Bonding on Family Trips, (Without the Parents)

In the summer of 2002, Pat Solan, now 66, found herself on a 37-mile rafting trip in the depths of the Grand Canyon. With a guide from Elderhostel, her husband and two of her grandchildren onboard, the raft took on the white waters of the Colorado River, and Ms. Solan took in the sights — not of the scenery, but of her grandchildren’s expressions.

“It was magical to see their faces, and I would have taken a picture if I had a free hand,” she said, “but I was too busy hanging on.”