Traveling brings people together with enriching, shared experiences and the best travel memories are made when surrounded by friends and family. Sitting at the top of the list of travel trends here to stay, multigenerational travel is the optimal experience for families seeking togetherness in a new destination. The whole family is in for a trip to Alaska -- grandparents, parents, siblings, kids, grandchildren, and everyone in between. All that’s left to do is find the perfect adventure suitable for everyone.
Richenda Sandlin-Tymitz, marketing and content manager for Alaska Tour & Travel, gives this advice: “Time and energy are precious, especially when a family with different ages, activity levels, and interests travels together. One of the best ways for a multi-gen group to make the most of their trip to Alaska is to spend more time in fewer destinations. Pick two or three must-sees, and plan 2-3 full days in each. That gives everyone time to adventure out on activities that interest them like, for example, a guided walking tour for the grandparents while the kids go whitewater rafting in Denali.”
Multigenerational travel planning doesn’t have to be challenging. Here in Alaska, there are memorable experiences suitable for every age, interest and level.
Utilize resources specializing in family travel
Alaska is vast, and so are the travel opportunities. How do you create an itinerary that will be exciting and enriching for the entire family? Travel agents, Alaska tour providers, local visitors bureaus and more have resources to help you make the most of your Alaska vacation with your family. Use these trip ideas to inform your destination choices and inspire your itinerary. Read up on what some Alaska locals have recommended in their favorite destinations too! And then check out these travel tips to make the most of your trip.
Choose a destination with options for all
Many of Alaska’s communities, public lands and remote destinations understand the importance of accessible adventure for multiple generations of guests visiting. For example, families who visit Seward on the Kenai Peninsula can take the youngest kids to the Alaska SeaLife Center to learn about Alaska’s marine life, while more adventurous adults hike to Exit Glacier. Everyone can join up for a day cruise into Kenai Fjords National Park to see glaciers, whales, puffins and more. If families venture to Fairbanks in the Interior instead, grandparents may want to visit the Museum of the North, while their grandkids are panning for gold or meeting sled dogs at an Iditarod musher’s kennel. Again, the entire family could meet up for a trip on the Riverboat Discovery down the Chena River.
Pick a basecamp, on land or water
Using one main location as a basecamp for family adventures provides an intimate opportunity for families to enjoy Alaska’s offerings at their own pace. A small-ship Alaska cruise offers its own array of customizable experiences for each individual onboard. Small-ship Alaska cruises sail into secluded bays, fjords and smaller ports of call, and are optimal for wildlife viewing. Spend the day exploring Alaska’s waters or traveling ashore for up-close exploration and then gather back onboard to share stories of the day with grandparents, kids and grandkids. The whole family is sure to enjoy their time exploring the exciting ports of call and destinations on each ship’s detailed itinerary.
Wilderness and other all-inclusive lodges are another great way to explore the state up-close or simply relax and admire the raw, natural beauty that surrounds Alaska from the comfort of an established lodge. Families can make their stay as adventurous or easygoing as they choose. Staying at one of Alaska’s many remote wilderness lodges, guests will find comfortable accommodations and a unique and authentic all-inclusive experience. Wilderness lodge hosts can take families on personalized tours of the area, hiking, fishing, kayaking, beachcombing, glacier viewing, berry picking or on any other Alaska adventure imaginable.
All aboard the Alaska Railroad
One of the best ways for families to explore all that Alaska has to offer is along nearly 500 miles of track on the Alaska Railroad. Families can sit back together and enjoy views of mountains, the coast and everything in between from the comfort of their railroad car. While kids may want to get up and down more, they can spend time out of their seats on the second-level viewing platforms in GoldStar Service or in the Vista Dome cars in Adventure Class. Adults may want to take advantage of the bar onboard. Active families can choose to disembark at stops along the rails for hiking tours, kayaking trips, wildlife cruises and much more. The Alaska Railroad also offers multi-day packages for an even easier way to plan an exciting trip for the entire family.
There's no better way to make memories than traveling with the whole family in Alaska. Ready to plan your dream vacation? Order the Alaska vacation planner to go big and make Alaska your 2021 getaway!
Editor’s note: The health and safety of Alaska’s visitors and residents, along with its member businesses, remains a top priority to the Alaska Travel Industry Association throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Many Alaska tourism businesses are open under the Reopen Alaska Responsibly plan and can help you decide if it’s right for you to travel now or in the future. We encourage you to stay in touch with your travel providers for the latest updates and guidelines.