difficult to come by when families are traveling on their own. Kids dinner is always a highlight (for kids and Trip Leaders alike) and the bonds that the kids make seem to bring all the families closer together.
These trips provide a great forum for sharing experiences with the group, as families with similarly aged children always seem to have been through some common stages. It's also a great opportunity for children to start developing more social confidence, as the friendly and open environment really provides kids with a great platform to voice their ideas and opinions.
I led a Kids & Teens trip through the Netherlands and Belgium where the families were able to come together for an amazing week of cycling. I was blown away by how much the families bonded and how we could leave the children together at one end of the table and they would remain deep in serous-looking conversation until the dinner concluded. This was a particularly great trip for families, as almost all the riding was on bike paths - which was great to build confidence with the kids early on!
These trips are fantastic for older and more confident teens and 20-somethings! They're a great way to meet families like yours, and the active nature of the trips is an amazing bonding agent that seems to glue our families together into a tight-knit team!
By adventuring with other families in similar life-stages, conversation flows easily, and it's often hard to tell who gets along better - the kids or their parents. I was able to lead several of our Switzerland Multi-Adventure Trips and they are always a blast for everyone. It amazes me to see how much the group camaraderie pushes people out of their comfort zones and to face challenges they thought impossible, whether that means making it up a big climb on the bike, "Trotti Biking" down a Swiss mountain or jumping into a freezing glacier lake! It's these elements that make for an unforgettable family vacation.
Finally, Backroads also has a range of family trips designed for families with young adults in their 20s and beyond. It's always so rewarding to see these families come together (perhaps after university semesters away) and see how these active adventures bring both different families and individual family units closer together.
These experiences offer the chance for families with older kids to mingle with other adults and to forge meaningful relationships beyond their immediate family. It's also a chance for similarly-aged kids to spend time with their parents in an amazing and often breathtaking location.
On our Puglia cycling trip, I've seen of children of all ages come and join their parents on an amazing week through the olive groves of Southern Italy. After these trips it's always heart-warming to hear how the family time was the highlight of the week! So what are you waiting for? The range of Backroads family trips is sure to have something for all families - and trust me when I say these trips are truly unforgettable!