The increased demand for multi-generational family travel is a trend the travel advisor community simply can’t look away from right now. Often trips to celebrate milestone occasions, families of up to four generations are gathering abroad to make memories with their loved ones that will last a lifetime. This summer, my own family followed the trend ourselves and packed up to celebrate our parents’ 50th wedding anniversary! From ages five to seventy-five, we created lifelong memories on our eleven-day European adventure.
Travel to Europe
- Duration: 11 days, 10 nights
- We Love it For: Families!
- Trip Style: Sightseeing and cultural immersion
- Agent Notes: Why not experience the world with the people you love the most?
Where to Stay:
- Cheesemaking on a family-owned farm in Edam
- Private canal boat tour with family photo session in Amsterdam
- Segway Tour around the base of the Eiffel Tower
- Learning how to bake the perfect french macaron from a Parisienne
- Getting up close and personal with the Queen’s Guard in London
Day 1: Welcome to Amsterdam
Upon your arrival to Amsterdam, your English-speaking driver will welcome you to Schiphol Airport. He’ll escort you to your hotel, Sofitel Legend the Grand Amsterdam, where you’ll be in a spacious and modern room overlooking the canals. After enjoying one of Amsterdam’s most quintessential views from your hotel, freshen up to head out for a private canal cruise. Take in the views of the Herengracht, the city’s most elegant canal, paired with cocktails and canapés before capping the evening off with a golden hour family photo shoot.
Day 2: Zaanse Schanse Windmills + Trip to Family-Owned Farm
A visit to Holland wouldn’t be complete without seeing the famous windmills. Stroll through the scenic town of Zaanse Schanse, a community that feels lost in time and will transport you back to the 18th century! Here you’ll learn how the windmills grind materials into the vibrant palettes of paint used by Van Gogh and Rembrandt. Also, be sure to observe how local artisans transform a block of wood into the clogs that this region is known for producing. After a light café lunch, the whole family will be charmed by a visit to a local farm. You’ll have the opportunity to visit with the animals and observe the milking process before making your very own cheese.
Day 3: Museum(s) & Pancake Bakery
Let the little ones participate in a “treasure hunt” through the Van Gogh Museum while an art historian gives the adults an insider look at some of the Netherlands’ most celebrated masterpieces. Consider hopping over to Rijksmuseum, the city’s largest museum, to view some of its 8,000+ masterpieces on display in all their glory since the venue’s $441M revamp. After a morning of museum-hopping, you’ll have worked up an apetite for a big lunch. Head to the world-famous Pancake Bakery, an institution with both sweet and savory options sure to please everyone in your group. Walk off your pancakes with the short walk to the Anne Frank House. Families with younger children can opt for a visit to Artis instead, one of the oldest zoos in Europe.
Day 4: Picnic on a Train + Paris by Night
It’s time to transition from Amsterdam to Paris. After breakfast, your driver will load up your bags and goodies (including a freshly prepared lunch) and bring you directly to your track at the Centraal Train Station. The whole family will have fun taking in the sights en route to Paris. And no one’s allowed to get hangry with the picnic lunch you’ve brought for the journey! Upon arrival at Gare du Nord, you’ll be greeted at the platform by your driver who will assist with luggage and transfer you to the Intercontinental Paris le Grand.
Once you’ve settled in, your guide and driver for the evening will pick up the family for your afternoon and evening activities. Get acquainted with one of Paris’ most scenic spots, Montmartre, as you soak in the history of this northern neighborhood. Stop for dinner at a crêperie, followed by skip-the-line trip to the summit of the Eiffel Tower. Here, the entire family can gather to take in the city from above, including views of the Louvre all lit up.
Day 5: Macaron Making followed by a visit to the Louvre
Part of the fun of visiting new cities is getting to interact with the locals and today will provide the opportunity to do just that. Spend the morning with a Parisian baker learning the traditional French macaron making process. Everyone in your group will have the chance to roll up their sleeves and craft the ultimate pastel meringue paired with fillings that are guaranteed to impress your friends back home. The best part? Edible souvenirs!
This afternoon, meet your private guide outside The Louvre for your skip-the-line entry into the world-famous museum. Your personal art historian for the next couple hours will make sure that even the youngest tourists in your group are engaged as they make their way from room to room on a mission to find certain subjects within the artwork.
Day 6: A Day in Versailles, Fit for Royalties!
Your private car will pick you up for the short ride outside Paris to the King Louis XIV’s extravagant palace, Versailles. Relish in behind-the-velvet-ropes access to the private Royal Quarters of the King and Queen, including their private library, formal dining room, and even the most private room of all, the royal washroom! Your guide will lead you through these intimate quarters, giving you even more of a glimpse into what life was like for the Royal Court. Transition to a walk through the more public State Apartments and picture-perfect Hall of Mirrors. Finish out your tour with a guided stroll of the impressive gardens.
Day 7: Foodie Walking Tour + Guided Shopping
Check out one of the trendiest neighborhoods in Paris, Le Marais, with your local foodie expert. Eat like a local as you wander through the quaint streets exploring the culinary scene. Taste freshly baked bread from the boulangerie, nibble on chocolate from the pâtisserie and feast your eyes on the colorful vendor stalls of fresh produce. Enjoy an included lunch at the café where Edith Piaf first sang “La Vie en Rose.”
This afternoon is the perfect time to take care of some shopping as your driver awaits. Your local guide will help you navigate the shops, from ensuring you get that piece of Parisian haute couture to fulfilling your dream of treating yourself to some Louis Vuitton from their flagship. Or, grab that piece of original art from Montmartre to hang at home so you’ll never forget this special family vacation.
Day 8: London Calling…
Your private driver will pick you up from the hotel and escort you directly outside the Eurostar business class check-in. Relax as you travel in style. Take some time sitting as a family to play cards, watch the landscape change or catch up on reading as you transfer from France to jolly old England. Upon arrival to _____ station, you’ll be greeted by your driver who will whisk you to Rosewood London. This evening, spend a couple of house getting to know the city in your privately guided Mini Cooper tour.
Day 9: Changing of the Guard and Tower of London
Sure to be a highlight of your trip, your London expert will make history come alive taking the entire family through “backstage” access to the changing of the guard. As the kids admire the royal steeds and try on guardsman’s uniforms, the adults will be amazed to realize you’re in the heart of the action. Perfectly timed, you’ll be just in front of Buckingham Palace precisely when the full spectacle takes place. Be sure to have a family photo-op to capture the moment!
Afterwards, indulge in a traditional lunch of fish and chips. From there, transition to the Tower of London. Here, you’ll be able to ogle at the crowned jewels, perhaps imagining yourself with them on as our group did. Head back to the hotel to freshen up before making your way to enjoy prime seating at one of the West End’s most popular family shows.
Day 10: Harry Potter
Arguably London’s most popular fictional character, even the most senior in your family will feel like a kid again visiting “The Making of Harry Potter” at Warner Brothers London. On the tour, you’ll have the chance to visit the set where the movies were filmed, including up close and personal access to the sets, costumes and props rom all eight films. You won’t be able to resist taking home some wizarding souvenirs to remember your time here!
Day 11: Depart for U.S.
On your final morning, get ready to leave London after your included Virtuoso breakfast. Take your private vehicle transfer to London’s Heathrow airport where you’ll head home having spent the tie getting to know more just about Europe, but one another.