Multigenerational Travel can make all the difference in your next vacation!
It can also make for some unhappy kids, angry parents and a ruined vacation. It’s not a delicate balance, but some good common sense and an equal measure of let-it-be.
We can almost guarantee, when a multi-generational vacation goes sour, it’s almost always because of one of the factors listed below was neglected.
MultiGenerational travel is not the same as traveling as a couple or with a group of similarly aged people.
Kids and older adults are all part of the fun. But the main thing is simply that planning for everyone’s needs and age specific considerations will make for a much happier vacation.
MultiGenerational Travel in Ten Easy Steps…
1) Tell them everything, up front. It’s ok to plan a surprise, but you should brief your parents and your kids on what to expect. Tell them as much as you know about what you – and they – are getting into. They’ll want to plan accordingly and you should discuss plans as thoroughly as possible.
2) Give everybody a chance for input. Everyone will enjoy the trip that much more if they have a hand in planning what they want to do and you’ll be surprised how much better any vacation goes when everyone is included in planning it out.
3) Add some intrigue. If you’re holding back on the plans above – especially due to cost or time – then jump in and use their hopes and dreams as a springboard to make it an extra special trip for them.
4) Slow down! Older adults almost certainly won’t want to run like you do. Travel can be harder on them. Likewise, kids can be overwhelmed and over-excited and over-stimulated – not to mention scared. Again, remember to explain everything carefully and revise your plans ahead of time to take into account what changed as older adults or kids learn more or get excited!
5) Include some “do nothing” time in your itinerary,for yourself and for every age group. Make sure you take advantage of it too. Planning every moment is usually a recipe for failure or exhaustion.
6) Limit the Baby Sitting. Saddling your parents with baby-sitting can be a big treat. It can also be a big burden. Keep it to an agreed upon limit, and don’t leave anyone unattended at the hotel. Especially if you’ve been doing all the talking, parents or older adults can end up feeling helpless. Make sure they know where and who to talk to if they need any thing
7) Plan carefully for any special needs. Keep medicines in your carry-on bags (or theirs) and call ahead if there are any disabilities or access issues. If you’re party has grown in numbers, it may also be worth it to call ahead for airport transportation.
8) Consider an All-Inclusive vacation. If you normally like to go it alone, this may be just the situation where All-Inclusive can save your trip. Travel with kids or older adults can really be a lot easier when you don’t have to worry about where and when to eat, and lots of other things that you just don’t get on an a la carte trip.
9) Pack appropriately. Bring plenty of extra dry changes of clothes. Along with your sun-screen, a couple of swim suits makes every person traveling with you that much happier.
10) Check out some new places. Lots of places – the same places – are appropriate for neither older adults nor for kids. That’s usually because they require lots of walking or exertion. Imagine leaving your mom and kids at the bottom of the pyramid while you scale to the top! That’s not much fun for them. You also aren’t going to leave them outside the night club while you dance the night away.
But let’s face it. Family time comes in all varieties. Many Royal Holiday travelers have learned that the best way to enjoy each other is to bring more people along. Couple with younger kids bring the parents along so that everyone gets to enjoy each others’ company.
We can’t think of a better way to spend a holiday!