R Family Vacations was founded 11 years ago by travel entrepreneurs Gregg Kaminsky and Kelli Carpenter and, since then, 19,000 people have traveled the world with the duo on trips designed just for our community.
R Family Vacations is unique in the travel space. The R Family experience is for everyone: Families don’t just mean children. It can be adults with their adult gay or lesbian child or childless LGBT couples who are looking for a different experience than that of Atlantis Events, RSVP Vacations or Olivia.
A trip with R Family will not disappoint. I know: I’ve been on several trips with them and each time, I’ve left a better person, having met incredible people and having traveled to interesting places. Here is what is on tap for R Family in 2015:
Greece, Turkey and Italy
R Family Vacations is offering what I consider the best cruise itinerary of 2015, for those looking to hit their bucket list in just one week, with the best of Europe. R Family’s group trip takes to the sea July 18-25 on the luxurious Celebrity Equinox. Weeklong vacation rates starts at a low of $1,359 per person (plus tax and tip). Even better: You are paying in dollars versus Euros. When you consider food, accommodations and R Family signature entertainment, this cruise is a great value.
As important as the destinations is the ship. Celebrity is an affordable premium cruise line perfect for travelers who like affordable luxury and value service. The ship, launched in 2009, features fewer than 1,500 cabins, ensuring a more intimate feel for travelers compared to the mega ships that carry more than 5,000. Ship reviews on one of my favorite sites, www.cruisecritic.com, are generally positive.
“We are excited to sail on our first cruise with Celebrity on our most interesting itinerary ever,” Kaminsky said. “Istanbul to Rome with a full day and evening in Mykonos, my favorite gay destination in the world.”
It is best to get your airfare now, as summer airline prices tend to be expensive. Don’t forget to use your miles and, to find a great sale fare, consider an alternative airport from a smaller city. There are no non-stops from Philly to Turkey, so you definitely have to leave from another U.S. city or you will make at least one stop. The cruise ends in Rome, so your airline itinerary can be complicated. Be sure to research the best route online and, remember, it is free to talk to airline representative by phone. Oftentimes, the airline representative can find you better flights with code-share airline partners that are not always evident online. It can be worth paying the fee to book on the telephone because of the expertise of the agent versus researching and booking the flight on your own.
If a European trip is out of the budget this year, consider the R Family Vacations Wonder Valley Ranch Resort. R Family takes over the entire resort Aug. 9-14. The resort is in Sanger, Calif., is close to the Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks in the beautiful Sierra Nevada foothills. You can drive from Northern and Southern California, or the closest airport is the Fresno Yosemite International Airport, about 30 minutes from the resort. Families stay in individual quaint country cottages or modern hotel-style rooms. Rates start as low as $999 per person.
“Wonder Valley Ranch camp is a special place with incredible activities for kids and adults,” Kaminsky said. “Everything from horseback riding to paintball to go-karts. We are thrilled to return to one of our favorite places and we’ve chartered the entire place just for us.”
Jeff Guaracino is the author of “Gay and Lesbian Tourism: The Essential Guide for Marketing.”