When the whole family travels --- from grandparents to baby --- it can be challenging to find a place that everyone will love. Toddlers won’t be interested in museums, while teenagers will find children’s theme parks blasé, and grandparents might be irritated by child-centered activities. How can the savvy travel planner meet everyone’s requirements and ensure that multi-generational travel works?
Well, yes, you could go to Disney. But, if you’ve done Disney and are ready for something different, try one of these truly unique adventures.
For the Hard To Please: Rome, Italy
Let’s face it: everyone loves Rome. If nothing else, there’s pizza and plenty of it! Toddlers will be fascinated by the fountains, pigeons, wide piazzas, and street performers. Older children and teens will love poking through the ancient ruins and training to be a Gladiator, while art buffs will be fascinated by the Vatican Museums and the many incredible art galleries throughout the city. The food delights and Eating Italy Food Tours is a great way to experience the city’s amazing food scene on a reasonable budget.
For the City Lovers: Istanbul, Turkey
Istanbul is stunning and easily walkable, making it a perfect fit for families who love to immerse themselves in a city. Children will delight in the ferries, streetcars, and ever-present cats, and the Turkish culture is extraordinarily child-friendly, where children are welcomed even at bars and high end restaurants. The food is spectacular: teenagers will be happy to grab kebabs from the street vendors, like the locals do, while the gourmands will appreciate restaurants like Matbah, which serves cuisine from the Ottoman Empire. The city’s mosques, including the world-famous Hagia Sofia, are a must for everyone in the family.
For the Outdoors Lovers: Asheville, North Carolina
Asheville, North Carolina, is one of America’s most celebrated small towns. Chosen by the Vanderbilt family for its natural splendor, the city continues to delight visitors with its winding trails on the Blue Ridge Mountain and adorable city center. The Biltmore Estate is a great location for all, with tulip festivals in the spring, a children’s petting zoo, and the massive estate to explore. Children will have a blast at the Pinball Museum (where they can play to their hearts’ content), while teens will opt for whitewater rafting or kayaking. In the winter time, hit the slopes for sledding and skiing and then head over to French Broad Chocolate Lounge for decadent “liquid truffles” in flavors ranging from the kid-friendly milk chocolate to the exotic rose and pistachio scented kulfi.
For the Beach Lovers: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
A string of white sand beaches cradle Rio de Janeiro’s best neighborhoods, making it a great destination for families who love the beach. The city even has a “baby beach” (named Baixo Bebe) in the Leblon neighborhood, with stroller parking, toys, and inflatable pools. Teens will revel in the city’s adventure sports, including some of the best paragliding in the world, and the fun Volleyball Schools. The whole family will find delicious juices and fruit at the city’s numerous fruit stands, while gourmands and history-lovers will enjoy learning how to prepare traditional dishes like moqueca and feijoada at the fun Cook in Rio classes. After spending time in Rio, head down to Paraty, where families can go boat-hopping from island to island, and enjoy the lovely colonial village.