How the widespread trend of multigenerational travel can bring your family closer together
When it comes to how Americans are spending their disposable income, recent studies have shown that travel is at the top of the list. With more and more people seeking experiences over things, people are traveling more now than ever before. One particular trend has taken the world by storm: multigenerational travel. Families of all ages are investing in shared experiences across the globe.
Finding an adventure that can serve the needs and interests of people from different generations can be a challenge. It’s no surprise that when you are traveling with a group of people whose age can range from 2 years to 72 years, you need to put in a little more effort in being intentional with your planned activities. It is important to pick a destination that will allow for grandparents and grandchildren alike to go at their own pace. Thankfully, enjoying an adventure in the outdoors can appeal to people of all ages, and also remain cost-effective.
There’s a reason that outdoor adventures are popular among families: nature brings people together. Many of us grew up enjoying family camping trips over summer vacation. Each year we would grow a few inches taller and a bit more confident in our wilderness skills, albeit the routine was the same. Our parents would triple check the packing list as they loaded the kids into the family minivan and set off for a new outdoor adventure. Experiencing the wonders of nature is always enhanced when shared with others, especially those you love. Whether you are setting up camp, roasting hot dogs over the campfire, or gazing for stars, the outdoors teaches us many important life lessons.
John Pfluecke, a Wilderness Inquiry participant, introduced his children to the outdoors from a very young age. Each summer, he and his family would go on a camping trip. They spent a lot of time exploring Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore on Lake Superior and it remains a favorite spot of theirs to this day. He recalls a vivid memory on a canoe trip to the Noire River in Quebec where he felt a profound sense of serenity and happiness while watching his son accomplish new things and quietly serve as a leader to an individual with cerebral palsy. He saw his son put to use skills that he had learned over the course of dozens of camping trips through his childhood. Now, decades later, John is repeating the process with his grandchildren.
John has found that introducing his children’s children to new experiences and places has been one of the greatest gifts he could give them. One of his favorite memories was the first time he went camping with his grandson, Jonathan, who was 2 years old at the time. Jonathan had just wandered over to help his grandpa set up his tent. John remembers how much joy he felt showing his grandson how to gently put together the spring-loaded tent poles. They moved around the tent as John demonstrated the importance of making sure the tent stakes were pounded in properly. Admiring their hard work, they read a story together inside of the tent. John’s daughter-in-law, Stacy, peeked in and took a photo with a big smile on her face. John still smiles when thinking of that memory.
John and Jonathan, now 10 years old, are both looking forward to a summer adventure this June to the Apostle Islands on Wilderness Inquiry’s 4-day Apostle Islands Family Paddle and Hike Adventure. When asked about the most rewarding benefit of multigenerational travel, John notes that nothing beats getting to share outdoor adventures with your grandchildren and that “Wilderness Inquiry trips are unique in the sense that they provide a great growth experience for youth. Kids get to interact with people of all abilities and ages and realize that we are more alike than we think.”
Here at Wilderness Inquiry, our mission is to provide inclusive adventures for people of all backgrounds, ages, and abilities. We make traveling as a family easy by providing all necessary gear and equipment. Our knowledgeable, charismatic, and responsible guides make our trips truly unique and memorable. Find an adventure perfect for you!