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RMBittner 08-31-2012 12:56 PM

Adults-only vs. Family Adventures
My wife and I are planning to sign up for the Germany trip next year. We've taken two other Adventures so far and absolutely loved them. But they've been adults-only trips. Now, given the available travel dates, we're considering a "family" trip. But we don't have kids and, to be honest, don't always love being around a lot of kids. So I'm wondering what we might be in for. I'd appreciate any experiences anyone would care to share, especially if you've been on both types of trips. Thanks!

Bob Bittner

abdgeek 08-31-2012 03:18 PM

I've traveled solo on both of my ABD trips, Med Cruise add-on & Greece, and there have been kids on both. The kids mainly hang out together and the adults hang out together. Because these kids have traveled so much, they are more mature than your average child. I think you'll be fine on the "family" trips. There are usually other adults on the trips that are traveling without children also.

sayhello 08-31-2012 03:20 PM

I've been on four ABD's. 3 were Adults Only, and one (the Med cruise add-on) was a family trip.

I have to say, for the most part, I didn't have any trouble being on the trip with the kids. Most of them were seasoned travelers, and the only issue we had was one kid (and he was one of the older ones) getting carsick (or bus sick?) But we did have the advantage that the 4 year old was able to stay on the ship in Rome & Venice. You don't have that luxury on a "regular" ABD.

Personally, I think I'd still prefer an Adults Only trip. If all I could do was a family trip, however, I wouldn't let that stop me. It's all the luck of the draw from what I can tell. Heck, on my first ABD we had an adult who acted worse than a child. What can you do?

I'll also say, the Adventure Guides are experts at dealing with the kids. I never felt like I was being neglected in favor of the kids or anything.


tufbuf 08-31-2012 03:26 PM

If you do not like being around kids on a trip, I would discourage you from going on family tours. We work with kids on a daily basis and as much most are good, there are a few who will challenge your tolerance. There is also no way you can predict or find out whom you will be with. As much as company should not really affect your whole trip experience, it may still make or break your holiday vacation. If you can shut it all off, then you may be okay but if you voiced that you don't always love being around kids, then it might be a good idea to balance the pros and the cons. And like Sayhello said, there was an adult who behaved worse thana misbehaved kid! True, it's the luck of the draw!

RMBittner 08-31-2012 06:59 PM

Thanks for the feedback, everyone! Maybe if we can handle regular trips to WDW and Disneyland, we should be okay on an ABD trip with kids. And even though I don't consider myself "kid-friendly," I have to say that some of our most memorable Disney moments have involved seeing how Disney characters, performances, and services surprise and delight young children.


familygoboston 08-31-2012 07:14 PM

The guides are not only good with kids- they are good with adults in their own!:) On our ABD there was one couple who were child free, and our guides made efforts to assure that the group they were in did not include the youngest children or largest families. They were often placed with the grandparents and one grandchild or an aunt and nephew, so really it was not like the couple and someone's family of 6 was a group.
Of course it depends not the dynamics, but the guides do make efforts to match groups!
We also found that on things that could have been " over the heads" of the kids, ( such as historical info) leading kids to get bored and disrupt ( not that they did on our trip- the kids were all great, but the potential could be there.) We were separated with local experts to work with kids in an age appropriate way, and another to talk to the adults. So another area where you can expect that a trouble spot is avoided by the itinerary design.
I have a question for you...RM...( and anyone else) now that our kids are nearly grown we are considering an Adult Only adventure. Do they still do the activities that you would think of as " kids" activities, such as painting or pasta making, or are those substituted with more " adult offerings". Also are meals more complex and local on Adult Only? Wondering how different the adult itinerary is from the family one.

k5jmh 08-31-2012 09:54 PM

The guides are very good with keeping the kids occupied. All of the parents that we have traveled with that had kids on the adventure were also very about keeping the kids occupied and behaved. All of the kids were well behaved to begin with.

sayhello 08-31-2012 10:48 PM


Originally Posted by familygoboston (Post 46009886)
I have a question for you...RM...( and anyone else) now that our kids are nearly grown we are considering an Adult Only adventure. Do they still do the activities that you would think of as " kids" activities, such as painting or pasta making, or are those substituted with more " adult offerings". Also are meals more complex and local on Adult Only? Wondering how different the adult itinerary is from the family one.

In *general*, the itineraries are the same for Adult Only trips as they are for family trips. Activities that are specifically identified as "Junior Adventurer" activities are generally skipped from what I've seen, but we still made corn husk dolls on Southwest Splendors. But there was no movie night. I think it's kind of at the Adventure Guides' discretion. On my Adult Only Alaska trip, they took us to a micro-brewery in Anchorage for a tour & lunch instead of going to Alaska Wildberry Products and the Sourdough Mining Company for lunch. The brew pub lunch was definitely more adult than the Sourdough Mining Company. Other than that, most of the itineraries pretty closely followed what was on the website, and most of the meals were the same.

Again, mostly minor tweaks.


familygoboston 09-01-2012 07:40 AM

Good to know, what you see in the itinerary is what you get; it's interesting to think about trying an adult adventure, but honestly, the joy and excitement of the kids made our last adventure even better:thumbsup2

kjd469 09-01-2012 11:33 AM

I think it's really a roll of the dice as to what kind of kids are on your tour. On my last ABD there were many children - about half of them were absolutely a joy ...polite, patient, fun....the other half were horrid - rude, always wanting to "be first", just down-right obnoxious with parents that were oblivious. I say this because if you really don't want to encounter that type of behaviour, you really should aim for the Adults-only trips. As previous posters have stated, many of the kids are "well-travelled", but well-travelled doesn't always equal well-behaved!

kristilew 09-01-2012 10:02 PM

I have to agree (as I so often do!) with kjd. We have done one trip where the kids were fantastic and one where a few of the kids were so obnoxious that they really detracted from our trip. It's one thing to smile indulgently as you pass by a child being cute at Disney Wold. It's a whole other thing to be on a bus with little boys bouncing all over and big boys playing video games at top volume, and be unable to escape for hours.

It just depends on your tolerance level and the particular kids on your departure.

SingingMom 09-04-2012 04:28 PM

Check your dates and maybe you can pick a date where there may not be a large number of we went in mid-May, before many schools let out for the summer. We had two homeschooled children who were well behaved (grades 4 & 8 )and our daughter, who was almost 19. As the summer continues, the amount of traveling children grows. We loved our trip and enjoyed the group. But with our daughter now older. I don't think I want to travel with a large amount of kids. ;-)

Sent from my iPad using DISBoards

tksbaskets 09-18-2012 04:17 PM

Our only ABD tour was a 'family' tour Quest for the West. Our children were 18 at the time.

While the activities were enjoyable and geared towards all ages, we came to the realization that the antics of children are much more enjoyable when they are your own children. Groups/tables seemed to form based on who the kids were hanging out with leaving us largely enjoying our own family and the adventure guides at times. We were probably the only horseback riding group that quoted Blazing Saddles as we rode along as we were all adults.

I agree with the PPers that being on DCL with children milling about as you pass from one activity to the next or at the parks is much different than being a collective on a bus or a small group as you are trying to listen to the Adventure Guides.

Did we have a good time - YES. Would we choose an Adult Only tour next YES. If only family adventures were available would we book it - no.

familygoboston 09-18-2012 07:25 PM

I do wish there was some latitude on the adult trips. Our next potential ABD would be with our 19 yo and 16-17 YO (depending when we go). We got lucky with our last trip, the kids were great, but really my kids were a little bit too "old" for the group and because they travel a lot, they have a lot more maturity and ability to pay attention that I didn't see even in kids just a couple years younger. If we could do an adult only and bring along the 16 or 17 yo; I might consider Italy, but since we can't, I won't do an ABD till they are both over 18, which means no more ABD for us for 2-3 years.

kac911 09-25-2012 03:25 AM

I'll let you know soon!
Heading to the Peru Adults only in a week and a half. And when I get back I have a date to compare notes with someone who just did the Peru family trip, I'm particularly interested in knowing if they skip some of the kid activities - I already know about 2 going into this so I will be on the lookout for them. I'm a true kid at heart and appreciate the "kid stuff", but for my first ABD I wasn't sure I could handle/risk a bus full of wild children!

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