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Tips for Multigenerational Travel With Kids

Group travel isn’t anything new in the world of family travel – from student travel groups to senior travel groups, people have traveled in packs for many years. However, in recent years, there’s been more of a top travel trend toward family group travel – as multiple generations of families are now going on vacation together for multigenerational travel. This growing trend has been increasingly popular in the travel industry and looks to be growing.

Sometimes, a group family trip with multiple generations can the best way for a family to maximize their vacation time. With only a few weeks off of work and school, family group travel allows families to see a new destination and also see their family who may live far away.

Or, other times, Grandma and Grandpa want to enjoy a special destination, like Walt Disney World, with their grandkids. These shared experiences can be a wonderful way to get some quality time with your older relatives. If you are considering a family group travel trip, here are some tips to make sure it goes smoothly for some great family time with your extended family.

Farmhouse at Norman Bird Sanctuary in Rhode Island

Multigenerational Travel Tips

Pick a Multigenerational Trip Destination

Deciding where to go on your multigenerational trip may be very easy, or you might have some difficulty deciding on where to go. Family vacation ideas for multigenerational trips include national parks, dude ranches, cruises, guided tours (like Adventures by Disney, which also offers river cruises and other trips in the United States and around the world), theme parks, road trips, all inclusive resorts, and beach vacations. All of our Adventures by Disney groups have included multigenerational family groups.

Three of my favorite options for multigenerational travel are cruises, guided trips, and all-inclusive resorts. That’s because these three vacation types have lots of options for the different family members. Things are also well-organized, so you won’t need to make too many plans (which can be challenging with so many personalities).

When choosing the type of multigenerational trip that you want to take, you’ll have to consider a few things. Make sure that your chosen destination includes something for the entire family. The whole extended family doesn’t need to do everything together, but you’ll want to make sure that everyone enjoys the trip.

You should also consider any physical limitations, especially for those members of the older generations and younger children. Don’t plan something that is especially physical or adventurous if not everyone can enjoy it.

Paradise Farmhouse at the Norman Bird Sanctuary
Paradise Farmhouse at the Norman Bird Sanctuary in Rhode Island

Choose Your Type of Accommodations

Consider whether you want to stay all together. Depending on your family, and how many people are traveling, you may want to book separate hotel rooms or a family vacation home.

There are countless vacation homes available where your whole family can stay together but still have some of your own space (like the Paradise Farmhouse at the Norman Bird Sanctuary in Rhode Island). On the plus side –Grandma and Grandpa can help you with the kids!

These can especially be a great option if you plan to cook some or all of your meals. They are also nice if you are staying at the beach and can walk right out of the home onto the beach.

Finding a larger vacation home can be a little challenging, depending on the destination. If you decide to book on a vacation rental site, you’ll want to make sure that it will work for a multigenerational vacation and that it can accommodate your entire family.

Read the reviews and descriptions carefully to learn about the layout of the home. Sometimes you’ll need to go through one bedroom to access another, and that’s something you’ll want to know about in advance.

A beach in Santorini

Plan Activities for Your Multigeneration Trip Wisely

Planning your activities and meals for the trip may be the most challenging thing to do. Perhaps Grandma and Grandpa aren’t interested in spending the entire day at Walt Disney World and may want to spend some time in a more relaxing environment. Get everyone involved in the planning process early.

Remember that when you travel with multiple generations, you are probably going to be dealing with multiple interests and schedules. Incorporate some “choice time” into your vacation schedule so that everyone stays happy.

This can be especially easy to do when on a cruise, in a vacation home, or at an all-inclusive resort (Beaches Turks and Caicos would be a great option). That way, everyone can do their own thing during the day and come together for dinner and evening activities.

Depending on where you go, you may even want to think about booking tours for specific attractions or day trips. A tour bus or van (driven by, and organized by someone else) is a great way to keep the whole family together without having to rent a large minivan.

When planning activities, it’s important to remember that you can’t please everyone all of the time. Be flexible with your planning, and remember that family bonding is more important than what you have for lunch.

In some cases, you may want to plan in time for breaks. Some people, especially those who are especially introverted, may have a difficult time being in a group for an extended vacation. Be sensitive to those needs and allow for some alone time.

Multigenerational travel can be a great bonding experience for extended families. Read our tips for a successful multigenerational trip.

Finally, if you are traveling with grandparents, it’s a good idea to get the money situation sorted in advance. It can be really awkward to talk about money. However, it can be even more awkward if there are certain assumptions made about who is paying.

You may also want to set expectations around preparing meals, driving, and other chores. Make sure you know who wants to do these things, and who would rather delegate them.

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