How to plan a great vacation with multiple generations
The last few years we are getting more and more requests for multi-generational travel. Grandparents wanting to travel with their children and grandchildren, to spend some quality time together in a special location, bonding over shared experiences, activities and meals. How though do you plan a great multi-generational trip? Here are our tips on how to plan a memorable vacation with your children, your grandchildren and your extended family.
Get Everyone Involved Right from the get-go, get everyone involved in planning your holiday together. Brainstorm together on the destination, everyone's expectations and wishes.
Plan Something for Everyone, Spend time in small groups No matter how close-knit your family, everyone will have different interests. Plan multiple activities each day so each family member has an activity they love every day. Don't hesitate to break away in a small group - it is a great way to discover shared interests and to bond with people you don't always get to hang out with.
Choose Accommodations to Suit Your Style
How much time can you spend together? Do you need a place where you can be alone when it matters? Do you go high-end or more mid-range?
Be Realistic Be realistic about how much time you can spend together, even in the most fabulous of places. You know your family best. And don't be afraid to break off on your own at times. Be realistic about how much everyone can do. Can you stand for long times or do long walks? Does everyone like sun? Are parents hoping the grandparents will babysit the kids while they go out for dinner? Be honest and open with each other so you can plan according to everyone's expectations.
Schedule activities with your family’s normal routine in mind Young children need naps, parents need downtime, grandparents a snooze. Plan your itinerary around your normal daily routine.
Be Clear on Finances Set a budget together that everyone can agree on. Be clear who pays for what. Is a grandparent paying for the trip? Who then pays for insurance, for meals, drinks and personal expenses.
Make it special This will be a trip of a lifetime and you will make memories that will last you your lifetime. Don't skimp on the extras that make a trip special - go out for a nice dinner, add some fun side trips or activities, do things you don't get to do in your every day life. Let everyone on the trip choose one activity they love to do.
Capture Every Moment
Be sure to capture every moment on photo and video. Share your memories on a blog site, in a scrap book or in a photo album and relive them at times when you get together.
Pick a great destination
Perhaps not surprisingly, the Galapagos Islands stand out as a perfect destination for multi-generational travel. There is excitement every day with new animals and scenery, and there are different walks and activities for every ability level. Once you are on board of your ship you only unpack once and there are private areas and areas you can hang out together. There is downtime as well as activity time, it is easy to eat meals together and no one has to do the legwork on where to go for your next meal or outing. Families often book out an entire ship (they come as small as 16-berths) and have their own private yacht complete with crew and guides.
Another perennial favourite is an African safari. Book into a game lodge for 4-5 nights and experience the excitement of an all-inclusive safari. There is time for game drives and walks, for time by the pool and for lingering over great meals or a good book.
Other ideas include a self-guided cycling trip, a river cruise, houseboat rental or bike and barge in Europe, a cruise to Antarctica or the Arctic or a villa rental.
Talk to a specialist
As with any travel, but especially when so many people are involved, talking to an expert in your chosen destination is essential. And guess what? You are on our blog and you have found us! We have organized many multi-generational trips and travelled on them ourselves. Our travel experience covers 100 countries, so we are well-equipped to help you find the perfect trip. Drop us an email with your questions and wishes and we'll get right back to you!