A happy family trip takes planning. It might appear that they magically come together, but the truth is, you’ll need to do some pre-work if you want everyone to enjoy it. It’s even harder when you’re traveling with several generations, as treasured an experience as it is. With the tips that follow, you’ll learn how to make planning it a whole lot easier – and a trip that’s fun for all!
CONTENTS: In this article, you will learn important tips about planning a multi-generational family trip, including:
- The Challenge: Keep the Whole Family Content on Vacation
- Make Activities Accessible for Everyone
- Allow for Down Time
- Do Something Different
- Adjust the Pace to All Generations
- Final Thoughts on Planning a Happy Family Trip
Keeping The Whole Family Content On Vacation
A family vacation is a time to enjoy.
It might be a rare occasion that you get to go on a family vacation, so making the most of it is key. No matter whether you are taking children, grandchildren, or your elderly parents, you will want to make sure everyone is happy and comfortable.
That can be challenging, considering the different ages, interests, and abilities of your family members.
So, here are some family tips for making your next trip as smooth and comfortable as possible.
By incorporating them into your planning, the end result is a happy family trip — on that will be a treasured memory for all.
1. Make Activities Accessible for Everyone
When you go on a family vacation, you are likely to book a few fun activities.
Seeing as you are all together, you will want to make sure that everyone can join in – especially if this is a multi-generational trip. It’s important to ensure the activities are accessible and enjoyable for everyone with you.
For instance, you may have small children with you. In that case, the activities you plan will need to be child-friendly and engaging.
If the little ones’ ages range from an infant, to toddlers, to school-age children, you’ll need to tailor the activities to the various ages and attention spans.
Or, if they are high-school or college-age, give them a role in planning out the family vacation activities.
At the same time, this might present a problem if you also have elderly parents with you who want to join in but have certain medical restrictions such as painful joints or trouble walking.
In that case, before you forgo the activities you have planned, consider whether you can make accommodations for limited mobility.
That might simply mean you always have a chair available for them so they can sit comfortably and enjoy stationary activities.
Or, it might mean investing in one of the large selection of scooters to buy online. This is a perfect solution if you want to treat your elderly parent who has trouble walking. That way, they can join you for longer days where you’ll be covering more ground, and won’t miss out on the fun.
Also, be sure to check with your hotel to see what other accommodations they can provide for children and elderly family members during your stay. They will likely be a very helpful resource!
2. Allow for Some Downtime
Although you are on vacation together, some members of the family may appreciate or need some downtime – including you!
Being alone and doing an activity alone is fine, so long as you let the rest of the family know you want to enjoy something by yourself. This may mean planning a special dinner with your significant other, or morning yoga by the beach.
You may have teenage children that want to partake in water sports, if you are at a destination that offers scuba, paddleboarding, kayaking, or other more adventurous activities.
In that case, allowing them to enjoy it alone can help them feel responsible and more relaxed and independent.
Older family members may like some time to themselves to rejuvenate after a busy day. You should ask them to weigh in on how they would like to spend their days on your family vacation. You might be feeling guilty about doing things without them, but it might actually be a welcome reprieve for them.
Remember, a vacation is a time where everyone should enjoy themselves. It’s more likely that you’ll keep everyone happy when each gets enough time to do what they want.
3. Do Something Different
If you go on a vacation each year, it can feel a bit repetitive if you always do the same thing. Although the family will appreciate getting away, they may feel a little uninspired.
So mix it up a bit!
That might mean partaking in a new activity, like renting eBikes, staying at a different beach, or trying out a new country altogether.
When you do something different, you can rekindle the fun you once had on your first family vacation.
It is important to go outside of your comfort zone when traveling even if it is with family. So long as the new adventure is sensible and family-friendly, everyone will enjoy trying something completely new.
In fact, trying new experiences is one of the many reasons why travel is important at any age. Click here to read 6 more reasons why travel is good for you.
4. Adjust the Pace for All Generations
Experiencing multigenerational travel may require you to go at a faster or slower pace.
For a happy family trip, you want to ensure that you cater to the pace of each member of the family.
So, if you a traveling with young children, you may need to go at a faster pace than usual to keep them engaged.
Similarly, if you take elderly parents along, they may need to go a little slower.
If your vacation party includes all ages, then you need to find a happy medium.
This is where you could allow downtime for the elderly so that they can go at a slower pace for a few hours. Then, you could take the children out for a thrill-seeking activity to satisfy their faster pace needs.
You may have to recalibrate your plans from time to time if it feels like you’re going too fast for some and too slow for others. But as long as you are aware that this is a factor, you can plan accordingly.
In the best scenario, everyone is compassionate to each other’s needs.
Final Thoughts on Creating a Happy Family Trip
Planning a family vacation that spans generations may seem like a daunting task at first. But if you ask for input from those involved, and make any needed adjustments for interests, abilities, and needs, you are well on your way to planning a happy family trip. In fact, you’ll probably be looking forward to the next one long before the first is over.
Finally, if bringing your elderly parent(s) on your family vacation is not an option, click here to find out about caring for elderly parents while while you’re away – without feeling guilty.
Photo credits: Beach family: Hamsterfreund (Pixabay), all others courtesy of Canva Pro.
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