Tips to Plan a Multigenerational Family Vacation
Tips for Planning a Great Multigenerational Vacation
We’re all leading such busy lives in this modern era that it can become a challenge to create time to spend with your entire extended family. Perhaps you’re only ever in the same place for Christmas, or Thanksgiving – maybe you all live in completely different time zones. Cue the rise of the multigenerational family vacation, where grandparents, parents, children – and even aunts, uncles, and cousins – all join together for one big family vacation.
It’s not a new concept, but one that is growing in popularity, possibly because it allows for the whole family to spend some quality time together, or to celebrate events such as an important birthday, or a wedding anniversary. However, while this type of vacation is a great idea on paper, pulling it off can be a struggle.
Here are our top tips for a successful multigenerational family vacation...
First: Find the Time
To start off, compare your calendars to figure out a week (or two!) that everyone can make. If you can’t get together for a planning session, set up a Google calendar which you can all access to highlight your availability; this could also come in handy when you’re planning holiday itineraries for the group later on too.
School holidays will be more expensive, but often necessary for family holidays that include the kids. To try and keep costs down a little more, opt for the spring or winter vacation instead of the summer.
Second: Decide on a Budget
Depending on the differences in your incomes, a fair bit of compromising may have to be done when it comes to your vacation budget.
To ease some of the pressure, why not make a pact that you’ll forgo Christmas or birthday presents to each other this year in exchange for taking a holiday together – let it be a gift to yourselves!
Once you’ve set a budget you can begin to go into the finer details, such as where you’re going, for how long, and what type of accommodation to stay in.
Third: Consider Everyone's Needs
When it comes to organizing a multigenerational family vacation, it is important to consider the varying needs that occur between age groups – while you might be eager to hike up the nearest mountain, the grandparents may have less energy and be more interested in seeing local landmarks, meanwhile the kids may want to spend the whole week at the beach.
Early on in the planning process, set out non-negotiables for every family member and what they would each like to get out of the holiday. This will help you determine the length and destination of your vacation and also begin to shape your itinerary for while you’re away.
Fourth: Choose your Destination
Once you have accounted for everyone’s budget, needs, and availability, it’s time to choose your destination!
Where you go may also be determined by how long your vacation can be – if you have ten days or a fortnight then a long-haul flight may seem worth it, whereas if you only have a week you may want to consider staying closer to home.
To accommodate for everyone’s holiday wishes, select a location with plenty of options in the ways of culture, adventure, and relaxation; the Mayan Riviera, for example, offers the cultural history of the Mayans, the excitement of rainforest hikes and underwater rivers, along with pristine white beaches perfect for a day of sunbathing!
Fifth: Select a Place to Stay
Where you stay might also be dependent on the needs of each family member.
If you’re in search of the ‘easier’ choice, then an all-inclusive resort complete with pool, food, and evening entertainment may seem like the way to go.
If you’d prefer a more secluded haven for the whole family, then a large, private rental such a villa could be for you. In Latitude 21 Resorts, we have a wide variety of options that can suit your needs.
You’ll have a place where the whole family can kick back and relax together after a day of exploring. Spend quality time cooking family meals, or taking a morning dip in the pool.
This type of activites will guarantee a great multigenerational family vacation!
Sixth: Create your Itinerary
When it comes to crafting your itinerary, we suggest deciding on a few big events that the whole family want to attend, such as a guided horseback tour through the jungles and beaches of Sayulita, plus a selection of ‘optional’ events that may work well for some members but not others, such as white-water rafting in Hawaii, or a local cooking class in the Caribbean.
Be careful not to schedule every minute of your holiday; just include a few landmark events, and you’ll naturally fill in the gaps. There should be time for relaxing on the beach or by the pool – you’re on holiday after all!
Seventh: Allow for Alone Time
Remember that holidays can be super tiring – especially when you’re away on a multigenerational family vacation!
Everyone should have their own time – let the kids spend a morning watching a movie, leave the grandparents to have a lie-down or go for a walk alone, and make sure you get a few hours draped across a sun lounger reading that book you’ve been meaning to get around to all year!
Eighth: Be Sure to Compromise
In order for everyone to get the most out of their holiday, it’s vital that you take it in turns to miss out on something if someone has to – more likely if you have younger kids with you.
Be sure that it’s not always the same person watching the kids, and if necessary get childcare for one night so all the adults can all go out and enjoy a big meal together.
Ninth: Divide and Conquer
Remember it’s okay if you don’t all want to do the same thing every day – perhaps Dad wants to spend a day playing golf with granddad and uncle, while Mom and her sister want to take the kids to a nature park or for a spot of snorkeling by the beach.
Don’t underestimate the difference that can be made by renting vehicles – if you hire two or more cars, you won’t be restricted by only having one mode of transportation, which means you can split off from each other for the day if you want to. Remember, just because you're planning a multigenerational family vacation does not mean you must spend every minute of every day together!
Tenth: Stay Present
While you’re not going to ditch the phones for the whole trip, and watching a film together as a family is a lovely way to spend an evening in, try to cut down on the time the kids – and you – spend with screens.
Encourage everyone to stay present and enjoy the family time – with an exhilarating trip out for the day, or playing cards outside after dinner.
Eleventh: Take LOTS of Photographs
Even though you’ll be limiting your screen time for phones, TVs and tablets, do take a decent camera along with you and take lots of snaps of your vacation – and not just selfies!
You’ll thank yourself in years to come when you’re still enjoying your post-holiday photo albums, full of the memories you made when you were away!
We hope you’re feeling more prepared for your multigenerational family holiday! Check out the rest of our blog for more great travel tips!
Have some great multigenerational tips to share? Or perhaps a great multigenerational anecdote you'd like to share? Post your comment below and let us know!