Let’s get it out of the way: Yes, travel is changing, but there are still ways you can safely see the world with your own little crew.
In September, global tour operator Intrepid Travel launched new family-friendly trips all over the world in response to what it calls “unprecedented demand” for family tours. In a statement, the company explained, these retreat-style tours come with “safety and quality as top priorities.”
In 2019, Intrepid shared that just 12% of its bookings were family-themed tours. Now, that number is up to 25%. Currently, its top family trips are all based in Africa and Asia, including the South Africa Family Safari with Teenagers and a family tour of Vietnam.
“After months spent indoors away from friends and classmates, we’ve seen families are eager to get out and explore the world once it is safe to do so and have a desire to reconnect with both nature and like-minded people,” Dyan Mckie, Intrepid’s family product manager, shared in a statement.
To help fill the need, the company is launching four new Family Retreats, based in Morocco, Turkey, and England. Each one will allow groups or small families to immerse themselves in one location in handpicked accommodation with nearby experiences, according to Intrepid.
To keep things as safe as possible for both the travelers and the local community, Intrepid says these tours “celebrate ‘slow travel’ and allows adventurers to engage with the surrounding communities away from the crowds and in a more controlled setting.”
And, to stay within its brand ethos, each of the new tours is designed to first and foremost benefit the local communities. In Turkey, for example, travelers will visit a sea turtle rescue center, which is supported in part by donations from Intrepid travelers, to learn about conservation efforts and rehabilitation. See more about each retreat option below.
Turkey Family Retreat: Fethiye
This tour “celebrates nature, wildlife, local cuisine,” according to Intrepid. Beyond visiting a turtle rehabilitation center, guests will also spend time in the Mediterranean sea and take an easy hike through the mountainous terrain between Kayakoy to Oludeniz Beach. Travelers will also take part in a traditional meze cooking class with locally foraged produce.
The 5-day tour starts from $790 per person.
Morocco Family Retreat: Ouirgane
Travelers will “leave the modern world of Marrakech behind and journey to a home away from home to enjoy time to reconnect with their family,” Intrepid explains. On the trip, families can hike the hills through small villages and farms and try their hand at making some local dishes before heading back to their base camp where they can sit in the pool overlooking the mountains.
The 4-day trip starts at $445 per person.
England Family Retreat: Cornwall
On this trip, families will explore England’s southwest coast and stay in a family-run accommodation. While out and about, families can take walks through “the history and nature of this proper ‘ansom section of Cornish countryside.” They may also take part in a private yoga and wellness session and visit a small, family-run bakery to taste traditional Cornish pasties.
This 4-day trip starts from $745 per person.
England Family Retreat: Peak District
For this trip, families can enjoy Britain’s first national park and “explore its forested valleys and small stone villages threaded by walking trails during this new retreat.” Families will be based in the town of Castleton for the journey and can explore the scenic villages of Bamford and Bakewell along the banks of the River Derwent.
This 3-day trip starts from $510 per person.
According to Intrepid, each tour operates under its Safe Travels health protocols, developed in partnership with the WTTC. The company has also introduced Flexible Bookings policy, which allows changes to travel plans 21 days before a scheduled departure. See more on the new family tours here.
Gallery: Fall deals driving more travelers to National Parks (SF Gate)