Thinking about a trip to Alaska with a lot of family members? A visit to the Last Frontier is a great way for a family to enjoy a new destination and make memories for a lifetime. Our TravelingMoms know a thing or two about how to best visit the 49th state with family members of all ages. Here they share some of their best tips for a successful multigenerational visit to Alaska!
Question: “My husband and I would like to take our family of 11, from age 2 to seniors (us) the third week in July to Alaska. Is it unrealistic and what other planned trip do you advise?”
Answer: “Nothing is unrealistic” for a multigenerational trip to Alaska!
With a bit of careful and intentional planning, an Alaskan trip can be pulled off successfully. And a cruise is a great way for a family to visit! Active TravelingMom Kimberly Tate says this:
We love cruising for multigenerational trips. It allows freedom for each family to choose what the want to do, while allowing everyone to still be connected via the ship. We always make one meal a day a joint meal for the entire group. Cruising also helps prevent the excess of ideas for what everyone wants to do. If you do a multigenerational/family trip, I advise having one or two people as the organizers and everyone else agrees to go along with their plans. Or give each family a day to plan. When everyone wants a voice and wants to do what they want is when things start to get stressful.
A little organization goes a long way in keeping the stress at bay!
TravelingMom Diana Rowe highly recommends using a travel agent because it may offer “better rates, and it takes the burden off of you.” Luxe TravelingMom Dana Zucker offers this viewpoint:
Nothing is unrealistic. You need to first decide if you are able to plan the trip yourself, your budget, where you would like to go (one stop or many) and go from there. If you do not usually plan these trips for a group like this I highly suggest using a planned tour. With such a big group you can most likely have your own group. We travel once a year with 13 from infant to 75 all over the world. Because we do it often we rent homes where we go usually and if we want or feel a need hire local private guides. With such a group we also do not over book. One activity a day and not everyone always does it.
Assistance in planning and giving family members a choice to participate/not participate in an activity will help to keep everyone happy.
For the “Wee” Ones
What about the babies and toddlers in the group? Luxe TravelingMom Dana Zucker offers this helpful scenario:
Until our kids were older we always traveled with a nanny/babysitter. Now my kids are almost 21 now but we paid all travel expenses plus $50 a day and we worked out a schedule. Her schedule differed daily but she always had a chunk of time to herself. More often than not she often hung out with us. We liked that we knew who she was. As the kids got older and were verbal, we used on site nanny services too. We prefer suites. If not available, we would get 2 rooms and have the kids with us most nights.
A Different Point of View
One of our TravelingMoms is a former resident of Alaska. She knows some very special and memorable places to visit in this scenic state. Rural TMOM Amanda Jones offers this advice:
I recommend jumping in an RV or camper van and hitting the road via Canada. 2017 is the 150th anniversary for the Parks Canada system. That time frame is likely to be peak tourism for AK and Western Canada. However, depending on where you go, you might not feel the pressure as much. We always recommend the state ferry over a cruise, as you can personalize your trip and go where large cruises cannot.
How about taking the family on a vacation in a totally different hemisphere? Travel Hack TMOM Dia Adams has an adventurous suggestion:
What about going south for the summer? Many forget that parts of Central to South America are actually cool in July. Antigua, Guatemala is gorgeous, compact, safe, English friendly, and full of both culture and nature. Best of all, it will 1/2 the price of Alaska in high season. We did a multi gen trip there a few years ago ages four to 60s and it was amazing! Temps were 60s to 70s. Hire a full service and rent number of condos in the same complex so each family has its own unit within a property.
A multigenerational family can have a wonderful time visiting Alaska. With help and a bit of planning (and a bit of give and take), each person will have something to enjoy and memories to cherish!