Travelling with multiple generations can be a great bonding experience and provide family memories that will last a lifetime, but it can also present unique challenges. Travelling with your extended family is gaining in popularity, with forty per cent of leisure travelers taking at least one multi-generational trip in the past year.
Below are a few things to consider when travelling in a group, and even a few different trip options to consider!
Be as Realistic as Possible – You could probably picture what the perfect vacation would look like for you, but when travelling with a group, especially with people with differing needs, remember to be realistic in your expectations. When planning a trip with young children, be mindful of their needs such as nap times, dietary restrictions, attention spans etc. It is also important to communicate – while you may see the trip as an adventure, your adult child or parent may treat it as a break from work and expect more time to relax or take things easy.
Be Clear – As mentioned above, communication is key. When planning for the trip, discuss who will be footing which bill and how unexpected expenses will be covered. Keep in mind that if someone is paying for the majority of the trip, they may feel more inclined to dictate the trip itinerary. Discuss expectations and what you hope to get out of the trip to avoid disappointment.
Plan for Alone Time – One of the perks of travelling in a group is having the ability to split up in pairs or go off on your own from time to time. You have the option of taking turns watching the kids, allowing everyone the opportunity to do the things they would not otherwise be able to do with the kids tagging along. It can be frustrating to be at your destination and unable to enjoy the activities, tours or sightseeing.
Family Vacation Options
Although travelling in a multi-generational group can limit your trip options, there are still many creative ways to spend vacation time:
All-Inclusive Resort– This is the most popular vacation option because it involves little to no planning and there are an assortment of activities for all ages to enjoy. This type of vacation allows for everyone to be in the same place while still having the freedom to do different things. For those that want to relax, they can lie in a lounge chair all day, while the adventure seekers can go on excursions or participate in daily activities. Bonus: There is usually a daycare or a ‘kid’s camp’ for when the parents want a little break. With meals included, there is plenty of time to bond over the breakfast/lunch/dinner table and catch up.
Volunteering or ‘Voluntourism’ – this option is gaining in popularity, with many organizations offering family-oriented options. Many countries need aid in different forms and it can be an engaging and rewarding experience for all involved. Children will learn about charity and volunteering and can feel like they are making a difference engaging with different cultures.
Tours – although most tour companies gear their trips towards adults, there are many that offer itineraries that are ideal for families. These are an ideal option if you want to save time and energy on planning and considerations – as all of this is done for you.
Road Trips – road trips are an exciting option for the whole family. Although the idea of being in a car for a lengthy time with your family can seem overwhelming, it allows you to take turns driving and avoid tiredness behind the wheel. Road trips are great because they permit flexibility – plans can change as on the road as you experience different types of activities, sights, and accommodations every day.
Travelling as a family can be a great way to create unforgettable memories, just remember to take the time to plan and be considerate of your family’s needs and expectations. Bon Voyage!