Tips on Giving The Gift Of Travel To Family and Grandchildren, Multigenerational, With Grandchildren, and Best Family Itineraries Around the United States and World

salzburgThis year, more than ever, it seems that the gift of travel is the most important gift for the family and grandchildren.  The key is that everyone wants experiences, not things.  Even “Black Friday” and “Cyber Monday” now include massive amounts of travel specials, although the travel specials this Grandma saw for her favorites were not the best nor ones exclusive to those supposed “deals.”
Travel to a destination, near or far, is a perfect way to bring the family together without distractions.  Travel to a destination, near and far, is a perfect way to keep grandchildren engaged without distractions of electronics.
As a holiday gift, the gift of travel fits in a card or a box with an item that identifies the location.  For example, a book on the location of the travel.  As a holiday gift, it is not immediate gratification, but we know that planning and anticipation of travel enhances the experience.  The holiday gift just begins giving at the holiday and keeps giving long after the holiday with the memories that last a lifetime.
Think a “staycation” as well as a destination as a gift.  Most families do not take advantage of the many advantages in the place in which they live.  We just visited Paris with our grandson and when our friend’s son who is Parisian saw the itinerary he said he had never visited most of the sites.  We gave his parents our guide’s name and a copy of our daily itineraries (which this Grandma will share with you in future blogs) even though Paris is their home.  TripAdvisor is the best source as a guide and for finding the perfect private guide and you would be surprised at the specialized tours in or near your own home town.  There is even time for this holiday to explore tickets for museum exhibits, shows, events, concerts, that will take place near home in 2017.  Add a night near the event.  You now have a gift of travel.
Remember, our children and grandchildren are busy and want vacations of their own.  Long holiday weekends are less expensive than you think at hotels and resorts, and last minute specials are available everywhere.  Buying airfare very early on holiday times or off days holiday times makes holiday travel affordable.  Think a weekend of three or four nights away, five nights maximum.
With a little preplanning, you can save much.
Sign up on line for every resort or hotel of interest around the world.  As  a “friend,” you get emails with specials and “friends and family” discounts exist for these too.  I frequently see specials, especially in their slow seasons.
Sign up on line for Gate1 travel.   They will send you weekly specials at prices you will not believe.  Unfortunately, they have a limit on ages of children of eight and older, but my grandparent friends have taken their grandchildren to the major capitals of the world, and even to the Amazon jungle and love this company for family travel.  It is not five star but the memories are.  Similarly sign up for travelzoo. This are great sites too for giving us grandparents a gift of travel ourselves.
For luxury individual or group family travel, think Abercrombie and Kent, and look at their itineraries for the best ideas.
For the youngest grandchildren, think Disney.  Also, think cruise! Disney has many and there are many specials.  Sign up on various cruise line sites.
There are ways to get discount business class airline tickets.  See this link. After all, we grandparents need more room and the ability to rest comfortably on long hauls.  The rest of the family can fly coach, but if taking a grandchild, flying business class for them is a very special treat.
Get an American Express Platinum card, if you can afford it and intend to travel in the near future.  It is costly, but this Grandma was surprised at the number of friends who did not know that you can obtain two for one fully refundable and changeable business class airline tickets (if there are cheaper flights later you get the greater discount) and if you make a hotel reservation with them you get great amenities such as early checkin and late checkout, full breakfast, and an amenities credit.  A stay of one night becomes two full days.
Get another travel credit card, such as Starwoods or an airline card and use it every day for all household purchases you make anyway.  Starwoods is consistently touted as the best travel card.  See why at  Read Wendy Perrin for travel advice.  Here is her article on best travel credit cards. Sign up for her inside tips.  Sign up on the points guy website for more tips.
This Grandma asks for suggestions for location of travel.  Usually, the grandchild who wants to go somewhere means Grandma goes into action to make it happen.  Satisfying a multigenerational family is more difficult.  Concerns about Zika may mean a desert location (no mosquitoes) this year.
If you want some ready-made tried and wonderful ideas, even for staycation ideas in your area,  please look at these previous posts:
Disney
Secret Disney
Charleston and Kiawah Island
New York
Florida
Hershey Park
Washington, DC area
Boston
London
Coming soon!  Italy and Paris itineraries and tips.
Happy holidays!  To travel, and time and good health to enjoy it multigenerational and with grandchildren.
Joy,
Mema

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