The Multi-Family Vacation
Mark Twain once remarked that “there ain’t no surer way to find out whether you like people or hate them than to travel with them.” Keep that in mind the next time you plan a trip with other families.
Of course, teaming up with clans like yours has its advantages. Kids who might stomp their feet at the prospect of visiting a Civil War battlefield are more easily persuaded when peers come along, too. And it’s easier on parents. “The kids go off and hang out. And it gives you a chance to have a meal and maybe a couple of drinks after dinner,” says Pat Severo, a 58-year-old wealth manager from Manhattan Beach, California, who frequently travels with friends. “Just relax and talk about the day.”
A shared interest can be key — like a resort that revolves around nature photography or fly-fishing. Think of it like family camp or an after-school program for adults. Severo found his travel tribe through his love of scuba diving. For more than a decade, he’s been taking his three kids to dive some of the best reefs in the world, staying at resorts in Roatán, Yap, and Fiji. On nearly every trip, his brood winds up bonding with another, staying in touch, and sometimes going on to become travel partners on future trips. “You sort of build your own group of people,” Severo says.
But wherever you go, take Dana Zucker’s lodging advice. The 49-year-old from Omaha co-writes a travel blog called Tri Wives Club, aimed at couples who travel to far-flung triathlons. Zucker’s must-have feature: “Space. We want a hotel where you can actually have alone time. It’s good to have rooms that are separated from each other.”
HIT DISNEY WORLD
You heard us right: Disney World. Not only will the kids love you forever, but you’ll be happy, too, especially if you’re thirsty. The Magic Kingdom’s various restaurants, bars, and pavilions serve an astonishing 250 different beers from around the world. Rent the three-bedroom Treehouse Villa at Saratoga Springs, which sleeps nine. When everyone else is at the water park, sneak away for a round at Lake Buena Vista Golf Course.
RENT A BEACH VILLA
Airbnb and HomeAway are full of listings for primo digs in warmer climes the world over. Our pick: Sea Horse Ranch, a private gated community in the Dominican Republic — just two hours from Miami — where five- and six-bedroom beachfront villas include swimming pools, access to private beach coves, tennis courts, and an equestrian center. Some include maids who will cook for you.
GO TO CAMP
The kids love going to summer camp, and there’s no reason you can’t get in on the action. Learn to scuba-dive with Family Dive Adventures’ Kids Sea Camp, a pop-up scuba school. Try fly-fishing with your kids at a two-day Orvis parent-child course on Vermont’s Battenkill River. Or get ready for winter in June and July at High Cascade Snowboard Camp, where you’ll bed down in a chalet and spend a week learning to carve turns at Timberline — the only North American resort where the lifts run all year.