For 2018, I have been contacted by more and more clients to book multi-generational trips. These are trips with grandparents, parents and kids all traveling together. Apparently I am not alone; multi-generational travel is one of the hottest growing trends in the travel industry.
Surprised? I am not! With so much competing for a family’s attention, I am thrilled to see so many parents and grandparents choosing travel as a way to make long lasting family memories. Travel may be one of the last things that compete with a laptop, mobile device or gaming system! Getting your kids and parents out into a new environment – something outside of their comfort zone – is also a great way to encourage family bonding.
Our partners at Vacation.com recently shared an entire blog post on this very topic. Here it is below, annotated with my own thoughts. Enjoy!
Multi Generational Family Travel Made Easy
Exploring new destinations with parents, siblings, children and other family members can offer opportunities to share enriching new experiences and create shared stories and memories that will last forever. With these tips, along with the expertise of your trusted travel advisor, you’ll be on your way to a memorable, multigenerational trip of a lifetime.
EVERYONE GETS A SAY Interview all family members who will be traveling to find out what they want to get out of the vacation and involve them in the planning. This includes even young children. What do they want to see and do? What are must-haves and simply wish items? Each person should get one thing they really want to do or see. By getting everyone involved, each family member will feel like they are a part of making the trip fun and successful.
BE CLEAR ON FINANCES, AND NEVER ASSUME ANYTHING When planning a multigenerational vacation, consider everyone’s budget. Talk about who is paying up-front to avoid awkwardness or surprises. Sometimes grandparents offer to pay, while other times it may be the second generation that pays for their own families or for everyone. Budgeting for the trip is important. How much do you want to spend? Be sure to discuss possible additional expenses, such as meals, drinks, babysitting, excursions, tips, transportation, etc. Once a budget is determined, stick to it.
ACTIVITIES Choose a destination with a wide appeal, including a good mix of activities; some scenic, some mild, moderate or extreme to cater to different ages and physical fitness levels. Look for opportunities for local cultural immersion, such as learning a language or how to cook local cuisine. This is where the expertise of a travel professional can come in handy, by helping you discover creative tours, excursions, off-the-beaten-path attractions and connections that allow you to experience what the locals do. Make sure there are enjoyable activities that everyone can do together, and some that can be done in separate groups. The wider the age range in your extended family, the more options you’ll want to consider. Don’t expect everyone to participate in every activity. Be flexible, but reconvene as a group throughout the day so no one will feel left out of the fun.
BUILD IN SOME DOWNTIME Avoid overscheduling, and don’t attempt to see and do everything your destination offers. Otherwise you’ll be dealing with some cranky kids – and adults, too! Balance a morning of activities with a few hours to relax in the afternoon. Also, schedule some time apart. Taking time to have a little space is healthy and helps prevent family members from getting on each other’s nerves.
CAPTURE SPECIAL MOMENTS Multigenerational trips are unique and special, as busy schedules often prevent groups from getting away together often. So, take photos and videos. Be sure you get photos of the entire group. And last, but not least, remember to laugh! There’s bound to be a misstep or two when traveling with a multigenerational family, but at the end of the day, don’t sweat the small stuff. Keeping a sense of humor will keep everyone happy.
NOT SURE WHERE TO START? A travel expert can create a multigenerational travel experience that will create memories your family will forever cherish.
Shared with permission From Vacation.com/Travel Leaders