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From One Adventure to the Next

Being a mom is hard work, sacrifice, and total commitment. But it’s not the end of life. Here’s the story of Kristin, one mom who after raising two children is rediscovering her taste for adventure and passion for exploring the world.

Rediscover travel after kids

The day crept up on me quite unannounced, although I should have anticipated the affects. One would imagine that after 20 years of yearning for peace, quiet and a calendar devoid of kid activities and demands, I would have circled that date in red.

When that time came however, it startled me. It took months to come down from the loneliness of the empty nest and the frenetic pace of these kid-centric years. But once my heart rate slowed and my mind cleared, thoughts that were buried for decades starting blooming. Thoughts of traveling to faraway places that do not have water parks or ball pits. Thoughts of the freedom to see and do something other than watch a basketball tournament or ask Siri where for the nearest McDonald’s Playland. Thoughts of enjoying a nice dinner with fabulous wine—without the whine!

My taste for travel was whetted early as a kid. The most impactful experience was as a foreign exchange student in the tiny town of Gorizia in Northern Italy. When my host family’s tiny yellow Citroën picked me up at the train station, I knew that this was going to be an adventure. The drive home quickly became awkward as we tried to get to know each other—but without understanding each other’s language! So, I spent many of the first weeks trying to not only learn Italian, but also to decipher body language—and was surprised to find my American senses were not used to the Italian way. It surprised me initially to watch dinner conversations escalate into heated arguments only to see hugs and kisses on the back patio a few hours later.

Despite the language challenge, I immediately fell into a state of wonder about the culture that surrounded me. I saw artifacts and architecture created a thousand years before my ancestors settled in the upper Midwest. I rode a public bus for an hour to get to the brilliant blue seaside where the locals were fascinated by our “cowboy” president (Reagan). I fed the Venetian pigeons in Piazza San Marco and bought a cameo ring that I still own today. And the pizza? The gelato? The pork and polenta? Nutella and French bread? Let’s just say I came home slightly larger than when I left. I embraced this little town and its people, with their heart and passion and beauty and yes, food!

Experiences like this taught me a lot about myself as well. Some of the things that mattered to me most when I was in my hometown really didn’t seem as consuming once I began travelling. My mind was blown at the rich history of different countries and cultures. And who knew that once you learn one Italian dialect, there were at least 87 more to master! This is what I love about travel. It has expanded my mind and my heart and made me a more compassionate, adaptable, and curious human being.

Admittedly, in the process of raising a family, I think that I lost some of that compassion and curiosity as I felt so consumed by the awesome responsibility of not screwing up two little beings. Today we have been released from that pressure chamber and voila! My energy and intrigue about different places is growing.

Perhaps this is the one of the last lessons I can teach my now-adult sons: people from different places can teach you so much; the world is interesting and diverse and beautiful and tragic; it is not at all like what you see on your social media feeds. Life begins when you step out of your comfort zone!

So arrivederci to vacations filled with water parks or chicken-nugget friendly restaurants. Italy, I cannot wait to see you again!
 

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Top 5 Reasons to Take a Multigenerational Trip

Tight-knit families aren’t born. They’re made with unforgettable experiences. And while it shouldn’t take a Christmas miracle to get people together, planning a multigenerational vacation is a daunting task with no shortage of opinions and a lack of consensus.

At Trek Travel, we believe that nothing should come between the ties that bind. Wide-ranging ages, activity levels and interests are no match for the creativity and flexibility of our guides. And whether you choose from our existing itineraries or make it private, our trip consultants will work with you to craft a personalized experience for your extended family. Below, John Burke, President of Trek Bikes, outlines his top five reasons to take a multigenerational family vacation:

1. The Family that Plays Together Stays Together
We started taking multigenerational family trips six years ago, and it is an event that everyone looks forward to. Similar to Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve, the family trip has become a major event on our schedule.

Pro Tip: A family suggested this to us many years ago. Take a family vacation once a year and plan it for the same dates every year. Our family does the second week of June. This way everyone knows ahead of time that the family trip is always the second week of June and this puts an end to all of the drama surrounding dates.
 
 
John Burke Top 5 Reasons to Take a Multigenerational Family Trip
 
2. Great Family Time
On the typical family vacation, each morning starts with a negotiation. People sit around, spending time deciding what the group is going to do. They guys go golfing, the ladies go for a run, maybe meet for lunch, the negotiating goes back and forth. One of the things our family loves about Trek Travel trips is having an awesome pre-set schedule. The guides do a great job of leading the group and making adjustments as necessary. This really is a family vacation, not vacation that the family goes on and everyone does their own thing.

3. Amazing Memories
In the past five years, we have seen the National Parks, we have traveled the Freedom trail in Boston and ridden our bikes down the Charles River, we have done some amazing riding around the San Juan Islands, we had a behind the scenes Tour at the Biltmore Mansion in Asheville, and we’ve eaten some of the best meals at farm-to-table restaurants. In fact, last year it was a small farm and we had an awesome time playing horseshoes, having cocktails, and enjoying the local fare. Every day Trek Travel goes above and beyond to create amazing memories. And as Carson from Downton Abbey says, “In the end, all you have are your memories.”
 
 
Multigenerational Trips with Trek Travel
 
4. Try New Things
Trek Travel does a great job of giving people amazing opportunities to explore new places in a variety of ways. We have hiked some awesome trails in America’s National Parks, we have kayaked, we have visited Presidential Libraries. Every day there is something new with Trek Travel.

5. It Makes Your Mother Happy
My mother loves to see her family together, spending quality time with one another. There is no greater gift that one can give their mother than spending time with the family.
 
 
Trek Travel Multigenerational Trips
 

Suggested Multigenerational Trips

Santa Barbara

With a home base in downtown Santa Barbara, this weekend bike tour offers four full days of cycling, sightseeing, dining, hiking, and relaxing along the Central Coast.

Trek Travel Santa Barbara Bike Tour

San Juan Islands

With endless options for exploring the Pacific Northwest’s colorful villages, wooded lanes and blue waters, Trek Travel’s San Juan Islands trip has something for everyone.

Trek Travel San Juan Islands Vacation

Ireland

Settle into the warmth of our outstanding accommodations, share in jovial banter, and absorb the undying spirit of the enchanting Emerald Isle on your vacation of a lifetime.

Trek Travel Ireland Vacation

Prague to Vienna

Bring the extended family on a trip to discover the heart of Europe, the place where European history was crafted, at a pace catered specifically to you and your loved ones.

Trek Travel Prague to Vienna Vacation

Ready for the multigenerational vacation of a lifetime? Contact our trip consultants and start planning your dream vacation today»

Private

If a date is marked as Private, it is reserved for a private group.

Looking to travel with a small group or looking for a custom date?
Call our trip consultants at 866-464-8735

What is the Difference?

Ultimate Luxury:

Savor some of the most spectacular, 5-star properties in the world. Exuding luxury and elegance, these one-of-a-kind accommodations offer the chance to rejuvenate at award-winning spas, dine at Michelin-starred restaurants, and more.

Luxury:

Enjoy luxurious accommodations handpicked for a refined experience. From signature spa treatments to delicious local cuisine, you’ll be more than provided for; you’ll be pampered.

Explorer

These handpicked hotels provide relaxation and fun in a casual and comfortable environment. Delicious cuisine and great service mix perfectly for a memorable stay.

Combined

On select cycling vacations, you’ll stay at a mix of hotel levels, from Explorer to Luxury to Ultimate Luxury. Rest assured, no matter which level of hotel you’re at, our trip designers carefully select every accommodation.

Activity Level

Level 1:

Road: 1-3 hours of riding. Up to 25 mi (40 km). Up to 1,000 ft (300 m).

Gravel: 1-3 hours of riding. Up to 20 mi (35 km). Up to 1,000 ft (300 m).

Hiking: 1-3 hours of hiking. Up to 5 mi (8 km). Up to 1,000 ft (300 m).

Level 2:

Road: 2-4 hours of riding. 20-35 mi (35-60 km). Up to 2,500 ft (750 m).

Gravel: 2-4 hours of riding. 15-30 mi (25-45 km). Up to 2,000 ft (300 m).

Hiking: 2-4 hours of hiking. 4-8 mi (6-12 km). Up to 1,500 ft (450 m).

Level 3:

Road: 3-5 hours of riding. 25-55 mi (40-85 km). Up to 4,500 ft (1,500 m).

Gravel: 3-5 hours of riding. 20-40 mi (35-60 km). Up to 3,000 ft (900 m).

Hiking: 3-5 hours of hiking. 6-10 mi (9-16 km). Up to 2,000 ft (600 m).

Level 4:

Road: 4+ hours of riding. 40-70 mi (60-110 km). Up to 8,000 ft (2,400 m).

Gravel: 4+ hours of riding. 30-50 mi (45-80 km). Up to 4,000 ft (1,200 m).

Hiking: 4+ hours of hiking. 7-15 mi (11-24 km). Up to 4,000 ft (1,200 m).

What are your trip styles?

Classic - Reserve:

Savor the finer things as you relax in luxurious 5-star accommodations and wine, dine, and ride in some of the most unforgettable destinations around the world.

Classic - Signature:

Explore beautiful destinations by bike, enjoy extra inclusions, savor delicious local cuisine, and enjoy the perfect mix of accommodations.

Classic - Discovor:

Enjoy a casual cycling vacation with fantastic routes and comfortable accommodations.

Ride Camp:

Train like the pros in some of their favorite riding destinations.

Pro Race:

See the pros in action at the biggest cycling events of the year.

Cross Country:

Tackle an epic adventure that takes you point-to-point across mountains, countryside, and more.

Self-Guided

Enjoy a bike tour on your schedule with just your chosen travel companions.

Single Occupancy

Sometimes it’s more convenient and comfortable to have your own room while on vacation. We understand and that’s why we offer a Single Occupancy option. The additional price guarantees a private room all to yourself