Thursday, March 24, 2011

Family Rafting Vacations Go Luxury & Green

On America’s Newest Family Vacation, the Imprint on the Environment is Measured in Smiles, not Emissions.

Many Americans are opting for vacations that nurture the family, the soul, and nature. Family vacations have to cover an array of needs and desires for both parents and children. Earth friendly and luxurious comfort is big on baby boomer wish lists this year. Choosing a fun, sustainable, and earth friendly vacation is a growing trend. Virtuoso®, luxury travel industry's leading travel network, released their Virtuoso Luxe Report, forecasting relevant travel trends, based on travel decisions and other motivating factors for upscale 2011 travel. Interestingly, the survey reported that family and multi-generational travel is the biggest emerging travel trend for 2011.

With no end in sight for the price of oil, there is a family friendly vacation where gravity propels you downstream for up to a week through intoxicating beauty. “The imprint on the environment is measured in smiles, not emissions, on Idaho’s newest family trip design,” says Steve Lentz, head guide and founder of Far and Away Adventures in Sun Valley, Idaho. “Over the years we have noticed the desire for pure fun and relaxation evolve into a need for more comfort, respect, and learning about nature, along with special experiences crafted just for kids of all ages.”

Five progressive Idaho outfitters in the River of No Return Wilderness offer an over-the-top family rafting adventures sure to please everyone. Bob Volpert of Idaho River Journeys mentions “Combining entertainment and education, children are led by enthusiastic guides to discover a new world of appreciation of nature and themselves in it.” Volun-tourism and leave-no-trace travel, are components of taking care and giving back on these trips. The wilderness setting, whitewater excitement, and fly-fishing, have proven to successfully out compete cell phones, TVs, demanding workplaces, social schedules, and even the Xbox. The result? A family that is reconnected, reinvigorated, and more relaxed.

Jerry Hughes runs Hughes River Expeditions and outfits river rafting trips on the Snake River, Salmon and Middle Fork in Idaho. He thinks that the ease of planning, the adventure, and the opportunity for families to spend time together without distractions attributes to the popularity of river rafting vacations. “Sitting around a campfire with your kids is an experience we once took for granted,” Hughes notes. “But in today’s techie world, it’s something wonderfully rejuvenating.”

The river outfitters mentioned offer three to six-day river rafting trips on the most famous rivers in Idaho and Oregon. Prices include shelter, sleeping bags, camp chairs, and just about everything else you might need, except personal items. Also included are the activities that make a river rafting vacation more than just whitewater: hiking, fly fishing, interpretation and those ever-so-elusive family campfire moments.

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