The holidays are on the horizon, so why not tie a bow around your travel plans. Here are five family-friendly ways to give the gift of travel to those you love.
Give your family the world via an adventure trip crafted by Tauck , travel industry pros. Through their Tauck Bridges program, you’ll experience hands-on learning, off-the-beaten-path adventures and insights into local cultures. Whether you opt to explore Costa Rican rain forests, the wilds of Tanzania, the Swiss Alps or the islands of the Galapagos, you’ll create memories more lasting than the latest gadget or hip fashion item. Check out the company’s e-brochure. It’s designed to offer parents and grandparents a colorful tool that will lure children into the vacation-planning process. After all, anticipation is part of the adventure.
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In Williams, Arizona, board an historic train for a 65-mile scenic adventure across the Kaibab Plateau to the south rim of the Grand Canyon. In Georgia, bypass the crowds and head for the Cumberland Island National Seashore, the state’s largest and southernmost barrier island. Pristine beaches, mud flats, dune fields and salt marshes provide respite for shore birds, sea turtles, wild turkeys and wild horses. Kayak, fish and hike by day. Enjoy the bounty of stars visible from your family's campsite. (No other lodging is available on the island.) Accessible only by float plane or boat, the Katmai National Park and Preserve on the Alaskan Peninsula near Kodiak Island, spans nearly 5 million acres. Families visit to observe the dense population of brown bears and to fish for trophy rainbow trout, salmon and Dolly Varden trout that run in Katmai’s streams and rivers.
Make a plan to visit our nation’s capital with your family and immerse yourselves in the depth and breadth of opportunity provided by the Smithsonian Institution. From art and history to the National Zoo and the Air and Space Museum, there is plenty to explore in Washington, D.C. Visit the National Museum of African American History and Culture, devoted to sharing the story of black life. With more than 37,000 artifacts collected, visitors can see Harriett Tubman’s hymn book, a sunken slave ship and a segregated rail car. The museum is committed to a robust schedule of programs for children and families. Check the website for details regarding long-term and same-day availability. Also, before your trip, consider a review of the online resources that inspire, prepare and educate.
In Nashville, Tenn., home of the Grand Ole Opry and the best in country music, learn how a simple radio broadcast spawned a global entertainment phenomenon. From industry legends to the latest luminaries, you’ll get a taste of history along with a contemporary dose of the genre in the “home of American music.” Take in the Country Music Hall of Fame, Ryman Auditorium, the Bluebird Cafe and the Johnny Cash Museum. Ask about backstage passes, behind-the-scenes tours and family packages. Or, indulge your teen with tickets to see his or her favorite pop star on stage in Las Vegas. Avoid some of the bright lights by staying at the Four Seasons, a nongaming oasis.
For those who relish the white stuff, the gift of travel to Colorado ski country will be a high-altitude hit. At more than 21 resorts throughout the state, kids under various ages are offered the opportunity to ski free. For example, kids under 5 always ski free at Arapahoe, Aspen Snowmass and Loveland. Steamboat’s Kids Ski Free and Grandkids Ski Free programs enable children 12 and younger to ski free the same number of days as their parent/grandparent with the purchase of a five-or-more-day adult lift ticket. The CSCUSA Ski Passport gives skiers and snowboarders in grades 3–6 the opportunity to explore 20 Colorado Ski Country USA member ski areas. Priced at $65, it gives parents an easy way to hit the slopes without breaking the bank. Some resorts offer lift ticket deals as well as lodging, lesson and gear discounts.
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