Europe & Britain | People & Stories

Why we chose a Trafalgar tour to celebrate our daughter's graduation

Meet the Tsipouras-Clark family, who recently ventured to the lush green landscapes of Ireland to celebrate their youngest daughter’s graduation from university. Mum and dad (Maris and Chris), along with their daughters, 24-year-old Marisa and fresh graduate 22-year-old Mariah, joined one of our great Trafalgar Ireland tours to experience the best of the Emerald Isle while making new memories on the road together.

The Florida-based family loves to spend time together and plan trips overseas to celebrate major milestones – like a graduation celebration! Having just started her new job in marketing, Mariah took time off to explore the castles and traditional dance scene of Ireland before diving into the next chapter of her life (plus she’s returning to school to study her masters).

Let’s dive into why family travel matters, what it means to the Tsipouras-Clark family, and what the highlight from their trip for their daughter’s graduation was.

Why did you choose Ireland for this special trip to celebrate your daughter’s graduation?

“Mariah actually got to pick the trip to celebrate her graduation. She chose Ireland partly because we have a little bit of Irish heritage on my side of the family (my mother’s maiden name is Collins). She mostly picked it because of its rich history and how beautiful images on the internet are! Plus she really wanted to see castles.”  – Chris

GET INSPIRED BY: Enchanting Emerald Isle

What were you looking forward to most about Ireland? Did the destination meet your expectations?

“As a family, we were all really excited about the scenic drives and seeing the Cliffs of Moher. The cliffs blew us away. We had never seen anything like it! 

“The girls were also extremely excited to stay at Ashford Castle. We all absolutely loved it! It was incredibly beautiful and so much fun to feel like royalty for a night.”  – Maris

What was the highlight of your trip? Tell us about a special memory (or two) you shared on the road together.

“The overall highlight of our trip was being able to spend time together before my sister and I step into our own lives. Marisa just got married and now that we are both working full-time, trips like this will be harder for us to go on altogether. 

“Ireland allowed us to disconnect from our busy lives back home and really enjoy quality time together. One of our favorite memories was visiting Blarney Castle and climbing up the narrow steps to kiss the Blarney stone. We were laughing and cracking jokes the whole way up. We were scared at first but it ended up being super funny and a great time! It reminded me how much I love being with my family.” – Mariah

Mariah, what was your favourite part of the trip?

“I have two favorite parts. The first was seeing all of the gardens. Every location we went to had the most breathtaking gardens. My favorite was the poison garden at Blarney Castle where I saw so many flowers and plants there that I had never seen before! 

“My other favorite was staying at Ashford Castle. I loved being able to feel like a princess for a night. The castle was amazing and the service was spectacular. From the second we stepped off the boat to the moment we left I was having the best time ever. I can’t wait to go back someday.” – Mariah

RELATED BLOG:  Meet Carol, the Trafalgar guest who’s been on 40 tours and counting

Do you regularly take overseas trips together as a family, or was this an extra special trip?

“The first time we took an overseas trip was for my college graduation! We did a cruise to Italy and Greece. We take lots of smaller trips together within the United States but when we go out of the country it is for special occasions.”  – Marisa

Why do you think traveling together as a family is important? 

“Traveling together as a family is very important to me as a mom. It allows us all to make memories that I know the girls will carry forever – and us parents too! It bonds us in a way that being at home doesn’t.

“There is nothing that compares to getting to experience new things with the people you love.” – Maris

GET INSPIRED BY: Wonders of Britain & Ireland

What types of activities do you like to do together while traveling? 

“We love to do anything that we wouldn’t be able to do at home. When we travel we like to do activities that are special to wherever we are going. I have been a dancer my whole life so something that was important to me while being in Ireland was going to see Irish dancers. This was an optional extra excursion on our trip so we all went to see a dance show together and it was amazing! 

“We also are major foodies and love eating local food. The fish and chips in Ireland are amazing!” – Mariah

Why do you choose Trafalgar for your trips?

“We decided to use Trafalgar because we thought they were going to be the best option for our family to have an easy, safe, and fun trip. We are so glad we picked Trafalgar, especially since our guide Barbara, and our driver, Michael, were beyond amazing!

What destinations do you dream of traveling to together next?

“We would love to go to France together. My mom went as a little girl with her parents and always talks about that trip so fondly. I would love to make memories like that with my parents.” – Mariah

GET INSPIRED BY: Best of Ireland

Do you have any tips for other families thinking of traveling overseas together?

“Our biggest tip is when you are packing, roll your clothes instead of folding. It saves so much room! Also definitely check the weather so you know what kind of clothes to pack. We would have been lost in Ireland if it wasn’t for our rain jackets!”

Anything else you’d like to add about family travel or your time together on the road for your daughter’s graduation?

“We are so grateful for this experience with Trafalgar. We can’t wait to use them in the future and we would recommend anyone to use them for their future travel plans!

Are you planning a big celebration trip for your son or daughter’s graduation? Let us know how you celebrate in the comments…

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