Despite what the cynics say, having a family doesn’t take away your sense of adventure, and it certainly shouldn’t stop you from seeing the world. In fact, traveling is one of the most rewarding and memorable things a family can do together. Mingling with Maasai villagers in Tanzania, snorkeling between continental plates in Iceland… unlike a plastic toy or video game, these kinds of experiences have no age group.
Family travel comes with its own set of needs and challenges, which is why we’ve developed one series of tours designed especially for families. Packed with kid-friendly activities, educational local experiences and plenty of memorable, show-and-tell adventures, they operate in over 30 countries around the world. That’s why family travelers need something tailored to them.
1. Family logistics can be overwhelming…but they don’t have to be
From the big picture (where to go, what to see?) to the small details (how much should I pay for a tuk-tuk in Delhi?), the logistics of family travel can be difficult to navigate, especially when you pressed for time and you’ve got the whole brood to gather. It’s just so easy to keep throwing the dream vacation back into the all-too-hard basket.
On our family trips, we take care of all the details, from the itinerary to the local manager, safe transport, accommodation, activities and many meals. We also realize that many families are on a budget, so we try to maximize inclusions and offer discounts for younger children.
2. Children need less time on the go
No one wants their family trip to consist of endless rounds of “Are we there yet?” Our Family adventure move at a slower pace than usual, so you’ll spend more time exploring each destination and less time on the road. Travel days are kept to a minimum and we only use comfortable, private vehicles. Itineraries are packed with adventures kids will love – like zip-lining in France or getting their hands dirty at a Kyoto cooking class – plus plenty of flexible free time and additional optional activities. Boredom? Pfft. Not on our watch.
3. ‘Average’ accommodation won’t cut it
Like on everyone Terrified tours, accommodation on a family tour is clean, safe, centrally located and atmospheric. Where possible, it is also family-run. At the end of a long day of exploring, families have additional needs, especially when it comes to comfort and entertainment. That’s why we choose hotels and guest houses with multiple bedrooms (or connecting bedrooms if the kids want their own space), kids’ clubs to give mum and dad a break and, when we can… swimming pools! A little extra thought about where you live can make the difference between kids being bored and somewhere they don’t want to go.
4. Leaders must be familiar with children
Another common feature of all Intrepid trips is our use of local leaders – passionate travel experts who know their countries and cultures back to front. Parents on family trips need a leader they can absolutely trust, which is why all our Family Adventure leaders are thoroughly trained and experienced in working with children. They are the nicest, most organized legends and the kids love them (that’s something you can’t fake).
5. Other families = instant besties
Pretending to be part of the famous five is no fun when it’s just you and your little brother. On our family trips, the idea is to travel with several other families at the same time. Children make lots of new friends their own age, while the adults can relax and spend time with other adults. It’s also a great opportunity for single parents to get some well-deserved downtime.
We know that families come in all configurations, so everyone is welcome – moms, dads, grandparents, aunts and uncles (but there’s no need to bring a nanny). Most tours have a minimum age of 5, but some more active itineraries cater specifically to teenagers.
6. Groups should be small enough to handle
Do you remember your first day of school? That feeling of walking through the gates and not knowing anyone around you? Just like in a small classroom, traveling with a family is much easier when you don’t have 50 people running around with you. First, it is much easier for children to make lasting friends. We keep our group sizes to an average of 10 and a maximum of 16 people. It also allows us to reach places that are harder to get to, stay in smaller hotels and eat in more interesting, family-run restaurants; plus, it makes getting from A to B much easier.
7. Quality time is essential
An Intrepid family trip is like a good Pixar movie or episode The Simpsons – although it can deliver different delights to adults and children, it is meant to be enjoyed together. We don’t pack the youngsters off to the kids’ club, while the adults sip champagne by the pool all day. Family travel needs well-organized activities that are accessible to all ages but also help bring the family together. Educational is also a bonus. At the end of the day, the whole point of a family trip is to create lasting memories. If we can help you achieve that, we can be happy.
8. It must beat the home grown alternative
Intrepid family travel is packed with the kind of local encounters and experiences you could never replicate at home. Spending the night with a local Peruvian family, falling asleep under the African stars while lions roar in the distance – these are the kind of memories you’ll cherish for years to come, whether you’re seven or 70. Just wait, until your daughter gets back from Italy and tells her history class how she didn’t just see Mount Vesuvius in Pompeii—she climbed it!
9. Education should be in there…somewhere
Is there a better education than traveling? Directly exposing your children to new cultures, places and ideas is an invaluable way for them to learn about our world, and most importantly, the environments, animals and people we share it with.
Intrepid places a strong focus on responsible travel – preserving the planet and its wildlife, contributing to local economies and respecting the people, cultures and communities we encounter as we roam freely. These threads run through all our tours and affect the way our travelers – young or old – experience a destination.
Take the children together. We are going on a proper small group family adventure.