New Zealand
Photo by Debbie Sturdivant

Tips for Multigenerational Travel

Tips for Multigenerational Travel

Nov 20, 2017|Cultural| by Savanna Kearney

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

Find Shared Interests

Large age gaps can seem like quite a barrier when deciding where to plan 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. A great connection between familial generations is a family’s heritage. What better way to draw multiple generations together than to learn about your family’s roots?

Plan Something 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.

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.

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. Do your best to plan ahead and include everyone in the planning, even younger kids. If everyone is having trouble agreeing, try giving each person a day to plan the group’s itinerary, or have members rotate daily 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 palette and learn about different cultures.