Trips with the Trulsons: Vantage Traveler Muriel Trulson Shares the Joys of Family Travel

Vantage Travel Team March 14, 2018

Muriel Trulson and her husband had already been to all seven continents when they planned their first family getaway. In celebration of their 50th anniversary, they invited the entire family aboard a cruise in the Caribbean. For someone who has stepped foot on Antarctica, a Caribbean cruise may seem tame in comparison. But to Muriel’s delight, she found a new adventure on that ship: family travel.

As the family grew, so did her list of travel partners. Heritage-chasing trips to Holland with her daughters-in-law, adventures to Machu Picchu with her granddaughters, and Japan with her grandsons — trips became the new family reunion. “With the family being spread across the country, it wasn’t just the act of getting everyone together; it was the joy of continuously connecting and realizing we really enjoy each other’s company year after year.”

As it turns out, traveling together wasn’t just fun, it was eye-opening. “When you travel with a bunch of people, you can really bounce ideas off each other; someone in your group will always come up with a place to visit or experience to have that would have never occurred to you. Having all those minds and generations together really ensures that you see and do a wide variety of things, keeps you from getting into a travel rut.”

With so many different personalities and interests, it can be a challenge to please everyone at once. “Sometimes you have to split the group up for the day, and that’s fine. You get to come back together for dinner and compare stories; it’s such a great way to bond as a family.” Of course, it doesn’t hurt to have a little back up. And that’s where Vantage Travel comes in. With our team of Group Travel Experts, Concierges, Cruise Directors, and Adventure Leaders at your disposal, you’ll have plenty of help planning a trip the entire family will love. “Program directors really strive to reveal the authentic destination to travelers, which is a real advantage when you’re traveling in a big group. They’re especially helpful in ports where you don’t have a lot of time; they can point you in the right direction and help you experience the local culture.” With two chefs in the family, sampling local cuisine is a big part of that experience. “Go native wherever possible — ask around for the authentic local spots, that’s where you find the really incredible food.”

Trulson’s favorite destinations? “Asia and Africa. Places like Tanzania and Cambodia really open your mind; people have these preconceived notions about less-traveled or underdeveloped places, but the people are so friendly. Don’t get me wrong, there are some truly incredible cities in the world, but when you’ve traveled to as many places as I do, the cities stand out from each other less and less. A city will always be charming and full of culture, but those aren’t the places that have made the biggest impact on me.”

With so many trips under her belt, Muriel is one of those rare people who considers her personal bucket list kicked. “After visiting so many destinations, you look back on what each place taught you and what you loved most about it, and you make plans to experience it again with new people.” Take her last trip to Cambodia as an example. Seeing Angkor Wat up close was, of course, one of those incredible travel moments you don’t soon forget. But for Muriel, the small moments stuck in her mind just as much. “Asia is an unbelievable place for Americans to visit because it pushes you to communicate with people in spite of a huge language barrier. It reminds you how to connect with another person just by reaching out and smiling.”

And for Muriel, sharing that sense of wanderlust with her family is what life is all about. “Having an adventurous family keeps me adventurous. They inspire me to get out there and live. We have a saying in my family: ‘Life’s a banquet, and most people are starving.’ So many people never leave their hometowns, and that’s a shame because the world is so big and wonderful. The most valuable lesson traveling has taught me is that, when you get down to it, people are the same everywhere you go.”

If Muriel’s story has you dreaming up a family adventure of your own, reach out to our Group Travel Experts at 1-800-994-6321 to start planning your group trip today.