Everyone deals with the empty nest differently – that period of transition when our children start flying the coop and moving out of home to pursue their college and work dreams.
Just because your children are about to embark on the adventure of a lifetime, it doesn’t mean that you can’t too. This is the perfect time to travel, see the world and start creating new memories with your spouse or partner, or on your own.
We wanted to find out what ‘empty nesters’ – parents or guardians whose kids have moved out of home to go to college – are most looking forward to with their newfound freedom. So, we surveyed 2000 U.S. parents and guardians of high school and college-aged kids, and the results made us want to pack our bags and hit the road with them!
It takes parents an average of three months to get used to an empty house and start enjoying their independence. Along with peace and quiet and time alone with their partner/spouse, 44% of participants (the top answer!) are looking forward to seeing more of the world and traveling to new places.
Over 20% listed ‘spending time in a tropical beach destination’ as being most appealing, 19% are looking forward to ticking things off their travel bucket list and another 19% can’t wait to have a romantic getaway with their partner. Empty nesters listed more money to spend on themselves, not having to schedule plans around school, and the freedom to choose where and when to hit the road as very appealing. And more than half of our surveyed participants (54%) are excited about spending MORE time on vacation. When you think about it, there’s really never been a better time to travel.
WHERE TO FROM HERE?
Based on the results of our survey, we've paired up the perfect tour for every type of destination. Whether you're chasing a big, bucket list destination, looking to relax on a beach, wanting to spend time in the great outdoors or interested in learning more about arts and culture. We've got you covered. Discover these perfect travel experiences for all 'empty nesters'. Ready to see the world?
The romantic escape
Two weeks of picturesque landscapes, preserved fortresses and bustling medinas – not to mention incredible food – make this the perfect romantic escape. Soak up the ambiance of Seville as the city comes alive after dark, hike through ancient forests and hilly landscapes in Grazalema National Park (once frequented by Romans, Moors and bandits), explore Granada’s lively squares and enjoy tantalising tapas and sangria before flying to Morocco, a real feast for the senses.
The wildlife safari
If you’ve ever wanted to experience a real-life version of The Lion King, a safari in East Africa is the place to do it. Traveling in small groups with a specialist local guide, passengers will head out on regular game drives in search of lions, elephants, hippos and giraffes. Explore the verdant plains of the wildlife-filled Aberdare National Park and Lake Nakuru, learn about daily life on the Masai Mara with a tribe of Maasai people, and enjoy picture-perfect sunsets across the savanna from the comfort of your luxury tented campsite.
The cultural hub
When you’re traveling with children and teens, it’s inevitable you’ll get to a point where they’re done with museums and refuse to take another step on a walking tour. Not so on this 16-day adventure, which immerses you in the perfect combination of art, culture, cuisine and activity. Accompanied by a small group of like-minded travelers, and led by an expert local guide who’ll show you the must-see sights (as well as some hidden delights), this is the ideal introduction to Europe for empty nesters.
The bucket list destination
There’s no bigger or better bucket-list destination than Antarctica. The chance to cruise alongside vast glaciers, get caught in penguin rush hour on an icy beach, or spot colonies of seals basking on rocky outcrops – it’s like nothing else on Earth. Travel in comfort aboard our powerful super-yacht, the Ocean Diamond, which boasts spacious rooms with private en suites and exterior views. Our experienced captains, officers, expedition leaders and guides will be with you every nautical mile of the way.
The beach getaway
Not just a destination for spring breakers, Mexico’s east coast is one of the most beautiful spots in the world: sun-drenched beaches, powder-white sands, and stunning seaside ruins. After three days of well-deserved rest and relaxation on the beach – away from the crowds – dig a little deeper. Travel into the Guatemalan highlands and explore the remnants of ancient Maya cities with an expert local leader, spend a night in a jungle eco-lodge, wander the colorful streets of Heritage-listed towns and discover the vibrancy and beauty of Central America.