It can be an absolutely magical experience to spend time together as an extended family on a holiday abroad. With multiple generations together it can be a rare opportunity for families to bond in a way they wouldn’t usually get the chance to do. However, the trouble might arise when determining what kind of trip would be suitable for somebody of eighty and somebody of eight months – as well as everybody in between.
That is where a barge holiday can come in. The unique method of travelling means that there is something for every age and interest while on a river tour. Because you aren’t spending all your time in the countryside, or the city, or even in just one place, you can plan out activities throughout your trip that meet the needs of everybody on board. If everybody’s happy, imagine what a relaxing trip that will be!
For the Kids
To be quite honest, there is too much that would interest children on a barge holiday to list here. The sheer uniqueness of the transport – a hotel on the water – will keep them amused if nothing else! But from the nature that they can spot, to the locks that will get them engaged and working with other members of the family, kids are going to be spoiled for choice on the water, and will likely be exhausted by the end of each day! Many child-friendly attractions are close to the water and only a short walk (or bike ride) from where you’ll stop.
Get the Teens On-Board!
There are (maybe surprisingly) plenty of things to entertain teenagers and to stop them from getting bored. For starters, a barge holiday has the benefit of rarely being static – the constant scenery changes keep teenagers stimulated and interested. As well as this, there is the tow-path that runs alongside the canal – which is perfect for bike rides. That’s before even mentioning the fact that proximity to water means there is sure to be a chance for water fun at some point along the journey.
Parental Fun (and Other Adults)
The number one thing that keeps parents happy is probably the fact their children will be pretty much constantly entertained. Beyond this, though, there is a world of more mature culture to be enjoyed. You can explore city life, fantastic fine-dining and country restaurants, or even pop into a vineyard for a wine tasting.
With the children entertained, a barge holiday is the perfect excuse to sit back and relax, while the beautiful scenery changes before your eyes.
Grandparents and Great Grandparents
Like everyone else, grandparents cannot be bunched together into one homogenous group. Every person has their own interests – whether it be the culinary arts, history, architecture, or just getting out and about in nature. Thankfully, a river cruise has you covered in each of these categories (and many, many more) so the grandparents can enjoy their time aboard with their families while also engaging in what makes them happy.
Family Fun, Just a Click Away
We’re sure you can now see the benefits that a barge holiday can bring to a trip with the extended family. If you were to book an Italian river cruise you’ll be able to see the cultural sights, enjoy child-friendly fun, and everything in between. Booking with a reputable tour operator is always a good decision, because they can make sure your tour is geared to the interests of your party and their inside knowledge means nobody will be unhappy onboard the barge. Holiday blues can wave goodbye!
Paul Newman is the Marketing and E-Systems Executive for European Waterways, the UK's most respected provider of all-inclusive, luxury hotel barge holiday itineraries in France and other great destinations. Part of a team of experienced barging aficionados, Paul is first in line to endorse the perks of a slow-paced barge cruise to anyone looking for a unique holiday experience.
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