Resource Center

Kids Want A Say in Grandchildren-Grandparent Adventures

Active travel company finds that only 20 percent of children help choose vacation destinations for families. Yellowstone and other parks among most popular.

Grandparents who enjoy taking their grandchildren on vacation adventures ought to ask those kids where they would most like to go, according to a focus group conducted recently by Austin Lehman Adventures, an active travel tour operator.

Kasey Austin, Field Operations Liaison for the company, said she was surprised when,

Upon asking kids what the best part of a past family vacation has been, almost all of the kids responded “seeing a new place”. She said she thought “for sure that the answer would be ‘spending time with family,’”

Other unexpected questions from children, sent during the focus group conducted by webinar were “Will the activities be too hard?” and “Will little kids be able to do the activities?”

Austin said that while children “are excited about adventure travel,” such as biking, hiking and rafting trips, they fear that “they might not be good enough to participate.”

As a result, the company plans to address children directly on day 1 of an adventure in order to put to rest any anxiety they may have. Kids will be told these family trips are very flexible, geared towards kids, and they will have a guide “every step of the way.”

She added that “for guide training, we will definitely be putting an emphasis on the amount of fun and good humor that needs to be displayed by the guides on family trips. The kids thought this was the quality most looked for in a guide.”

Among the most popular trips for multigenerational vacations at Austin-Lehman are those in Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks. On the 6-day 5-night Yellowstone Family trip, four nights are spent inside the park itself.

Xanterra Offers Yellowstone Family Lodging and Learning Programs

Xanterra, which operates lodges in Yellowstone, offers popular Lodging and Learning vacations for families that include accommodations inside the Park at Mammoth Hot Springs or Grant Village They are aimed at children 8-12 years old.

The trips are led by a naturalist from the Yellowstone Association Institute and allow everyone to explore canyons, waterfalls, geyser basins and plus such activities as animal tracking, wildlife watching, photography, painting, and hiking.

Kids Become Junior Rangers

In both the Xanterra and the Austin-Lehman packages, children can become Yellowstone National Park Junior Rangers. Even before leaving on a trip, adults can download the junior ranger program packet from the Yellowstone National Park Service website and show children how to keep a journal and meet other age-specific requirements that entitle them to special patches, while learning about animals and geologic features of the country’s oldest national park.