My Vacation Lady is receiving more and more requests for vacations including grandparents, parents and kids. Sometimes it’s for a special celebration–
- A special birthday like Grandma’s 70th birthday
- A special anniversary- 40th, 45th, 50th
- A graduation
- A retirement
- Recovery from a life threatening illness
- or just because the families live so far apart.
With age ranges ranging from infants to grandparents, different personalities and different vacation styles, it’s essential to have a strategy for planning a vacation like this.
In our case, we just returned from a cruise with our adult children and their spouses. Since 3 out of 4 of them are school teachers, we had to go while they were on their winter break. Because we were treating them, we made the decisions and they said to us; “if you’re paying, we’re coming” . That may not always be the case.
What are some of the things to consider when planning for a multi-generational vacation are:
- Budget– unless 1 person (or couple) is footing the bill for the vacation, it’s important to establish what each family member is willing to pay. If you don’t establish the budget upfront, you can spin your wheels checking out location after location, resort after resort and come up with nothing that everyone can decide on. Your idea of reasonable may not be your brother’s idea of reasonable.
- How far are you willing to travel– With families spread out all over the country, do you want someplace in between OR do you want a destination that is just relatively easy for all members to get to? Just some thoughts here:
- consider the cost of flights. vs. the ability to drive
- does everyone have passports
- how long can everyone be away for?
- When do you want to travel? When dealing with families with kids in school, school breaks don’t always fall on the same dates, if the families live in different areas.
- Do you need to limit the vacation to the summer, when everyone is off?
- Are you ok taking the kids out of school for a few days before or after a school break?
- Ask for some input from the family members- get a couple of ideas and preferences- like beach or adventure, cruise or all inclusive resort, theme park or even an organized (family friendly) group tour. DON’T ask for everyone’s opinions until you narrow down the choice to a couple of options.
- Decide what accommodations will best fit your family group- even if your friends had a fabulous vacation renting a large beach house where everyone can stay in one house, that may not be your dream family vacation. A resort with multi room suites or even connecting or nearby rooms, may work best for you.
- Allow everyone some of their own time and space- While is may sound like fun to be together 24/7 for days at a time, having some free time to enjoy different interests is a good idea.
- Don’t assume that Grandma and Grandpa want to babysit every night- so make sure that there are kids activities or babysitting options available.
- Don’t pre-plan every minute of every day. It doesn’t have to be like day camp, unless you want it to. Schedule in some relaxing time to just enjoy the location and each other’s company.
- Hire a travel professional -to work with you and make sure all of the i’s are dotted and t’s are crossed. Not every travel agent is familiar with multi-generational travel so be sure that the one you hire is experienced with your type of vacation request.
My Vacation Lady is an award winning travel agency that believes in the personal approach to vacation planning. Let us show you what a difference we can make in your next vacation!