31 Online Resources to Help You Plan Your Next Grand Adventure — With or Without Grandkids
500 Places with Kids
An online travel diary (blog) that follows one family’s personal experiences as they make their way through Frommer’s 500 Places to Take Your Kids Before They Grow Up, sharing what they like/dislike about the 77 (so far) places they’ve visited. A nice companion to, but no substitute for, the book itself — which is a must-have for every grandparent. Makes a great gift for parents, too.
AARP always features great travel ideas, tips, resources, and deals on their site and in the magazine.
Cayole.com Is the only website that offers future cruise price prediction. Visitors can learn whether they should buy a cruise now or wait for a cheaper price in the future.
A ecognized leader in organizing and sponsoring international volunteer vacations to 10 countries across Asia, Africa, and Latin America, “combining meaningful work with cultural activities and free time for adventures.” Over 17 years experience and more than 30,000 alumni. Tours, resources, videos, webinars, and more.
A well-established (since 1995), critically acclaimed online resources for reviews of cruise vacations, cruise vacation planning guide (60+ cruise lines, 275+ cruise ships, 200+ ports of call worldwide), deals, news, advice, and large interactive online community.
An online magazine providing “travel information for wheelchair users and slow walkers” of all ages. Produced by Candy Harrington, author of five travel books: Barrier Free Travel, 22 Accessible Road Trips, 101 Accessible Vacations, There Is Room at the Inn, and Kids on Wheels.
Features reviews of family-friendly hotels, resorts, destinations, and attractions. The site is packed with ideas on where to go next, highlights the best family travel deals, and provides advice for traveling with kids of all ages.
A blog plus travel tips, trip planning, trip ideas, travel news, travel discounts, travel review, and a blog geared toward independent travelers.
An online travel resource providing a wide range of travel information, resources, “hot deals” on trips, a searchable travel directory, and more — exclusively for women. Special categories include women traveling with kids, eco-adventures, “older adventuress,” and “she shops the world,” among others.
One of the oldest and most successful travel publishers in the world, enabling “curious travelers to experience the world and get to the heart of a place” via guidebooks, award-winning website, award-winning magazine, free newsletter, and mobile and digital travel products. On the site you’ll find articles on theme-based travel, searchable airline and hotel databases (with links to book reservations), travel deals, and online shop where you can purchase Lonely Planet’s 500+ travel guides.
Directory of and blog about the “world’s most romantic getaways,” published by a husband-wife team of professional travel journalists and travel guide authors since 2000.
Since 2008, Donna L. Hull and Alan Hull have traveled the world and recorded their experiences and advice on this blog “so that boomers will know exactly what to expect on their next trip.” Covers themed trips (romantic, luxury, adventure, cruises, etc.) and specific destinations in 12 regions of the world.
National Geographic / Lindblad Expeditions
A leader in expedition-style travel for nearly 50 years and the “#1 Small-Ship Cruise Line for Families” since 2009.
In 2004, Lindblad teamed up with National Geographic Society to create unique exploration and discovery expeditions to 18 destinations around the world — from Africa to Southeast Asia.
The world’s largest adventure travel company, comprised of a collection of specialist tour operators and destination management companies, including: Adventure Center, Adventure Tours Australia Group, Country Walkers, Exodus, Geckos, Headwater, Intrepid Travel, Sawadee, The Adventure Company, Trek America, and Urban Adventures.
The “not-for-profit leader in educational travel” for almost 40 years, offers 6,500 educational tours in 50 states and 150 countries — including dozens of intergenerational and grandparent-grandkid adventures.
Provides searchable directories of resorts, lodges, dude ranches, inns, B&Bs, hotels, and motels around the world as well as information on restaurants, travel packages, sites to see, and activities to do. Also offers articles, advice, deals, and discounts.
Since 1978, offering a complete line of packaged tours and cruises that span the globe, designed specifically for seniors (“leisurely paced days, fun-filled wholesome entertainment, and unparalleled service”). Booking and information.
Named the #1 travel site by TopTenReviews.com, Smarter Travel scored a 10 out of 10, beating out Expedia, Orbitz, Travelocity, Kayak, and others. Provides travel ideas, deals, news, and guides. Compare prices of and make reservations for flights, hotels, rental cars, vacation rentals, vacation packages, and rentals.
Smithsonian Journeys / Thomas Family Adventures
Named the “#1 Family Adventure Company” by National Geographic Adventure, Thomson Family Adventures leads action-packed tours in 14 destinations around the globe. Devoted exclusively to family travel, Thomson offers special programs for teens and young adults; themed packages (Smithsonian Journeys, multi-sport, nature/wildlife, villa-style, culture/civilizations); as well as private escapes and custom itineraries.
Named the best website for spa travel by Forbes and USA Today, SpaFinder.com connects travelers and vacationers seeking a healthier, happier lifestyle with a global network of thousands of spas, fitness studios, and wellness practitioners around the globe. Offers news, deals, spa-vacation packages, wellness classes and services, resources, gift cards, and more.
Guide to spiritual vacations, wellness travel, luxury travel, retreats, destinations, pilgrimages, and other events around the world.
Three generations of Taucks have provided escorted travel packages since the company’s first tour through New England in 1925. Today, Tauck offers more than 100 travel experiences in North America, Latin America, Cuba, Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia, Antarctica, and the Middle East.
The sister site to Travel + Leisure magazine providing ideas, articles, tips, and deals on vacation destinations, weekend getaways, leisure activities, things to see and do, award-winning accommodations, and more around the globe.
Reviews, advice, things to do, sites to see, and extensive searchable databases of destinations, flights, hotels, restaurants, and vacation rentals.
Ultimate Road Trips / National Geographic
National Geographic Traveler magazine has scoured the globe for the world’s most beautiful, interesting, and off-beat road trips. This site provides directions, quizzes, photos, and more for more than 50 of the road trips featured in the magazine and in National Geographic’s book Drives of a Lifetime: 500 of the World’s Most Spectacular Trips.
Directory, map, information, resources, and publications about the 962 cultural and natural places throughout the world that have been designated World Heritage Sites. (TripAdvisor.com works in partnership with UNESCO to bring travelers to while protecting and preserving these World Heritage Sites.)
Untours pioneered apartment-based independent travel and has provided unique European vacation packages since 1975. The company donates all profits to the Untours Foundation, which funds green projects that fight poverty and inequality around the world. You can use Untours’ knowledge base to design your own trip or use an Untours “culturist” to help plan your trip.
Vacations by Rail
The “trusted authority on rail vacations,” offering the largest selection of independent rail vacations, escorted rail tours, luxury rail journeys, and custom train vacations to destinations in North America, Europe, and beyond (Africa, Australia, Mexico, Peru).
Providing guided adventure travel and walking tours for age 50+ travelers since 1987, leading small groups to more than 30 exotic destinations around the world.
Travel news, reviews, recommendations, and tips geared specifically for baby boomer travelers, from a team of more than a dozen top-notch travel writers.
Provides escorted small group tours to more than 30 tour destinations across the United States and around the world for women traveling solo or together.