These days I jump at the chance when one of the kids suggests a trip

By Eileen Ogintz
Tribune Content Agency

The days are long gone when the kids just go along for the ride.

To be fair, they may not always have been happy with your choices. Mine certainly weren’t. By the time they were in high school and certainly college and beyond, the proposed trip had to be something they really were interested in doing (skiing in Austria for one daughter; hiking along the Amalfi Coast with another; sailing in the Caribbean with my son, for example.) I’ve just about given up getting all three of them and their partners to be free and interested in the same trip.

These days, I jump at the chance when one of the kids suggests a trip — like my older daughter did recently when she still had time off and her husband was away on business. We opted for a road trip with her and her pooch for a few days to San Luis Obispo on California’s Central Coast for hikes, wine tasting and exceptionally good eats.

Our family on a Moorings catamaran charter in the BVI 2012.
Our family on a Moorings catamaran charter in the BVI 2012.

According to the latest American Travel Sentiment Survey from Longwoods International, Americans are planning more travel in every category compared to last year, visiting friends and relatives, national parks, taking road trips, among their choices.

“Despite some potential headwinds, travelers are planning to be on the road and in the air this fall travel season,” said Amir Eylon, president and CEO of Longwoods International. “Strong travel demand appears to be overwhelming any inflation or recession fears, at least for now.”

The key to everyone’s happiness is a trip that will please everyone — and that isn’t always easy to achieve. Also, if there are no young kids in the mix, you don’t want to suggest a place that will be packed with other people’s children and grandchildren.

What’s your budget? Are you picking up the tab or do you expect the kids to pay for part of the trip — perhaps a flight? Do you have airline or credit card points you can offer? Consider something they wouldn’t be likely to do on their own.

If your kids are out of college (and aren’t teachers) fall can be a great time to get away. Crowds are gone in many places; prices have come down and the weather (hopefully) will have turned cooler.

Danube River cruise and biking with Backroads in 2017
Danube River cruise and biking with Backroads in 2017

If you are seeking an active adventure with grown kids, Backroads, the leader in active travel, has family trips especially designed for those whose children are in their 20s and beyond. My older daughter and son-in-law proclaimed the bike trip we did, traveling via river cruise on the Danube in Europe, was one of their best vacations ever. Perhaps that was because they were able to do more arduous rides each day, meeting us for lunch and dinner. I’ve also met many grandparents and grown grandchild travelers on river cruises, as well as sisters, brothers, cousins….

For those wanting to travel with adventurous grown daughters, the company has also just announced new Women’s Adventures that are the same great Backroads active trips, the only difference is that all of the guests are women. Perhaps Provence to the French Riviera at the end of September or Sedona at the beginning of November.

For those with daughters (sisters, or friends) over 50, Road Scholar also now offers women-only trips for those 50 and older — touring cities, wellness retreats, national parks, art intensive visits to New York and more. Road Scholar’s trips are all-inclusive educational adventures created by Elderhostel, the not-for-profit leader in educational travel for nearly 50 years.

Adult playground on Virgin Voyages Valiant Lady
Adult playground on Virgin Voyages Valiant Lady April 2023

Perhaps an adult-only cruise. We met quite a few parent-grown child duos aboard the award-winning Virgin Voyages cruise line, Richard Branson’s cruise line where the minimum age is 18. Virgin Voyages has a commitment to wellness with a huge fitness center, including spaces for spin, yoga and cardio, unlimited complimentary fitness classes, an outdoor training zone, including a boxing ring, strength and gymnastics equipment, and a secluded sundeck with 360-degree ocean views for sunrise and sunset yoga. Each day there were upwards of a dozen wellness activities — everything from Open-Heart Slow Flow Yoga to Spin-Out Class to Cleansing Breathing Class, as well as a spa (very popular), a casino, pickleball, and even a tattoo studio. “How nice to be in the pool or the hot tub and not have kids in diapers and kids everywhere,” said Kate Charlesworth-Miller, here with her daughter, her daughter’s mother-in-law and sister-in-law on a girl’s trip. “We’re loving it,” she said, adding that she has spent a lot more on past cruises that she has enjoyed a lot less. There are often attractive deals.

Consider the Caribbean! You don’t need a passport to go to the U.S. Virgin Islands. September is not the most popular month to travel to the USVI, meaning that visitors will be able to book hotels at a lower rate, and finally take advantage of uncrowded white-sand beaches and clear blue waters without hassle. If you want an all-inclusive, Sandals resorts are adult-only (Beaches is their family brand) and everything is included, even scuba diving. Check out their deals.

Snorkeling adventure in Alaska with UnCruise 2012
Snorkeling adventure in Alaska with UnCruise 2012

For those who want to get off the tourist track without any heavy lifting, kayaking, hiking, snorkeling, wild-life watching consider an adult-only UnCruise Adventures, all-inclusive trips with ships under 100 guests cruising everywhere from Alaska to Northern Baja, the Aleutian Islands, Olympic peninsula and the Hawaiian Islands. Save$400 per person for sailings in Baja or Hawaii.

National parks are terrific in fall as are mountain towns with great wildlife viewing, foliage and an easier time getting into restaurants, as well as hotel deals. The dog-friendly Sebastian Vail is touting 15 percent off for stays of three or four nights. Aspen’s condo resort Gant, walking distance to downtown, is celebrating its 50th anniversary with gifts, $50 food and beverage credit, a private guided half-day fly fishing adventure and more. (Packages start at $435.)

Just make sure to get everyone’s approval before you put down a deposit!

(For more Taking the Kids, visit and also follow TakingTheKids on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram where Eileen Ogintz welcomes your questions and comments. The fourth edition of The Kid’s Guide to New York City and the third edition of The Kid’s Guide to Washington D.C. are the latest in a series of 14 books for kid travelers published by Eileen.)

©2023 Eileen Ogintz. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.