Inspiration for vacations with your bubble

Greetings travel lovers!  We are counting down to the end of August and the beginning of the school year.  How will that look for your family?  Do you have kids doing 100% remote learning from home or are they in a hybrid situation?  Or are you planning to home school?  There are so many complex issues with each option. 

Last week, I attended an amazing virtual travel conference (originally to be held in Las Vegas).  It was very well done thanks to the amazing team at Virtuoso.  As a strong believer that meaningful travel is transformative, I was able to speak with top-notch travel suppliers who specialize in a variety of travel styles and niches.  In today’s newsletter, I will share some of what I learned about current trends in traveling with your family – household members or extended family and with kids of all ages. 

Since your family is often your “social bubble,” many of us have been dreaming about traveling safely and getting a break from the stresses of life right now.  Families are looking for ways to travel safely, reconnect, and have some fun!  In a recent survey done by Virtuoso, key trends in family travel (including extended family) included nature escapes, private villas and residences, and destinations closer to home.  Avoiding crowded places, shared spaces and clear safety protocols are a key priority.  Travel advisors like me are here to help you find options from vetted suppliers that will best suit your travel bubble. 

Exploring new places and sharing unique experiences with the ones you love brings you closer together.  Here are four ways that travel rejuvenates family relationships (household and extended) and three travel suppliers who go above and beyond with family travel:

  1. The Importance of Time

Unlike at home, where there are both mental and physical distractions to keep us preoccupied, traveling makes it essential to truly live in the moment. This makes it easier for family members to catch up and spend quality time with one another. While vacations might seem to fly by, time really does slow down making those special moments string together into days that won’t be forgotten.

2. Travel to celebrate family milestones

Whether it’s a birthday, anniversary, graduation, wedding, retirement, family reunion, or any number of special celebrations, traveling outside of your norm can help provide meaningful memories that will stick with you forever.  Unique experiences tend to be best remembered. 

3. Reignite Family Friendships

Everyone is always busy. It’s hard for families both near and far to make time to see each other, and before you know years have passed. When families travel together their relationships are strengthened and deepened. By disconnecting from routine and indulging in new experiences, memories are made that will be taken decades into the future.

4. Makes Family into Teammates

There will come a time during any journey or excursion where you and your family may find yourselves in new and unfamiliar environments and situations. These are the moments where the family dynamic can shift from friends into teammates. Simple scenarios like finding your way around a big city, navigating a new public transport system or figuring out a menu in a foreign language, brings family members together as they solve fun challenges as a team

Now that we’ve established the WHY, here’s some inspiration for the HOW. Travel suppliers who specialize and truly excel in family travel experiences (both household family and multi-generational) are the key to elevating your experience and ensuring safety.  There are many options for vetted suppliers in the Virtuoso network, but there are three that I met with last week who are outstanding across the board.  I share them as examples for inspiring you for your future travels and when you book your vacation through Hidden Gem, you travel as a VIP! 


If the name G Adventures is new to you, the first thing to know is that they have been a leader in small group adventure (meaning active) travel for thirty years.  Founder, Bruce Poon Tip, is committed to his vision to preserve, conserve, and positively change the world through meaningful travel and is a true leader in the industry for doing good in every destination where G Adventures takes travelers.  G Adventures isn’t just talking about changing the world for good.  They created the term Ripple Score and assigns one for every trip to help keep your travel dollars in the local community (high scores mean the amount of money that stays local is a high percentage).  

What else is very cool about G Adventures? Trip options are global and appeal to a wide range of interests and travel styles in small groups (12 or fewer people so you can travel exclusively with your social bubble) or private travel.  You can travel the world selecting from a large menu of tour options:  Classic, Family Journeys, Active (trekking, cycling, multisport), Socially Conscious trips through the Jane Goodall Collection, Wellness, Local Living, Marine, Rail and of course the National Geographic signature tours. 

Since the mission of National Geographic, a name you’re sure to know, aligns with that of G Adventures, they have partnered to curate a collection of unique global journeys that take you deeper into the cultures and habitats of the your destination – greater hands-on exploration, interactions with local experts, and the freedom to branch out, all within the security of travelling in a small group.  Check out this video for more info:

As a specialist in G Adventures/National Geographic Journeys, my role is to help you select the best trip for your family or traveling group from the many options.  Our relationship with G Adventures so makes you a VIP so a valuable, extra layer of support. 

Have a high school or college graduation coming up?  A fantastic gift is a tour for your graduate with other 18-30-year-olds or a trip for your own family to celebrate the occasion in a memorable way. 


When we can travel to Europe, families with kids in school can experience this destination in a new and elevated way through Family Twist.  If you’ve already taken the kids to Europe, a Family Twist itinerary will be a game-changer, or if you’ve been considering a first trip, Family Twist will help make it stress-free and unforgettable. 

What’s amazing about Family Twist?  They offer over 200 extra-special activities, many of them private, that kids love, like making paella in Barcelona, taking an art class in Venice, or learning to be a gladiator in Rome.  If you have teens, they offer experiences to match their interests. They also have a curated list of 4-star and above accommodations that are family-friendly, and their relationships with those places ensure you get the room you need with updated safety protocols you can rely on. 

During this rare, quiet time for travel, Family Twist has created ‘Family Treasure Boxes’ for Paris and Italy that allow kids to experience their future vacation in a unique, immersive way.  Check out their video:

We work closely with Family Twist to design the experience that’s right for your family, and you’re a VIP as a client of Hidden Gem due to our relationship.  Let me know if you want to learn more about them for future travel!

Looking for ways to enhance your children’s or grandchildren’s’ education?  A future Family Twist trip to Europe with Family Treasure Box is an amazing way to ramp up their education on many levels! 


If you’re dreaming BIG, our partners at Kensington Tours have a yacht named Lionshare that is AMAZING!  Typically, Lionshare spends the winter in the Caribbean, summer in the Mediterranean, and spring and fall in the Bahamas.  Perfect for families or any social bubble who want a safe, bucket list holiday together on the water.  This maritime vacation is unforgettable!  Reach out to learn more about where she will be in 2020 and 2021 and see for yourself how special Lionshare is

Excited to find out more?  Hit reply to schedule a  call/virtual coffee chat or jump over to and comment on today’s post about this newsletter. 

Hidden Gem Tip: Create your family travel bucket list (also known as a Virtuoso Wanderlist) now.  It’s free and lots of fun to create!  Get started HERE:

Wishing you and your family continued good health,



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Hi, I'm Susan Wilson

I’m the founder of Hidden Gem Travel Consulting. As your personal travel advisor, I craft custom worldwide itineraries that astound and inspire you.


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