Going somewhere that no one in the family has ever been before is a surefire way to make a parent’s 60th, 70th, 80th—or whatever milestone birthday—unforgettable.
Leslie Wilde, of Valerie Wilson Travel, Inc., in Winnetka, says that you should start planning your trip by talking in detail about everyone’s expectations. This is especially true if your group is made up of several different age groups. “To please all generations, have a family conversation, because you want to make a 5-year-old as happy as someone who is 75,” she says.
Here are Wilde’s destination recommendations that will please a variety of families.
Destinations that excite Grandpa and your teenager
Alaska: Believe it or not, a lot of grandparents have been waiting to go and many teens have never been. Cruises offer an ideal chance to get the family together in a spectacularly beautiful, rugged and wild setting. Best of all, there is something for everyone, from soaking in the glacial scenery to taking a dip in the pool with the kids. If you don’t like the idea of a big cruise ship, book a custom tour on a smaller boat.
Galapagos Islands: Be inspired in the land of Darwin when you meet unique wildlife up close such as the Blue-footed Booby, the Galapagos tortoise and sea lions. Plus the whole family can swim, hike, and cruise along the coast of Ecuador.
Antarctica: Yes, it is the coldest place on earth. But before you say “No way” to this adventure destination, listen to Leslie: “Seasoned travelers tell me that it’s the best place they have ever been.” Dramatic glaciers, cool penguins and gigantic icebergs await you.
Africa: If you get excited about wildlife and adventure and don’t mind a little dust and dirt, there are fabulous safaris that will leave you mulling about the grand meaning of life. “That’s where the animals live and you are visiting their home,” Wilde says.
If you’ve been to all these places and would like other ideas, don’t worry. There’s certainly a destination waiting for your parent’s special celebration. “The world is a great big place,” Wilde says.