Travel provides families with so many great experiences and quality time. Involve grandparents on your family trip for special intergenerational memories that you’ll cherish forever. Our travel tips will help!
Tips For Traveling With Grandparents
Every family is different and destinations present the need for new strategies. Start planning your multi-generational travel by focusing on universal travel tips. Prepare by knowing what questions to ask before you travel with grandparents.
Think about your Audience and Their Capabilities
When you travel with grandparents, some of the same rules apply as when you travel with kids. You wouldn’t take a toddler on a grueling hike and expect her to do well. In the same line of thinking, a safari over bumpy terrain wouldn’t be the right fit for a grandparent with back problems.
What are the ages and limitations of your family and the grandparents? Will you need to rest in the middle of the day? Are there special medical needs?
TravelingMom Tip: This step requires frank discussion. Be sure that everyone is open and honest about their needs so that your vacation is a success.
Set the Tone of Your Vacation
In order for everyone to enjoy their time you’ll all need to come to a consensus on what your vacation goals are. Is it about the family time and the destination is secondary? Do you want to travel somewhere that has a lot of activities and excursions? Is everyone comfortable with flying or driving long distances? And the all important question of budget! How much does everyone want to spend? Will expenses be split for everything? Host a family meal or Skype/Facetime session and answer all the questions that will help you pick a destination.
For one of our more eventful multigenerational vacations, we all went to Walt Disney World. My first trip to Disney was in high school so my parents never had that little kid experience there. The girls were 2 and 4 and the entire trip was a magical experience to them, from costumes to meeting princesses and riding their first roller coasters. My parents were able to experience the joy right alongside them. It was a trip that we will never forget.
Travelingmom Tip: Keep a clipboard and write down questions as you think of them. You may think you’ll remember but when you have your family meeting that list will be a lifesaver!
Pick the Right Place to Sleep
You may gravitate towards hotels, but with the grandparents along, how are sleeping arrangements going to work? And if you have young kids, then nap time also plays into the planning. Then there’s the cost of two rooms. When you choose a resort residence instead of a hotel, you get a place to stay that has a central gathering area for family time but the privacy everyone needs for sleeping. Add in a kitchen area to prep food, some units with laundry and a price that is close to a hotel night and you can’t go wrong!
Travelingmom Tip: We love Vacatia. With resort residences in 29 destinations and counting, you’re sure to find a family friendly locale. View floor plans online before you book. Destinations like Orlando, Branson, Aspen and Hawaii are perfect for intergenerational travel.
Carve Out Couple Time – Respectfully
Grandparents are amazing, aren’t they? One of the greatest reasons to travel with grandparents (other than the memories) is having someone you trust to watch your kids along for the ride. But be sure not to take anything for granted. Discuss any babysitting needs before the trip to ensure that it still feels like a vacation for the grands. Appreciate time that you do get alone as a couple but don’t overdo it and tax the goodwill of the grandparents.
Travelingmom Tip: Book a location that has a kids club available. This will allow all the adults to enjoy a meal together.
Plan for Pictures
A multigenerational vacation is the perfect time to get some quality photographs of your family. Everyone is happy and relaxed. Many resorts, especially beachfront ones, have photographers available for hire. There are also multiple travel-based destination photography companies where you can hire someone for an hour or so in top cities and tourism destinations. When you get home, frame these photos to remind you of your fantastic trip!
Even if your destination is a go go go locale, be sure to build in some time to lounge around together and just chat. This is a time for everyone to connect and for your kids to chat with their grandparents about family history. Play some games, talk, tell stories – dedicate some no pressure time to just enjoy each other!
Build in Nostalgia and Tradition
One of the fun parts about travel with grandparents is taking the opportunity to revisit blasts from the past. Some of our most enjoyable family trips have been simple ones, trekking back to attractions that my parents took us to as kids. Even a day trip to a pancake parlor is special when it is an annual tradition. Part of the excitement for my girls was seeing pictures of my sister and me standing in the same place when we were their age.
Travel with Grandparents Again!
After a successful getaway we hope you’ll plan more travel with grandparents. Where have you been with them?