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Multigenerational Travel: Planning a Trip for the Whole Family

Multigenerational Travel: Planning a Trip for the Whole Family

Sep 28, 2018|Independent JourneysTraveler Resources| by Holbrook Travel

Whether you’re traveling with young children or aging grandparents, traveling with multiple generations of people is a great way to bring families and friends closer together and create lasting memories. We’ve gathered some tips on how to plan a vacation that appeals to every age group.

1. Choose a Destination for Shared Interests

Large age gaps can seem like quite a barrier when deciding where to go on a trip, but don’t let that stop you. Whether a parent and teenager both enjoy outdoor activities, or a grandparent and grandchild both want to learn more about the history of a new place, there’s always something that can tie two people together. Know what your fellow travelers are interested in and be sure to research which activities are available before selecting the final destination. Nowadays there are a myriad of activities for all ages, from zip lining and whitewater rafting to community interaction and walking tours. Choose accommodations in the destination that are accessible to these activities. Looking at the hotels' websites is a good place to start, as they often include information on local activities and things to do.

2. Engage Others in Planning Before You Go

Appointing one person to be the primary trip organizer will help ensure your trip goes smoothly and everything stays orderly. You'll want to be sure, however, to include your fellow travelers in the initial planning stages and decision-making process. Don’t wait until you are on location, either—start early and listen to everyone's suggestions. By giving family members the chance to provide input and suggest ideas, each person will feel ownership of the trip and will be likely to approach the experience with excitement and a positive attitude. Even younger kids can help by picking activities from a list of options. 

3. Discuss Finances Ahead of Time

This rule is especially important for large multigenerational family trips, since money lines can often be blurred. Who pays for which activity? What if someone wants to pick up the group’s dinner tab? It’s natural for grandparents to want to spoil their grandkids or for one member of the family to be more generous than others, but money should be talked about before the trip. It’s inevitable that some members of the party will be on a different budget than others, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be open about money. Additional and unexpected costs always come up during vacations, especially with larger parties, so it’s smart to be prepared ahead of time.

4. Plan Options for Everyone

This tip is especially important on trips that include a lot of people. Although it’s important to find something in common, there will always be discrepancies between generations. It’s a good idea to plan a few different optional activities for each generation to choose from. There will be plenty of time to spend together throughout your trip, so why not let adults do what they want while grandparents get some time alone with grandkids? It’s good to have a balance between spending too much time together and spending no time together at all. This is especially important to remember if not everyone in your group is at the same fitness level. If you booked an intense mountain hike, have a backup option for grandparents or anyone who’s not quite up for something so strenuous.

5. Be Flexible

It’s only natural that members of your intergenerational party will disagree. It’s often easy for each person to have a “my way or the highway” attitude, but that will just cause stress and annoyance. If everyone is having trouble agreeing, be open to modifying the activities for that day. Or have members rotate daily communication or responsibilities: where to go, what to do, what to eat, etc. That way, everyone gets a chance to make decisions and try something new and unexpected. It's also important to be open-minded when vacationing overseas, especially if your kids are used to eating chicken nuggets and other American food. These trips are a great chance for children to expand their palate and learn about different cultures.

Need ideas? Visit our broad selection of Independent Journeys around the globe.