Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Great Places for Generational Getaways

When many people think of generational getaways, they may envision the nightmare vacation experienced by the Griswold family in the Chevy Chase movie Vacation. (grandma on the car roof and the dog accidentally left tied to the car). But getaways with various generations don’t have to be so traumatic. Many people think a great generational vacation is piling the entire family into an RV and driving across the country. Not a wonderful idea for most of us. Because of all the different ages, generational getaways are typically better when the participants go to and stay in one place versus the added stress of being confined in a small space and packing/unpacking several time.

The one exception is a cruise. My family did a Caribbean cruise a few years ago for my grandparents’ anniversary. Ages ranged from 75 to 10 years of age. It worked really well because everyone could go at their own pace, yet we still came together as a group during key times like dinner.

As far as destinations, I love traveling to historic places with any senior travelers who accompany me. I learn a lot from their past history, knowledge and experience and I get a whole new appreciation for the historical attributes of the area.

Great places for this are Europe, Boston, Charleston, St Augustine and Washington, DC.

The entire continent of Europe is full of culture and history, so you cannot go wrong (Greece, Italy, France, Spain, Germany). It is also a great place to trace your family’s roots, which makes for a fantastic generational getaway experience.

In Boston, check out a Red Sox game at Fenway Park, take in the natural world at the New England Aquarium, and walk the Boston Freedom Trail where you’ll see Paul Revere’s house and the Benjamin Franklin statue.

In the Southeastern U.S., Charleston has strong historical roots with unique places to visit such as Middleton Place and Fort Sumter National Monument. It also offers carriage rides, which are fun ways to see the sights for kids of any age.

Aside from the lovely Florida beaches, St Augustine, America’s oldest city offers many cultural and historical attractions for every generation, such as Fountain of Youth Discovery Park and the Oldest House, as well as many annual events throughout the year.

There is no better place for U.S. history that our nation’s capital. All 19 of Washington's Smithsonian museums are free. At the Air and Space Museum, kids of all ages enjoy climbing into the nose of a Boeing 747 jumbo jet or touching a piece "lunar moon."
No matter where your generational getaway takes you, be sure there is a variety of activities for all ages and all attendees are well aware of what the trip entails. Have fun!

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