Are you considering a Tahoe family trip? Multigenerational travel is a challenge for baby boomers and their families. In today’s guest post, Matt Smolsky shares how he pleased teenagers and adults on a trip to Lake Tahoe.
My sister-in-law’s wedding in Lake Tahoe promised to be a great time. This was her second marriage and, since they’d been together for 10 years, all signs pointed to this being “the one.” My wife Carol really wanted to take our whole family to the big event—our two kids, Sarah, 17, and Matt, 19, and Sarah’s boyfriend Tony, 18.
Carol and I are baby boomers in our early 50s, so our travel group had pretty diverse interests. To top it off, it wasn’t going to be an inexpensive trip. Airfare for five people, plus lodging, food and souvenirs, adds up fast. So we wanted to do what we could to save.
Save on airfare to Tahoe with frequent flyer miles
It started with the airfare. I was able to buy a ticket and even accommodate a last minute change request using my frequent flier miles. I highly recommend getting and using a credit card that offers rewards for airline miles. Try to bank miles in anticipation of a must-attend event.
Lodging Options for a Tahoe family trip
After studying the costs, we opted for a vacation rental, which gave us the most space for our dollar. With a vacation rental, a property manager or owner lists a property on a vacation rental website. You can book directly with the owner/manager, or through the site. Don’t confuse this type of accommodation with bed and breakfasts. With a vacation rental, you’ll get towels, pots and pans, soaps, etc., that you can use, but there’s not an inn keeper in attendance.
We found a nice looking townhouse in Tahoe Keys, but didn’t really know what to expect. Still, we were satisfied that we were going to save money on lodging versus hotel rooms for three young adults and two boomer travelers.
Tahoe entertainment for the entire family
Tahoe is simply fabulous. The scenery is incredible, the lake is magnificent and the weather in mid-September is stunningly beautiful. Traveling with three young adults was easier than either my wife or I anticipated.
We found ourselves enjoying the lake quite a bit, which helped save money. We’re from the Midwest, so a swim in the cold waters wasn’t out of the question. Some of the kayakers and paddle boarders who whisked past as we splashed around in the near freezing water looked at us funny, but we didn’t care. After the initial shock, the cold water was really very soothing. I see now why some folks take part in those polar bear swims.
For something warmer and more bearable, and an activity that’s accessible to nearly everyone, I’d recommend kayaking. You can go as far out onto the lake as your skill level will allow, or simply hang around shore and enjoy the sites. It’s also a fun activity for teens and young adults, as mine will attest.
Dinner was extraordinary. It must have something to do with being relatively close to San Francisco, one of the best food mecca’s in the world. Since we were staying in a vacation rental, we cooked breakfast, a couple of lunches and all our snacks, in order to splurge on two nights of truly fine, 5-star dining at The Fresh Ketch. It’s a splurge I still don’t regret, even though I’m a tightwad.
A big portion of one day was spent enjoying the wedding. The guests were taken out on a boat to a small, rocky island near the west shore of Lake Tahoe where we anchored. The wedding was performed on board, with the captain officiating. It was about an hour-and-a-half ride each way, so we were able to enjoy cocktails and hor’derves along with way.
I highly recommend taking a boat excursion out on the lake. The mountains are in full view, and waters of Lake Tahoe are relaxing and serene.
In short, no matter why you’re traveling to Tahoe, you won’t regret the trip. While it’s a fun adventure for all ages, it seemed to fit particularly well with a couple of baby boomers and their millennial travel buddies.