FAQs for Families with Teens
Our Family Trips offer separate kids' activities and Kid Activity Experts and are well suited for families with kids and teens. Our Family Breakaway Trips are for families with 16- through mid-20-year-olds (and younger siblings are welcome). And therefore we do not arrange separate kids' activities or Kid Activity Experts. On both Family Trips and Family Breakaway Trips parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles and all sorts of lucky adults join in the fun. The choice of a Family Trip or a Family Breakaway Trip is yours to make based on the age and maturity of your teen.
Yes, just ask your Trip Consultant to give you the breakdown for the trip and date you're considering. Please bear in mind that this information may change before your trip departs.
Leaders & Safety
Yes, teens who pedal their own bikes must be safe and competent riders. This means they must be comfortable with traffic, able to ride a straight line without weaving or losing balance, and able to handle gears and hand brakes.
Our Trip Leaders are the most carefully selected and rigorously trained in the travel business. For Family Trips, we look for leaders who like, respect and want to be around kids and teens and have experience in managing and/or teaching kids and teens. Equipped with a wealth of entertaining and educational resources, our leaders are experts at creating a fun, comfortable, safe and dynamic environment. Each day of your trip, one Trip Leader will be completely dedicated to the role of Kid Activity Expert.
Safety is our top priority. Our Kid Activity Expert presents a safety talk, and provides tips for preventing accidents and staying safe.
For starters, we design the biking and walking routes on our Family Trips with an array of length and difficulty options. Our Kid Activity Expert will review these with you each morning and help you to make great choices for your family. During the course of the day, the Kid Activity Expert and other Trip Leaders will monitor every family to provide desired support. Our Family Trips are staffed with an additional leader and supported with an extra van so that we can provide the flexibility needed to keep traveling families happy.
Family Trips will feature specific activities designed just for kids and teens. These activities typically take place a couple of hours of each day or the larger part of one or two days of the trip, depending on what kind of fun we're up to. Teens can opt out of these activities and continue on longer rides or hikes.
You'll have some time on your own when special activities for kids and teens are scheduled. We typically plan one to two separate half-day activities for kids and teens when the hiking or biking is more challenging, or if there's a cultural experience, shopping, or a luxurious spa for adults and older teens to enjoy. And, of course, when there's something spectacular for the kids and younger teens to do! There's lots of flexibility for everyone.
Food & Dining
We know that kids and teens may have special tastes, so we make sure that our meals cater to their varied palates without sacrificing yours or your aspiring foodies. You and your family will find freshly made, healthy and delicious food on our picnics, as well as quality cuisine at our inns.
On many trips, we plan for one night where adults and kids and teens dine separately. While you enjoy adult conversation and fine dining, our leaders plan a fun night out filled with great eats and activities for the kids and teens. And if you'd prefer to eat as a family we can accommodate that for you too.
Rooming options are dependent upon individual hotels. Typically we can arrange for single, double or triple rooms on all Family Trips. A triple room often means 2 beds for a family with 1 child. In some cases, a triple room may mean 3 beds, or 2 beds and a rollaway, or a fold-out sleeper. In some European hotels with smaller rooms, triples may not be feasible at all. On occasion we may use a high quality pull-out sofa as a twin bed option for teens.
Once you make a specific request to your Trip Consultant, we will make every effort to secure rooms that connect, are adjacent, or are at least near one another or located on the same floor. Hotels will be advised of your request and Trip Leaders will follow up with hotels about special requests prior to check-in. Please note that connecting rooms are not available in the majority of our inns, particularly in Europe.
Children under the age of 18 must be booked in the same room as the accompanying adult.
Important Documentation for Traveling Internationally with Kids
If you are not the parent or legal guardian of the kid(s) you're traveling with, or you are the only parent traveling with your child, you need to have a consent letter from the non-accompanying parent(s)/legal guardian(s) authorizing travel. (This is in addition to proof of the child's citizenship.)
Depending on your country of origin, and your trip destination, passports are necessary. It is your sole responsibility to be sure you have the correct documentation for all travel. If you are applying for a new passport or renewing an expired passport, please allow sufficient time to have your family member's passports processed. Passports issued to minors under the age of 16 are set to expire every 5 years. Some countries require that a traveler's passport be valid for at least 6 months beyond the dates of the trip. Check your expiration dates carefully! Not having proper ID and proof of citizenship may prevent you from re-entering the United States. You may find helpful information about obtaining passports for minors on the US State Department's website: http://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/passports/under-16.html.
US citizens can also refer to www.state.gov or the applicable foreign consulate for further details.