virtuoso communities The Best Family Trips for High School Graduates

The Best Family Trips for High School Graduates

The best graduation trips don’t have to be in faraway countries – consider exploring iconic destinations closer to home.  
The best graduation trips don’t have to be in faraway countries – consider exploring iconic destinations closer to home.  
Photo by Getty Images
Before college begins, cherish time together on a family vacation. Five expert travel advisors share recommendations on where to go.
High school graduation is a seminal moment – not only for a teen, but for the whole household. At this stage of life, a family trip may well be the last time to travel together before college and future jobs intervene. What’s more, travel fosters an understanding of other people and cultures that’s vital for success in the twenty-first century. Before students decide on their career paths, our advisors recommend sending them on a journey to global citizenship. Here, five ways to give your grad a worldly education.

Make Those Language Classes Count

“Take recent grads on a trip where they can practice the foreign language they studied in school. If, for example, your child took German, travel to Germany to polish those skills. How exciting to study a language for years and then be able to visit that country!” – Suzie Heid-Skilling, Seattle
 
Navigating new cities and cultures helps teens broaden their perspective and strengthen self-confidence.
Navigating new cities and cultures helps teens broaden their perspective and strengthen self-confidence.
Photo by Getty Images

Hit Two Major Cities

“For a teen who’s never been to Europe, London and Paris would be a great combination. I suggest three or four full days in each city, traveling between them by high-speed train.” – Kevin Dern, Saint Louis  

Play to Their Strengths

“I spend a good amount of time talking with families to get a clear idea of their kids’ interests and/or future goals. One grad was a science whiz with aspirations to study marine biology, so I sent her family to the Galápagos Islands. Another played soccer, so I secured VIP tickets to his favorite rivalry – Manchester United vs. Liverpool – and was able to get the family on the field for pregame warm-ups and then give them a private, behind-the-scenes stadium tour.” – Michelle Mickaelian, Healdsburg, California
A fun group activity: snorkeling in natural pools in the Galápagos Islands.
A fun group activity: snorkeling in natural pools in the Galápagos Islands.
Photo by Getty Images

Trace the Family Tree

“I highly suggest taking recent grads on a trip where they can explore their roots. Family heritage tours are pivotal in helping young adults gain pride and perspective in their own identity before heading off to college.” – Jack Ezon, New York

Take Advantage of the Photo Opps

“As a special gift, I had a photographer shadow a family on their graduation trip to Paris, taking candid pictures and portraits in different iconic locations. The parents later turned the photos into a commemorative book for their child to bring to college.” – Olivia Nash Richardson, Nashville

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