Traveling with multiple generations of family is a trend that continues to grow in popularity. With so many having such busy lives, it can be challenging to keep family members connected and to make those memories we all cherish. Taking a vacation with everyone is one way to address this challenge!
Grandparents can spend quality time with their grandkids and let the parents occasionally sneak in a romantic meal or day out together. Kids can laugh and play with cousins. Siblings can reconnect with each other and their parents. And of course everyone is making memories together as a whole family!
For every wonderful part of multigenerational travel, there are also some downsides. Kids getting tired and then getting grumpy. Disagreements on how to spend the day. Getting everyone ready and out the door in a timely manner.
Going with the whole crew certainly isn’t for everyone, but with some thoughtful planning, it may just become a favorite way to get away. Here are 5 of Trafalgar’s tips for making it all it can be.
Like so much in life, you start off on the right foot with proper planning and preparation. Try to sit down as a group, even if it has to be via Zoon, and share what each would like to get out of the trip. Ask for ideas on a destination and once you’ve all agreed, ask each person to research a few things they’d like to see or do. Meet up again to compare notes and compile the travel wish list. Not only does this relieve one or two people the task of planning the whole trip, but it also makes sure everyone gets a voice. You may not be able to fit everything in, but you’ll have a good idea where to focus your planning efforts.
INCLUDE A VARIETY OF THINGS TO DO
Depending on the age ranges of your group, there will be a limit on how many museums or historical sites the kids will want to see and how many amusement park rides the grandparents will ride. The key is balance. Whether you try to do it each day or if you alternate days, make sure each generation has an activity that will keep them engaged. Be sure to also include unique activities the whole family can enjoy together, even if it’s as simple as checking out the local ice cream shop.
TAKE SOME TIME APART
What? You’re on vacation together; don’t you need to stay together? Nope! Plan a special activity just for the grandparents and grandkids. Send the moms off for spa time while the dads entertain the kids. Multigenerational travel is certainly about spending quality time together, but sometimes you can also accomplish that in smaller groups or with some one on one time. Another benefit? When you do get back together, you have unique experiences to share with the rest of the group.
DON’T BE DERAILED BY DISAGREEMENTS
You can plan every detail and be having loads of fun but unfortunately, a disagreement will likely pop up sooner or later. It just happens sometimes. Having a plan for giving people space and then making sure to talk it through when those involved have cooled down will get your vacation back on track. Since most disagreements happen because of spending too much time together (ironic, huh?) or someone feeling like they aren’t being heard, you can reduce the likelihood by planning those smaller group activities and by checking in with everyone from time to time. And remind everyone, a simple and sincere “I’m sorry” goes a long way.
TAKE TIME TO LOOK BACK
You traveled together to create memories, memories that can last a lifetime. Once everyone gets back home, make time to get together as a family to look through photos and share stories. You might even consider making a memory book and surprising everyone with a copy. Before you know it, you’ll be ready to plan your next family adventure!