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New ideas for traveling with older family members

  • Article by: Lynn O’Rourke Hayes
  • Dallas Morning News
  • September 6, 2013 - 1:40 PM

In 1978, President Jimmy Carter signed a law declaring the first Sunday after Labor Day to be Grandparents Day.

That would be today.

So what better time to plan a grand adventure with your clan?

Here are five ideas to consider:

Plan a Road Scholar trip: This not-for-profit organization offers a wide range of learning adventures designed specifically for grandparents and their grandkids. Choose from more than 100 itineraries, many targeted for children in specific age ranges.

You’ll join other multigenerational clans to learn about big cats in Kenya, the magic of Harry Potter in England, or whale sharks and spider monkeys in the Yucatan.

(1-800-454-5768; roadscholar.org)

Consider “gramping”: First there was glamping (glamorous camping). And now, “gramping.”

The historic Inn at Cedar Falls in Ohio’s Hocking Hills has introduced a program that encourages multigenerational families to enjoy picnic lunches, local hiking, zip lining and kayaking during the entire day.

They can then return to the inn for dinner and s’mores around the campfire.

The twist comes at bedtime.

Grandparents retire to a comfy guest room while parents and grandkids head to the nearby campground to sleep under the stars.

(1-800-653-2557; innatcedarfalls.com)

Enjoy a sunny holiday: Plan a trip to the Isla Verde Beach Resort in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Some family members can relax on beachfront hammocks, while others can enjoy water sports including surfing, paddle boarding and riding water scooters.

Bonus: Free salsa dancing lessons give grandparents the chance to surprise the younger crew with their rhythm and style.

(1-800-791-2553; sjcourtyard.com)

Take advantage of discounts: For example, the Dickerson Park Zoo in Springfield, Mo., offers half-price admission on Grandparents Day.

Many other museums, zoos and local attractions will provide free or lower-cost admissions to celebrate these special relationships.

Contact the local tourism board or chamber of commerce at your destination to ask about special packages or programs.

(springfieldmo.org)

Take a multigenerational journey: Trek to Nepal (children under 50 pounds can hike or be carried) or explore Mayan mysteries in Belize with this travel company that specializes in creating multigenerational adventures.

Journey guides are specially trained to tend to the needs of all age groups.

(1-800-255-8735; journeys.travel)

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