“Embracing the family” or “multi-generational travel” is the latest trend.Take your blood relatives — aunts, uncles, cousins, grandchildren or grandparents with you.
But the latest fashion seems really like an ”old” concept repackaged as “new.”
Who remembers Sunday afternoon car drives in the 1940s, ‘50s and early 1960s, stuck in the back seat as the father (always the driver) got lost interminably and blamed everyone else? It was as much multi-generational travel as anyone could tolerate.
R.Crusoe & Son company views potential interaction differently: “Your days on the road are filed with pure family time, to create memories together that become the stuff of family lore,” says their brochure.
In upscale R.Crusoe & Son’s custom trip catalogue, chic family togetherness trips extend beyond the back seat of the family car. Custom trips include Tanzania (East Africa) safari, South America and Galapagos Islands, Italy. Having traveled to all those places myself, I know the expense of customized (for families) itinerary is high — perhaps $6,000 to $8,000 per person or more, depending on group size.
R.Crusoe & Son is just one vendor option selected at random. Many other companies offer similar international and domestic multi-generational trips.
U.S. multi-generational travel is less costly of course: Friends recently hosted 20-plus multi-generational family members in Nashville. Biggest hurdle was restaurant reservations for 20-plus and rooms on the same floor at a motel.
“During the day, the young ones went off and did their own thing. We did our thing. We just met up for dinner,” the host said.
A quote in the R. Crusoe booklet reminded me of my travel experience with adult relatives as an adult: “Even younger children hunger for knowledge. A 10-year-old wants to see the (Rome) Colosseum because his class is studying Roman history.”
Sometimes however, cultural and historical interests clash just as they might with non-relatives.
Standing outside the Colosseum ticket booth in Rome, my adult relative refused to enter, saying it was of no interest.
“But it is one of the wonders of the world,” we pleaded.
Suddenly the attendant had a free unclaimed ticket to give her, which she accepted very reluctantly. Having seen it previously, we waited outside.
“How was it?” we asked on her return.
She shrugged dismissively. “It was OK.”
Prior reading about destinations is essential.
In Barcelona, another relative demanded to know why we weren’t taking a train to Majorca.
“Because Majorca is an island,” we said.
But, as the travel brochures extol, there were and are fun, shared memories: laughing about the inevitable mishaps and waxing eloquent about high points.
“An opportunity to know each other better,” says a brochure.