Ideas for exploring the world together

Are you an amazing aunt, an unbelievable uncle or a cool cousin? Perhaps your birdlings have flown out of the nest or your own kids have fur and four legs.

If you are eager to travel, why not join the increasing number of relatives choosing to explore the world with young family members as their trusty travel companions. Here are five ideas to consider:

1. Create Mediterranean-inspired memories in Barcelona.

Is there a recent grad on your list or a family member considering a gap year? If so, the timing might be right to share the inspiring beauty and bounty of Barcelona, a city known for innovative design, culinary creativity and its location on the magical Mediterranean.

Visit the Picasso Museum, stroll La Rambla and marvel at Sagrada de Familia and Park Guell, two of Antoni Gaudi’s modernist masterpieces.

Check in to the well-located and towering Hotel Arts Barcelona, a destination in itself, for world- class views, easy access to the beach, and a rooftop spa and outdoor pools that overlook the city and the shimmering sea. Choose from well-designed guest rooms, suites or splurge for a duplex penthouse.

For a top-notch treat, plan to experience Enoteca, the hotel’s highly-acclaimed, two Michelin-starred restaurant, from Paco Perez, Catalonia’s highest awarded chef.

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2. Tee it up at Kingsmill Resort. Williamsburg, Va..

Share your passion for golf on three championship caliber 18-hole courses that offer rolling hills, tree-lined tracks and coastal play along the James River.

Offer up a session with the resort’s PGA professionals who use a personalized approach to assist with putting, short game and other instruction geared specifically for junior golfers. Participants receive equipment evaluation, a take‐home video analysis and a video instruction page.

You will experience play on courses designed by legendary players including Arnold Palmer and Curtis Strange. The family-friendly resort also offers hiking, biking, Segway tours, and fishing as well as organized kid’s activities. Accommodations include one-, two- and three-bedroom condominiums and riverfront cottages with three or four bedrooms.

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3. Fly-fish in Casper, Wyo.

With plenty of wide-open space at the ready, this central Wyoming town is a vibrant hub in which to share outdoor adventure. Home to the North Platte River, which provides year-round fly-fishing opportunities, Casper has become a bucket-list destination for avid and aspiring anglers. The river sits below five reservoirs, enabling consistent water flows and temperature, thus manifesting a stable fishing habitat.

You’ll hear enthusiastic talk and big fish stories that originate in specific stretches of the river, including the Miracle Mile and Grey Reef. But if traveling with a newcomer to the sport, it’s good to know there is also Blue Ribbon water flowing right through the heart of town, with plenty of public access points available.

Appreciate the legendary waterway in a different way via the Platte River Trail system, which threads through the community for eleven miles. The paved paths provide access to wildlife watching, mountain views and public art.

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4. Saddle up at the Latigo Ranch, Kremmling, Colo.

Choose your season and relish the peace and tranquility you’ll find at this historic, family-owned and operated ranch. The warmer months offer top-notch horseback riding on over 200 miles of trail, cattle drives, hiking and mountain biking for active guests.

With never-ending views along the Continental Divide, choose from snowshoeing, tubing, cross-country skiing and fat biking in pristine winter conditions.

For those eager to simply relax and connect, settle in on the porch for a card game, in a meadow or near a crackling fire with a book or puzzle at the ready.

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5. Explore potential at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center, Huntsville, Ala.

Does your travel pal have what it takes to be a space explorer? Visit this other-worldly technology center to ponder the possibilities. Experience the Discovery Shuttle simulator, feel three times the force of gravity in the G-Force Accelerator and peruse one of the largest collections of rockets and space memorabilia on display anywhere in the world.

You can also discover what it takes to be among the world’s great record holders. Inspire your young travel companion with the Center’s exhibition, The Science of Guinness World Records. Uncover the stories of those whose talent and tenacity enabled them to best the longest, farthest, deepest, highest records on the planet.

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Lynn O’Rourke Hayes ( is an author, family travel expert and enthusiastic explorer.  Gather more travel intel on Twitter @lohayes, Facebook, or via

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