At Our Whole Village, we plan meaningful vacations for families who want to create lifelong memories and show their kids the world in a more conscious and intentional manner.
We help families take meaningful vacations so that they can escape everyday life, show their kids the world and make lifelong memories - with care, confidence and peace of mind.
Your (free) guide to the top travel destinations for families with babies, teens and everyone in between.
Although far from a new concept, multigenerational travel (trips involving three generations or more) is on the rise.
On the one hand, multigenerational family households are increasing. As reported in this article, “57 million Americans, or 18.1% of the population of the United States, lived in multi-generational family households in 2012, double the number who lived in such households in 1980.”
On the other hand, families live farther away from each other than ever before.
And these families are looking at their vacations as an opportunity to maximize their time together and share unique and transformative experiences.
As this piece beautifully puts it: “Not without its challenges, multigenerational travel is a goal for families who seek togetherness in faraway places.”
If you have the means and the grandparents are in good health, traveling around the world with parents, siblings, kids, grandkids, and other family members can be an enriching experience.
However, catering to the different needs, interests and age-groups isn’t always easy.
Here are some quick tips on how to make your multigen trip a success.
1. Plan (Well) Ahead
Let’s face it, your days of backpacking in Europe and going with the flow are over.
When it comes to multigenerational travel, “winging it” is a recipe for disaster.
A bit (or a lot) of planning can make a world of difference, and getting everyone involved early on can be both useful and rewarding.
2. Discuss Finances Up Front
Be sure to set a budget. There’s no point in coming up with an amazing safari expedition if half the family can’t afford it. Be respectful of each others’ feelings and financial situation. In addition, make sure you discuss how you will be sharing meal expenses, transportation costs, etc., prior to your trip.
3. Consider Vacation Rentals
Follow the un-hotel trend. Villa and apartment rentals are often a good value for groups, particularly when visiting Europe. They also provide other advantages, such as being able to cook and share meals together and do laundry. Vacation rental platforms, such as Airbnb, VRBO and OneFineStay abound, and there are even a few focused on families with little ones, such as Tots to Travel and Kid & Coe. Even better, check out Vacatia to get the best of a rental with the conveniences of a hotel.
4. Choose a Trip for All Ages
Not all trips are created equal. Certain types of travel and destinations are more conducive to a relaxed atmosphere and multigenerational fun. For the budget-conscious family, an all-inclusive resort in the Caribbean. For old-world culture seekers, an European tour. For the more adventurous, an eco lodge in South America or an African safari. For those seeking comfort and ease of planning, a cruise might be the answer. These are all great examples of trips that invariably include something for everyone.
5. Account for Jet Lag
There’s no fighting jet lag. You and your loved ones will probably be flying in from different time zones, maybe different countries.
Make sure the first day is all about resting, catching up and enjoying each other’s company. In other words, take it easy.
6. Don’t Overbook
If traveling with kids already makes you slow down, adding grandparents and other relatives to the mix should make you slow down even further.
Resist the temptation to pack too many activities and remember, this is as much about enjoying each other as it is about getting to know a new place.
7. Find Something for Everyone
You cannot make everyone happy all the time. Compromise is the word of the game.
Be sure to schedule a mix of kid and adult-friendly activities.
Making sure everyone has a say and feels heard is crucial.
Don’t be fooled, however, into thinking there will be consensus. There must a “leader” or nothing will get decided.
8. Allow for Flexibility
Freedom! We all appreciate it.
If you follow tip #7 and decide you want to take the kids to playground one morning, don’t take it personally if the grandparents choose to do their own thing.
There’s no point in forcing everyone to do everything together all the time.
Don’t be afraid to split up and do your own thing.
9. Set Expectations
Before embarking on your family adventure, be sure to share the details of the itinerary with everyone and set general expectations. Perhaps you will spend all day together? Or only meet for one meal a day? There’s no right or wrong, as long as expectations are set and everyone is on the same page.
10. Pack an Extra Dose of Empathy and Sense of Humor
It’s up to all family members to put themselves in each others shoes, not take eventual disagreements very seriously, and realize there will be setbacks. And that these potential disasters someday will make funny stories and become lasting memories.
Want more tips on travel with kids?
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