Traveling with your adult children — or as a “grownup” with your parents — is an entirely different sort of family travel experience. Mom and Dad no longer make all the decisions (or at least they shouldn’t), and there’s a good chance a daughter- or son-in-law is part of the group. Everyone may be a little apprehensive about so much togetherness, especially if you’re touring by car.
We’ve just returned from a two-generation trip to Brittany, where four well-traveled adults spent nearly a week traveling by car. Not only are we all well-traveled, but each of us has our own well-defined interests and obsessions. Fortunately some of these crossed over: We all love good food and have an interest in history. Sometimes we were surprised to find something interesting we’d never have considered visiting ourselves. Be open to those surprises.
Choose places that have multiple experiences: The medieval abbey with the magnificent herb gardens was in a charming village with shops to browse and patisseries to nosh in. There wasn’t much else in the town with the excellent maritime museum (one of us is a boat-lover) but everyone enjoyed exploring the floating exhibits, and the one who was driving found a comfortable bench in a darkened museum gallery and took a nap.
Give everyone some space: Just because you’re traveling together doesn’t mean you need to be together all the time. If one couple feels like al fresco dinner at a beach-side shack and the other wants to try the Michelin-starred restaurant, fine. But set those “rules” in advance, so when one couple wants to peel off for a while, nobody’s feelings are hurt. Just make sure it’s somewhere that has alternatives.
Get out of the car: Plan some active or outdoors experiences — in our case it was walking the trails along the clifftops near Portsall and exploring the mammoth stone formations at Ménéham. Not only does this allow some time apart, but it allows everyone to go at their own comfortable pace. Avid walkers may cover more ground, while people like me who want to photograph every flower can dawdle to their heart’s content.
Respect each other’s opinions and expertise: This may seem elementary for any travel companions, but it’s especially important to remember with a parent/child relationship. Just because Mom always did the navigating and Dad always drove when you were kids doesn’t make them boss now. But it also doesn’t make them and their preferences inconsequential. Maybe somebody’s expertise about World War II can enrich another generation’s appreciation of a museum in a former Atlantic Wall bunker.
Share the work: Unless it’s their great pleasure in life, don’t expect one person to do all the planning and act as tour guide. As you’re planning the trip, discuss who will do the research on what to see, who makes the reservations (this might be best left to one person once the itinerary is agreed on) and who will drive. The more you share, the more both couples will feel involved and be happy with the trip.
Enjoy discovering places together: Remember two-generation travel isn’t all about the places you see and the things you do. It’s largely about the experiences you share and the fun you have sharing them as adults. Relish this relationship and be grateful you have parents — or children — who still think you’re fun to spend a vacation with.
United Airlines is in the midst of a major initiative to modernize its fleet over the next several years. After first announcing the plan in 2021, planes fitted with United’s signature interior are finally beginning to appear across the airline’s narrowbody fleet of Boeing and Airbus planes. United flyers are sure to notice these enhancements from the moment they step on board: Each new or updated plane sports remodeled seats, seatback entertainment screens for everyone, Bluetooth connectivity and more, all adding up to a better experience on every journey.
Northwest Florida is a haven for beachgoers seeking the waters of Panama City Beach, Pensacola and Destin. But this region of Florida also has some extensive history, offering family travelers a great way to introduce young ones to Florida’s Spanish and indigenous past.
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Filled with hidden treasures waiting to be discovered, Seoul invites travelers to unearth its many gems, and Seoul Tourism Organization is here to help travelers do just that. Through thoughtfully created initiatives like the Theme Tourism County Competition, Seoul Tourism Organization works closely with local districts to identify and showcase what makes each district unique and charming in all seasons.
If you think you have to head into the wilderness just to get some hiking time in on your next vacation, rest assured. Cities across the country pride themselves on being great all-around family destinations, and that often includes fun urban hiking opportunities. These cities prove you don’t have to hike to a mountaintop to stretch your legs and get some fresh air. They are home to great parks and walking trails designed for easy walks that let you enjoy the fresh air, and get to know the personality, culture and history of the city you are visiting.