With the latest release of travel warnings issued for US travelers to Europe this summer, this question is at the forefront of many traveler's minds. There are many precautions you can take while traveling abroad like registering with the local US Embassy, and remaining alert, attentive, and aware of your surroundings when visiting crowded tourist sights. However, it is a very personal decision that one must evaluate personally. But the Fontanini family will be abroad for nearly an entire month this summer! Our family will not be kept stateside by fear.
As many of you know, I have three amazing children who all devote themselves to the fine art of classical ballet. They dance five or six days a week for anywhere from 3-4 hours per day perfecting their craft. All that hard work has led to an incredible opportunity for one of my dancers. My son has been accepted to train with the Royal Ballet School in London this summer. For those of you not deeply entrenched in the world of ballet (a secret part of me envies you) this is a pretty big deal. So, of course we are all going to London because if my little guy is thinking he’s going to be having all the fun, boy is he wrong! I plan on taking advantage of this trip to use my children as my guinea pigs. In a good way, though! London is a sought after destination not only for adults, but families as well. I will be doing the usual hotel inspections and visits to ensure I put my clients up in the perfect accommodations according to their needs and budget, but I am also going to put together tours and itineraries that appeal to both young and old alike. You see, my mom and teenage niece and nephew are going with us. Remember my mom, the world traveler that’s been everywhere? Well, she hasn't been to London, so, it’s morphed into a multi-generational trip. What's a multi-generational trip, you ask? This type of vacation is becoming more and more popular as grandparents want to engage with their adult children and grandchildren and travel to destinations where they can share experiences together and create memories that will last a lifetime. These can be smaller family units, or even larger extended family groups that wish to do a family reunion type trip. There is a destination and travel style to fit any family.
How will I plan an itinerary that will keep little ones ages 9, 11, and teenagers from 16 to 18 engaged, as well as my husband and I, and my young at heart mom? This may seem daunting, but I have a few ideas and tricks up my sleeve. Did you know that Westminster Abbey has a scavenger hunt for children to keep them engaged while we older history buffs meander through the site? And there’s a special treat for those that complete the hunt awaiting them in the gift shop as they exit. Harry Potter, Doctor Who, and Sherlock? I have them covered. But I’m not overlooking Downton Abbey either because my mom and I can totally join in on the whole fandom thing too. Of course, we will visit all the must-see sights like Buckingham Palace’s changing of the guards, the Tower of London and the crown jewels, and the London Eye, but I want the littles to spend time in the wonderful museums and gardens as well. There are some fabulous day trips we can take out to Stonehenge, Cotswold, and Bath. And, you can take a boat ride up the Thames River to Greenwich and visit the Royal Observatory. For those of you that can't get enough of the royals, Windsor Castle is nearby also. A day trip to Paris on the train through the Chunnel is on our agenda as well!
There is so much to see and do in and around London. My biggest problem is going to be wanting to stay longer. The travel warnings are not keeping us home! So, stay tuned this summer for my multi-generational trip abroad to London, and maybe you will feel inspired to plan a trip with your loved ones this summer too. For those who prefer to travel within the US there are plenty of wonderful things to do and see here from National Parks to beaches, or big city destinations. I would love the opportunity to partner with you to plan the perfect trip for your family. Contact me for additional information on how I can assist you in making your summer vacation a memorable one. Because life is short.
Stop dreaming. Start going.