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Multigenerational Travel

by Susan Barnes

Sep 30, 2017

Nullplus | Dreamstime


Traveling with your kids is fun, to be sure, but why not invite some more family or friends to join you on your next outing? After all, as the saying goes, the more the merrier, right?


Multigenerational travel isn’t only a terrific way to experience destinations differently since everyone will likely have different perspectives to share, but to spend quality time with people you may not see too often.


This type of travel continues to be a growing trend, and its definition is seemingly evolving as well. In 2014, Preferred Hotels & Resorts published a white paper that expanded the definition of “family” to include not only the traditional grandparents, parents and (grand)children, but extended family as well, including siblings, nieces, nephews and non-relative friends.


Personally, that expanded definition works out well, as my nephew (and sister, his mom) and I go on adventures over his school breaks. Over the years we’ve snorkeled in the Florida Keys, hiked in the North Carolina mountains and been thrilled at the Orlando theme parks. We also join my parents, aunts, uncles and cousins for small family reunions — I just don’t think any of us ever considered our gatherings as multigenerational travels.


Family Mountain House

Photo: Nataliaderiabina | Dreamstime


How the generations travel together likely differ as much as each group. From renting a house for a week on the beach or in the mountains, to cruising, to road tripping to the National Parks, to gathering at one house, there isn’t a wrong way to get together — whatever appeals to your multigen group is perfect!


Planning multigenerational trips is pretty much the same as any other travel planning, with a few twists. These tips from AARP Travel are good to keep in mind when planning your next — or first — multi-generational trip: Choose a destination that suits many interests; decide who is paying and how to handle the bills — money isn’t always easy to talk about, but having the conversation early in the planning process will make it easier; be sure to plan for alone time —schedule a one-hour break in the afternoon to relax, whether to read a book, work out, color or take a nap. Lastly, of course, be sure to take a group photo to relive the memories for years to come.


Without really realizing it, my family — all of us, from ages 9 to 74 — enjoys the same benefits of our multigen get togethers AARP Travel discovered through their research in 2015: bringing the entire family together; helping build special memories; affording grandparents time to spend with grandkids; quality one-on-one time with family/spouse; and adult relatives spending time with younger generations.


The research also found that “trips including three generations or more are opportunities for loved ones to come together and build lasting memories and connections.”


We wholeheartedly agree!


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