Once upon a time not long ago a family trip to the Grand Canyon would mean loading the vehicle with luggage, food, games and family then heading out for a grueling 26 to 36 hour drive across the Great Plains from Indianapolis to the Southwestern US.  Along the way there would be motels, meals at greasy spoons, and stopping occasionally for a myriad of roadside attractions such as the St Louis Arch, Amarillo’s Cadillac Ranch, The Tallest Man in the World’s Shoe, The World’s Largest Catsup Bottle and more.
Times have changed, and nowadays most families will fly to the great southwest. Many will fly into Las Vegas for some family time (yes, Las Vegas can be for families too) and then take a couple of days to go see the Grand Canyon on their own – or via a helicopter day trip from Vegas.  Others will schedule an informal tour of not only the Grand Canyon but other US national parks in the area – renting a vehicle in Vegas and driving around for several days to check out The Hoover Dam, and other National Parks & Monuments. as well as Grand Canyon.

Many will opt for a formal tour. Collette Vacations offers 9 days with guides offering deep insights and enrichment on the history of the sites visited. A typical tour might start in Phoenix and in addition to visiting The Grand Canyon, other trip highlights might include visits to Old Town Scottsdale, Sedona, Monument Valley, Lake Powell, Bryce Canyon, and Zion Canyon, among others.
One of the highest quality options for a family vacation Out West is an itinerary offered by Adventures by Disney.  Adventures by Disney is a relatively new entrant into the world of guided tours offering the same high quality, family friendly experiences that you have come to expect from all things Disney. Instead of an amusement park though, you might visit The Galapagos Islands, Costa Rica, The Great Pyramids of Egypt, Australia, China’s Great Wall, or our own Southwestern United States.

A tour out West with Adventures by Disney would include, among other things, a welcome dinner in Sedona, guided stargazing when the sun goes down, and a back-country 4×4 Jeep tour. Upon arrival at The Grand Canyon you would experience a Western BBQ dinner while overlooking the South Rim of the canyon followed by a Native American dance performance, and a jet boat ride down the Colorado River.  Then you could enjoy a cowboy cookout and white water river rafting down the Colorado – now that is an adventure!

A tour with Adventures by Disney would include most dinners, lunches and breakfasts along with many additional experiences and options.

Pricing for 7 nights / 8 days starts at about $3400 per person

Other more budget-friendly guided tours start at around $1900 per person.

Going independent on a self-drive starts at under $1000 per person.

– By Scott Jones
Scott Jones is owner of
EZTravelPad – a travel agency
located in Indianapolis focused
on helping people explore their

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