Top Grandparent Travel Companies

Multigenerational Adventures Combine Education With Enjoyment

Many grandparents put hassle-free travel high on their wish lists, especially when grandchildren are coming along. Yes, traveling with grandkids can be a ton of fun, but it can be complicated as well. Simplify matters by booking with a company that specializes in grandparent travel.

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Adventures by Disney

Grandparents and grandchildren can share destinations like Ireland through Adventures by Disney.
Adventures by Disney offers lots of options for grandparent travel, including tours of Ireland. Photo © Adventures by Disney

If you've ever visited Disneyland or Disney World, you know that Uncle Walt's company does lots of things right. Since 2005 the iconic company has been offering family travel through Adventures by Disney. Two Adventure Guides are assigned to each group, and they work hard at keeping the children entertained and happy, as well as taking care of pesky details. Adventures by Disney provides VIP admission to major attractions, but the company also promises an "immersive" experience, with local experts and educational activities. Destinations on all continents are available, and the company website makes planning easy. Simply click on a destination, and you'll be taken to a page containing detailed information and more links to click. Grandparents will be able to learn crucial details such as how strenuous the activities are and what the weather should be like.

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Smithsonian Journeys

multigenerational travel companies
Family tours to the Galápagos Islands are just one offering of Smithsonian Journeys. Photo © Chris Gamel

 "Travel the world with a name you can trust," reads the website for Smithsonian Journeys. With 160 years of museum experience and 45 years of experience in guiding travel, this travel company has the chops. Multigenerational tours are designed for families with children 8 years old or older. Featured family trips include African safaris, European tours, and Costa Rica adventures. New destinations are in the works for 2017. With Smithsonian Journeys, families get expert guidance and behind-the-scenes access. Grandparents will also enjoy knowing that what they pay will help to preserve cultural treasures. 

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Road Scholar

travel companies specializing in multigenerational travel
Intergenerational tours are a great chance to bond with grandchildren. Photo © Road Scholar

Road Scholar is the latest name for the non-profit organization first known as Elderhostel and briefly called Exploritas. Road Scholar is the grandparent of grandparent travel, having offered intergenerational travel for over 30 years. The company has evolved, now offering accommodations that are "luxurious yet affordable" rather than the spartan digs of its early years. Available trips are divided into three categories: North America, International, and Adventures Afloat. Road Scholar trips are notable for a great variety in trip length and location, including grandparent camp programs. The Road Scholar website doesn't offer the eye candy of other travel sites, but it features candid reviews, photos, and videos from travelers.

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Austin Adventures

multigenerational group at Yellowstone National Park.
Austin Adventures offers tours to favorite locations in the U.S. and to exotic locations abroad. Photo © Austin Adventures

Award-winning tour company Austin Adventures began a new phase of its existence in 2013 when it was acquired by Xanterra Parks & Resorts, the global concessionaire. But it hasn't lost the personal touch or the guidance of founder Dan Austin. The 6 to 1 guest-to-guide ratio means lots of individual attention. Its family adventures include over a dozen North American itineraries, plus over a dozen in other locations. Featuring hiking, biking, rock climbing and other active endeavors, this company's adventures do tend toward the more strenuous end of the spectrum, but many family trips are rated easy or moderately easy. 

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Tauck Bridges

The Grand Tetons make a lovely stop on a family tour organized by Tauck Bridges.
The Tauck Bridges roster of destinations includes many spots perfect for grandparent travel, such as the Grand Tetons. Photo © Tauck

Tauck is one of North America's oldest tour operators, having begun in 1925 as Tauck Motor Tours. Four generations of Taucks later, it is still providing sight-seeing opportunities, but now travelers can choose from many means of transportation to access a much wider range of destinations. In 2003 the division known as Tauck Bridges was created to meet the needs of family travelers. Each adventure is "expertly choreographed for families," according to the Tauck Bridges website. Two-thirds of Tauck Bridges tours include grandparents, a company spokesman said. Especially recognized for its river cruises, the company fosters bonding -- the building of bridges -- between generations through "shared enrichment." Family reunion groups are given the 9th seat free.

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Journeys for Families

Ecotourism group Journeys International specializes in multigenerational travel to exotic locales.
The ecotourism group Journeys International specializes in multigenerational travel to Peru, China, Turkey, Tanzania and other exotic locales. Photo © Journeys International

Billing itself as the "longest standing family-owned global ecotourism company in the US," Journeys International offers both pre-scheduled tours and custom travel planning. Former Peace Corps workers Drs. Will and Joan Weber founded Journeys International about 30 years ago. The company website lists around 20 family trips, including some especially suited for grandparent-grandchild travel, including trips to Nepal, Japan, Costa Rica, Greece, Tanzania, and Thailand. The company considers the needs of all ages in creating their multigenerational trips: "Grandparents often appreciate a fair level of comfort while grandkids will appreciate a young guide (whom the grandparents can fully trust) who is prepared to be as physically active and culturally aware as they are. We have ideas to make all ages happy."