By "traveling with family members," I don't mean "Mom, Dad, and the Kids hit the beach." I mean extended family members choosing a destination and then having a little reunion there; taking a cruise with a bunch of your cousins; or even just getting your closest girlfriends together to go to a place you've always wanted to visit. Like Tuscany.
April 29, 2007
Tripping the group dynamic
Homemade entourages having the fun
By Lylah M. Alphonse, Globe Staff
Deb Dumais celebrated her 50th birthday last July with several of her closest friends. For 20 days. In Tuscany.
It's the latest trend in travel, according to Judy Randall , president and CEO of Randall Travel Marketing , a travel and tourism research company in North Carolina: groups of friends and family traveling together, rather than individually or as part of a traditionally organized group tour.
"It's really driven more by time poverty than by anything else," Randall said, pointing out that people in the United States not only get less paid vacation than workers in other countries, but also don't use up the time. "Vacationing with friends is a way to "kill two birds with one stone," she said. "The shared experience makes it more pleasurable." ... [More]
Well, we did our annual Mother's Day trip again this year. As usual, we flew into Germany for a few days of sightseeing in the Frankfurt and Heidelberg areas. The rolling hills were just beginning to sprout their new spring growth and being that we were from three large southern cities, the air felt fresh and clean.
We went to Baden Baden to experience the hot mineral springs at a spa where we had excellant soothing messages, tried the aromatic saunas, and soaked in the outside and inside pools. What a day. Actually, this side trip prepared us for Tuscany.
In Europe, you can fly cheap. You need time, patience and stamina, if you only speak English and show kindness with a smile. We flew from Hahn Frankfurt to Pisa, which was our homebase in Tuscany for four days. We did the usual tour of the Leaning Tower, the Duomo and other local sites in Pisa. We went on a day trip to Florenze by train and shopped until we dropped. We went to Sienna and Lucca where we visited cathedrals and small museums.
Our trip to Brugge was accompanied by an eight month old baby girl, who knew she was going to be well taken care of by three grandmothers (except for hunger).
Some of our trips are last minute decisions and are discussed by e-mail during the last five weeks before our US departure. Some folks would think we're crazy....a couple of sixty-something Afro-American women backpacking in Europe and enjoying every minute of it.
Will our little group grow into something larger? You bet it will.
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