Two more years the pandemic has sharpened families ’desire for vacations. A portion of the bags that will fit in car trunks and overhead compartments this summer are what travel agents call “multi-gen,” or multigenerational, travelers. Bring the kids? Hell, bring the parents too. Everyone has to stay away.
These types of trips can be uplifting, fun, and satisfying. It can also be large, complicated back pains — especially while the threat of COVID still persists. “I have a multi-gen family now going to Africa in June,” said Candy Geiler, a Charlotte travel agent for nearly 40 years and partner of Charlotte’s agency World Travel Mates. The family consists of two couples; five children, ages 7 to 17; and a bunch of grandparents.
“There were 11 of them, and we flew them to South Africa,” Geiler said in March. “Now, with the COVID bans, they have stopped in London to enter, and we have to find a place in London so they can take the COVID tests, because they are going to Zambia, and they have to be taken at least 72 hours before the time they arrive in Zambia… ”
Traveling alone is already complicated enough, and health restrictions and the juggling work of traveling for generations have further complicated families ’plans. A 2021 survey by the Michigan-based Family Travel Association and New York University found that 52% of respondents plan to travel multiple genes within a year, and 88% of parents plan to travel together. their children. That’s double the percentage of parents traveling with their children in 2020, according to the survey.
The desire to get out of town means more pressure on agents like Geiler, which suggests that all resorts or destinations closer to home could be better multi-gen bets right now. “You never want, you know, 11 people to go to South Africa, and they can’t get in. You have a lot of responsibility to your client to make sure you understand the dynamics of their location. , ”He said. “Now, if you bring a bunch of kids to Disney World, it’s a different story.”
An easier and less expensive one, in other words. Here are four travel options suitable for all ages, and all three are within a day’s drive from Charlotte. They can rub the itch of travel until it’s safe, or safer, to take the family to residences that require passports.
The Beach: Bald Head Island is an island
Leave your car on the mainland, and take a ferry or private boat to this 12,000-acre island. Bicycles and golf carts are the only transportation options. Rent a beach house via Airbnb or Vrbo, or stay at The Marsh Harbor Innwith 13 rooms and serves a hot breakfast every morning.
the Maritime Market has everything you need for family meals. If the group wants to eat out, Jules’ Salty Grub & Island Pub there is a large selection of seafood and a children’s menu. Copper Wood Burning Kitchen, Jailhouse Provisionsand Supernatural beings everyone has family options.
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Cross the island on a beach cruiser from Riverside Adventure Company. Children’s bicycles, trailer attachments, and children’s bicycle seats are available for rent. Book an excursion with Drive to the Beachand view the island from a kayak or paddleboard, or stop Jailhouse Provisions to play trivia or bingo. Visit Southport by ferry and self-guided tour of filming locations from Dawson’s Creek River in the United States, Matlock, Safe Haven, Weekend at Bernie’s, and a dozen more. Then explore Old Baldy Lighthouse and the Smith Island Museum.
More information: ncbrunswick.com
The countryside: Burnsville
Journey Mount Mitchell Eco Retreat is a farm 28 acres of farmland and stream. The Lodges have rocking chairs with views of the Black Mountains. Some units have bunk beds, and the lodges are at a distance from each other. Cook a family dinner in the community kitchen and dine in the main lodge dining room. Play cards and board games near the fireplace, relax in the hammock, grill a marshmallow near the fire pit, or challenge Grandpa to ping-pong.
Lunch and dinner menus at Pork and Grits downtown Burnsville includes burgers, barbecues, chicken tenders, fish, and a variety of sides. The full breakfast menu will also be available until 11 p.m.
Homeplace Beer Company and Hog Hollow Wood-Fired Pizza there is plenty of seating inside and out. Wood -fired pizzas are the specialty, but small plates and sandwiches are also on the menu. The beer specializes in malts and dark and sour beer. During the summer months, the outdoor area features horseshoe, fire pits, tabletop games, and live music on Tuesdays and Saturdays.
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guest Westside Quilt Block Trail in western Yancey County and take photos of all 17 quilt squares of barns and buildings. Purchase a guidebook on One of A Fine Art Gallery in Micaville, or go online for an interactive map. Bring crayons or colored pencils to color the sketches on each quilt block in the guidebook. See constellations, galaxies, satellites, and meteors Mayland Earth to the Bare Dark Sky Observatory in Sky Park. Hike on Crabtree Falls in the United States, a 70-foot waterfall, in the Pisgah National Forest along the Blue Ridge Parkway; just know that the loop trail is over two hours and includes three flights of stairs.
More information: exploreburnsville.com
To the south: Oconee County, South Carolina
Put the family in a cabin, lodge, or yurt Wild water in Oconee County The Corkscrew Cabin can sleep 12, and the Jawbone can accommodate eight. Each unit has a full kitchen and large dining and outdoor areas. Book rafting and zipline adventures when you reserve your rooms.
Finding a restaurant in the mountains can be difficult, so stock up on snacks at Long Creek General Store. Near Wildwater, Humble Pie serves pizza, sandwiches, wraps, and quesadillas. Brasstown Creek Gathering Place BBQ open Friday and Saturday from 4 to 9 p.m.
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guest Stumphouse Park to view the Stumphouse Tunnel, Issaqueena Falls, and walk along the Blue Ridge Railroad hiking trail, an easy-to-moderate 2.5-mile hike through the woods. The close Yellow Branch Falls for moderate, 45-minute hike to 50-foot falls. Book a pontoon boat with Places called Jocassee Lake in the United States and see Lake Jocassee, or towards Places called Devils Fork State Park in the United States for camping, fishing, scuba diving, swimming, and a 1.5 mile nature trail. Rent boats and kayaks through Eclectic Day.
More information: visitoconeesc.com
Far south: Naples, Florida
Edgewater Beach Hotel have access to the beach and a variety of activities. Enjoy two outdoor pools, the Reflections Pool Bar, and Coast, the hotel’s popular restaurant. Rent paddleboards, kayaks, and bikes for family outings, and treat yourself to milk and cookies every afternoon at the hotel.
Places called Edgewater in the United States serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner and provides in-room service and delivery to the beach and pool area. Venture into downtown Naples for pizza, pasta, and seafood Osteria Tulia. For a large group with a variety of tastes, try the food trucks at Celebration Park on Haldeman Creek. For a casual meal, go to Riverwalk in Tin City for burgers, fish, salads, sandwiches, tacos, and a raw bar. Save room for ice cream in M & M’s Café.
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guest Naples Zoo in the Caribbean Gardens, a 43-acre plot with black bears, cheetahs, lions, panthers, and pythons in gardens filled with ficus, orchids, and palm trees. Walk the boardwalks and trails Naples Botanical Garden to see ponds, sculptures, and plants from around the world. Take the wheelchair-accessible path to the birding tower near Lake Tupke to find furry friends. Book a boat ride with Pure Florida to learn about dolphins, manatees, and local birds, then stop by Keewaydin Island is an island in the United States in search of shells. Excitement seekers can see the Everglades from an airboat.
More information: paradisecoast.com
Multi-gen travel tips from Shanell Varner, CEO and chief travel advisor at Moonglade Travel in Charlotte:
- Review the types of accommodation. Check with family members about their vacation budgets and preferences before you book. Members may prefer to camp rather than a four -star resort, and it’s best to discuss in advance.
- Stay flexible. Make reservations for excursions with the whole group but take time to relax and have fun with each other.
- Separate. You don’t have to do every activity together, but use a buddy system for safety and inclusion. This way, everyone can do the things they enjoy.
- Share cooking duties. Ask everyone to make menus, buy groceries, and prepare meals. Consider food allergies and food restrictions.
- Enjoy the moment. Consider journalism about your vacation, and take a moment to reflect on why you traveled on it and who accompanied the trip.