Reimagine Everything: Bring the Family With You to the JACL National Convention in D.C.!

June 19, 2017 • AARP, Columnists

By Ron Mori

Summer is here, and it’s only a matter of days before the 48th annual JACL National Convention in Washington, D.C. Traveling can be stressful, but with proper planning and research, you can eliminate a lot of the stress and focus on family fun.

In fact, I hope you will consider a multigenerational trip to this year’s National Convention to experience all that D.C. has to offer. Of special note are two booster events: a guided tour of the “Righting a Wrong: Japanese Americans and World War II” Smithsonian exhibit and a docent-led tour of the Japanese American National Memorial to Patriotism on July 9.

According to a U.S. Travel Assn. study, while nearly half of adults feel that family vacations are worthwhile because they can bring generations together — children love traveling with their grandparents on family vacations. Children who did so reported that they spent quality time with their grandparents, felt closer to their grandparents and enjoyed remembering stories about what they did with their grandparents after they returned home.

AARP research shows that the biggest benefits of a multigenerational trip is bringing the family together (83 percent), building fond memories (69 percent) and grandparents being able to spend time with the grandkids (50 percent). The activities enjoyed most on these trips include spending family time together (72 percent), dining out (49 percent) and relaxing by the pool/beach (41 percent).

A recent survey of American travelers shows that 93 percent feel happier after a vacation, 77 percent believe their health improves and roughly 80 percent believe that vacations and vacation activities result in greater productivity, energy and focus.

Our survey found that Boomers say that they smile and laugh more (68 percent), learn more new things (63 percent) and spend more time with friends and family (61 percent) when on vacation.

We also know that travel is how many Boomers celebrate milestone birthdays, such as turning 50. In social media posts about celebrating their 50th birthday, approximately one-tenth mentioned travel in their plans.

AARP research saw that of those 43 percent who took a trip to celebrate a milestone, anniversaries (49 percent) and birthdays (45 percent) were the most popular events celebrated.

If you’re ready to start planning, consider AARP Travel at travel.aarp.org. In AARP Travel’s Articles and Tips, there’s lots of helpful information like safety tips for solo travelers, tips for successful college campus visits, tips on when and how to buy health insurance for your trip and tips for travelers with mobility challenges.

Here’s what else you’ll find:

Trip Finder: Need a suggestion for your next vacation or a quick getaway? Tell us your interests, and we’ll suggest exciting new destinations. Trip Finder is a fun interactive tool that makes discovering new destinations an adventure in itself. Do you prefer a beach, a sophisticated city or spectacular outdoor vistas? Are you a foodie, a museum buff or a golf nut? Whatever you like to do, Trip Finder will match it up with an exciting place to go.  You may be surprised — and delighted — at the results.

Destination Guides: Once you’ve decided on a place to go, AARP Travel’s Destination Guides help you experience the local flavor.  The guides include information furnished by Fodor’s on hundreds of domestic and international locations. Click on the destination icons to see suggestions for points of interest and must-see attractions, as well as at-a-glance destination information such as average temperature, lowest prices for airfare and hotel and special AARP member offers available by destination.

Map Explorer: Embedded in every Destination Guide is a Map Explorer feature that lets you zoom to street level and view AARP recommendations, hotels, eateries and attractions. Click anywhere to see details, including reviews. If an AARP discount appears in your search result, the location will be identified in red.

Travel Booking and Access to Member Discounts: Once you›ve settled on where you want to go, at any point, you can book flights, hotels, cruises and car rentals through AARP›s relationships with Expedia, Liberty Travel or through links with other providers. In addition to finding member discounts, you›ll also have access to user reviews of hotels, restaurants and attractions.

Guess what? You just turned your travel idea into a real possibility! Useful travel tools that are tons of fun — that’s AARP Travel at travel.aarp.org.

I hope to see you at next month’s convention, and consider tacking on a few extra days to see all the sites in Washington, D.C, as well as bring the extended family for a memorable multigenerational vacation.

Ron Mori is co-president of the Washington, D.C., JACL chapter and manager of community, states and national affairs — multicultural leadership for AARP.

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