Multi-generational travel is becoming rather popular and it has its pros and cons, today we are going to talk about to how make traveling with family fun and hopefully less stressful. Multi-generational travel generally refers to grandparents, parents, and kids but I will also include traveling with parents and adult children in here (because that can be just as stressful). I am going to break it up into sections, including: planning, booking, and travel.
Start with picking a location that everyone can enjoy, if grandma can’t be out in the sun too much don’t pick a beach destination. Once you have your destination picked out you can decide on activities, it is a good idea to have group activities and individual activities planned. For example, when I went to South Africa with my sister, dad, and step mom; my parents went shark cage diving and my sister and I went winery hopping, we got some needed time apart along with being able to do something the other was not interested in. It is okay to not spend every minute together on a family vacation, especially if you want to keep your sanity.
Some great destinations for multi-generational travel are: African safaris (most everyone enjoys seeing animals and there are different activity levels so everyone can participate), Caribbean cruises (so many different activities on the ship, along with shore excursions to keep everyone entertained), beach destinations (great for low-key vacations), and “genealogy tours” (great for the whole family to trace back where they come from).
First, know what you need: how many rooms/cabins, how large a car, and how many airline tickets. Understand that it is best to book everything together and you usually get a better price this way, and if the adults are splitting the “bill” have this worked out prior to booking (makes everyone involved life’s easier). The saying “you do not know someone until you have traveled with them” is a true statement, so give each group their own room (obviously not minors)—split everyone up by couples. Giving everyone their own space will help with any tensions. And when booking flights make sure to book comfortable seats for older adults and maybe something near the bathroom for parents with small children.
Traveling with family, especially multi-generational, can be such a rewarding experience but it can also be very stressful which is why it is very important have patience and to be respectful of everyone traveling. There is a good chance of someone annoying you at some point on your trip, your best options are to either ignore it until a later time or calmly confront them about it and try to work it out then and there, you will have to gauge which option is best for you. Take alone time; go for a walk around the ship/resort, get a drink in the hotel bar, do something by yourself. Believe me, this helps reenergize and helps you focus. It is also a good idea to take some time with your significant other without everyone else around; this is good for you and your relationship. But the most important thing to remember on any vacation is to have fun. These are the memories you will have for the rest of your life so make them good ones.
After the trip is over and everyone is back home remember to check up on each other and share your photos and stories. It is important to stay connected.
Multi-generational travel is a fantastic why to spend time with your family and can be the trip of a life time. Just remember to be kind, be patient, and be respectful of each other. And have fun, it is a vacation after all.
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