March 24, 2013

5 Tips For A Multi-Generational Family Getaway

Traveling and spending time with family are on virtually everyone’s list of personal hobbies. Every once in a while, we go for the gold by trying to combine the two.

As wonderful as it sounds, this does add certain complications that can cause problems if not properly accounted for. Planning a vacation for two takes a bit of work; adding kids and grandparents can make it downright challenging.

Thankfully, it’s becoming much easier to plan such a vacation with the wealth of information now available. Booking flights on the internet is a snap, and we can easily search online among thousands of hotels and holiday villa rentals to find the perfect accommodations. Follow these tips to make planning your trip even easier.

1. Teamwork Is Key

As early as possible, try and involve everyone in the planning stages of the trip. Discuss everything from the location itself to where to stay and what to do once you’re all there. This will allow for the dividing of age-appropriate activities, ensuring everyone gets their fair share of the fun.

Having these discussions beforehand will afford you more time to find the best solutions to potential issues and conflicts. The process will help with budgeting, too.

2. Account For Individual Needs

Things like medicine, nap time, and overall health are important considerations that should be discussed and clearly understood well beforehand. This will make it easier to decide on activities, plan food options and daily schedules.

Credit: Khurt Williams

Credit: Khurt Williams

This goes for finances as well: where possible or appropriate, discuss who will pay for what before getting on the plane. There are always unexpected expenses when traveling, so decide on the big costs early in the process to reduce potential monetary stress.

3. Factor In Some “Me” Time For Everyone

Many make the mistake of thinking a family vacation means spending every waking hour together. Well, as great as travel is, it does turn up its share of hassles. This affects some people more than others, and frustration may be taken out on others.

Try and schedule some alone time for each generation, a break to get away and breathe a little. Kids – especially teenagers – will appreciate the chance to be on their own for a bit. Grandparents may appreciate a quiet walk on the beach, while parents would certainly love a date night of their own. Try and combine these where possible – grandparents, for instance, can enjoy some time with the kids while mom and dad go out for a nice dinner.

4. Share And Pack Light

Make a list of everyone’s product needs – things like toothpaste, shampoo, and hair dryers. With airlines cracking down on baggage restrictions, it’s a good idea to prevent unnecessarily doubling up on items that you can easily share for a week or two while on vacation. Compromise plays a big role in family travel.

5. Document Everything

The simple reality is that opportunities to get everyone together for a multi-generational family vacation are rare. Make sure you capture every moment, with photos, video, and daily entries in a travel journal. These are priceless memories, so make sure you do everything possible to record them for a lifetime.