Q. Cynthia B of New York City asks "Can you help me plan a vacation to celebrate my 75th birthday? I would like to travel with my family of 12, including five grandkids between the ages of 8 and 13, and their 7 parents. I'd like something grand like maybe a safari if that's not too expensive, or Europe, or any other ideas you have."
A. Thanks for your inquiry; it's great to hear about grandparents planning big family trips to celebrate a special event. If you're thinking about an Africa safari, there are some great tour operators who specialize in accommodating a multi-generational group like yours, with your own private guides to the game parks, and support staff. Without knowing where everyone in your family would be traveling from, we can only estimate that a safari may cost between $8,000 and $12,000 per person for a 10-day trip to Africa with international airfare.
You are also thinking about Europe, and during Spring Break or in the summer that would be a wonderful destination for your family trip. You mentioned that you are somewhat limited in your mobility because you use a cane, so we would recommend a tour operator that can help you get around a few cities of interest. You will want to pick those cities carefully (ask the grandkids want they dream of seeing) to be sure there is plenty more than just museums for everyone to enjoy. (A reunion group on Lake Luzerne, Switzerland is pictured here.)
For another thought, with the range of ages of your grandchildren, and the various interests of the adults, and your mobility issues, you might want to consider a family reunion cruise. Certainly a cruise that begins in the US would be cost effective because you would save on the 12 airfares to an international destination. And we think the Disney Cruise Lines do a great job in offering adults plenty to do too.
Here is our editors' pick of the top guided tours for families traveling with children. We have requested some some brochures to be mailed to your home address so that you have more information about a few of the various options.
In addition to the brochures, we have included links to the company websites so that you can find more information online about specific programs.
Thomson Family Adventures – excellent outfitter for family safaris
Wildland Adventures – excellent outfitter for family safaris (different countries and itineraries)
Tauck Bridges – division of highly regarded Tauck Tours (multigenerational tours to Europe)
Disney Cruise – family cruises (choice of Florida based cruise going to the Caribbean, Europe too)
Let us know what you decide to do and of course, how the celebration goes!
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