It’s called ‘the mother of all trips’. As you get older, time is of the essence. Before you know it, your children are growing up, getting married, and having children of their own. The multi-generational trip consisting of at least three generations is becoming the trend in travel and shows no signs of slowing down.
The greatest challenge most families endure is putting together a vacation for multiple age groups that will accommodate everyone’s needs. Factor in that everyone is physically active to some level, the demand of trip planning gets a little more complicated. Follow these simple tips to help you plan and prepare a unique experience that everyone will remember.
1. Get the Entire Family Involved in the Planning
Start by having everyone going on the trip to compile a list of destinations. Narrow this list down further to a total of five locations and then discuss as a group why you would like to visit each destination. In your decision making process, factor in type of activities, duration, travel style and budget for the trip. Working as a team is important in trip planning as everyone will feel more invested in the trip. If everyone is going to enjoy the trip, then everyone needs to have a voice and be involved in choosing the activities, especially the children.
2. Schedule Age Appropriate Activities
A five or six year old is not going to be able to go for long hikes or cycling 30-40 km/day. However, these activities can still be enjoyed by all ages but the duration and intensity would be altered for varying fitness levels. Grandparents and parents might enjoy a cooking class or heritage museum but children may find this uninteresting. Choose activities that everyone can enjoy together as a family.
3. Learn New Skills Together
Taking a trip like this is a great opportunity to learn new skills and activities with others. What better way to learn to snorkel or zip-line with your children or grand-children with them by your side showing you the ropes. Grandparents are still very mobile and active with a lot of life left in them so don't count them out for adventurous activities. A white-water rafting experience with three generations is a memory that you can share with each other for a lifetime. Age doesn’t always have boundaries and stepping outside of your comfort zone can leave you with great personal rewards and accomplishments. Besides, younger children will be impressed with your new profound sense of adventure.
4. Take Time Away from One Another
It’s important that parents and grandparents get some alone time away from their children. Let parents have a night off so they can go out for a romantic evening while the grandparents re-connect with their grand-children in a fun-filled activity. Allow the grandparents to seek out new adventures, whether it’s cycling and sampling wine or a sunset horseback ride on the beach. Many resorts and hotels offer children’s programs so parents and their parents can get away from the children to re-connect.
5. Get Help
Hire a professional that not only specializes in multi-generational travel, but active travel. Your two most precious commodities, your free time and money, should not be wasted on a trip that isn’t going to pay off for everyone. A professional will recommend accommodations and destinations that will accommodate all age groups. Activities will be suggested by a professional for all levels of fitness so that all generations can be involved. This is an appropriate time to discuss with your active travel professional any physical limitations so they can factor this into the planning process.