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Family travel five: Simple steps can bring big inspiration

Travel has the power to transform the way we see the world and our role in it.

Here are five ideas that may inspire your family:


1. Focus on the experience.

Small feet splashing in the surf. First tracks through powder. A really big tug on the fishing line. Climbing to the top of the hill through personal pedal power. These are the moments that bring joy to parents as they watch their children and grandchildren light up with a rush of adrenalin and the unexpected thrill of a new experience. Make plans to see the sparkle in their bright eyes today.

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2. Celebrate with those who matter most.

Whether it’s a milestone birthday, an anniversary, a wedding, a new family member or your clan’s good health, there is reason to celebrate in the months ahead. Modern-day cruise itineraries are designed to help you put a plan in motion. Whether you choose to cruise the Caribbean islands, the wilds of Alaska, a European river, the coast of California or in more exotic waters, there is something for every age group to experience every day and a way to toast to your collective good fortune every night.



3. Take a deep breath.

Reduce the stress of daily life through endorphin-releasing adventures paired with wellness-promoting activities that will manifest happy memories as well as healthy habits. Unplug and learn to meditate. Take a yoga class together. Spend the day at the spa or in nature's classroom. Head for the double hammock with a few good books. Paddle across the lake. Go for a family run or hike through the red-rock canyons in Sedona.



4. Share your most valuable resource.

Perhaps the best we have to give is our time. So, plan now to share your wealth with those you hold dear. Plan a getaway with the grandparents, a romantic holiday with your spouse, a weekend with the cousins, and the best spring break ever with the kids. Meet your college friends and their families for the big game. Embrace the idea of hanging out with theme park princesses or in a world of wizards while it still matters. Create a shared experience that will last for a lifetime.



5. Spread kindness and compassion.

Share the bounty with others. Volunteer vacations enable parents to model their most deeply held values while demonstrating compassion for others who share our place on the planet. Develop new talents, brush off rusty skills and make a difference as a family. For a day, a weekend, or longer, help build a house, teach someone to read, uncover artifacts or improve an endangered habitat. Pair a trip to Machu Picchu with the opportunity to visit the Patacancha indigenous community and support female artisans and their traditional weaving cooperative. When making plans, why not include a less fortunate friend or family member in your transformative experience?



(Lynn O’Rourke Hayes ( is an author, family travel expert and enthusiastic explorer.)



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