Trafalgar Tours for Families with President Melissa DaSilva
In this episode, Travel Mom and President of Trafalgar Tours Melissa DaSilva joins us to share her family travel highlights, tips, and behind the scenes with Trafalgar.
Melissa has been in the travel business for over 25 years. It all started as a part-time job at a travel agency. She loves exploring the world with work and her family and connecting with different cultures.
For more family travel ideas, check out more podcast episodes. Adventure Awaits!
Tell Us About Trafalgar Tours.
Trafalgar is a guided vacation company. We have tours all over the world, on all 7 continents. There are over 300 different itineraries to choose from, visiting a single city or country or all the way up to 30-40 day multi-country trips.
We also have a dedicated Family Travel Program for every type of family to engage everyone from 5 to 95 years old.
Tour Differently isn’t just our promise, it’s what we deliver. Our trips are more than the highlights of ticking things off the list and getting back on the coach. You get to see the highlights AND the lesser-known areas to really bring the destination to life for you and your family.
Not everything is like where you’re from, and we really want to connect our guests to the people of the places they visit.
What were your last big family adventures?
The first Trafalgar trip my family did was the Wild West Cowboys and Buffalos. I brought home our U.S. brochure, and our daughters picked the trip.
You get to see so many highlights across South Dakota, Wyoming, and Montana, from Mount Rushmore and the Black Hills to Yellowstone National Park and Grand Teton National Park. It was my first time visiting Yellowstone. It’s HUGE…the size of 3 small New England states.
Being on tour was so nice. You get to be bison spotting as you’re not driving yourself (also helpful as there’s no cellular service). Having someone take you around and explaining why things are cool made it so much more fun for me. I could just relax and enjoy it.
The Grand Tetons are just stunning. We did a float down the Snake River, which was unbelievable and serene. Then Mount Rushmore was great to experience with my daughters. We all really loved the Ranch stay on the trip as well.
Another bonus is having other kids for our kids to hang out with. There were 13 kids under the age of 18 for our girls to hang out with.
We’re now on a mission to visit all the National Parks!
We decided our next trip would be Europe, and we did our European Wonderland 12 day Family Tour from Rome to London.
We explored Italy from Rome to Florence to Venice, Paris in France, and ended in London. My younger daughter was obsessed with Paris, and my older daughter was born in London, so we all loved the trip. Everyone’s favorite part was actually Switzerland and the beautiful outdoors.
What are some of the other popular family vacations?
The Monkeys Jungles and Volcanoes Tour in Costa Rica is a definite for families as are our Hawaii vacations.
Tell Us About Your Enhanced Wellbeing Protocols.
We’ve reworked all our protocols and changed all the filtration systems of the coaches. We’ve also gone through all our partners to ensure they have up-to-date protocols in place.
All trips have the Tour Driver, Tour director, and now in 2021, we’ve added a Wellbeing Director to every tour of 20 or more people.
Our job is to take care of all that stress for you so you can enjoy your trip.
What’s Your Top Advice for Planning Now?
Be flexible. And book in advance. There’s a huge surge in booking, and it’s a super flexible time to book right now.
Why do you travel with your kids?
Travel opens our eyes to the fact that different isn’t bad. It teaches us to be a more open and empathetic human. It’s important to start early with our kids and expose them to these differences.
And as a Mom, I love having the opportunity to connect with my kids and my family in a different way, especially on these trips when I can just be as everything is taken care of for us.
Next trip your planning or dreaming about?
We’re doing Joshua Tree over spring break then heading to Hawaii in July.
In 2022 we’re making a big trip…Peru and Machu Picchu.