Multigenerational travel is on the rise. Trips with extended families involving three or four generations of siblings, parents, grandparents, aunts and cousins are a popular way for people to holiday both domestically and abroad.
We are one of those families who like to travel together. With members of the family living abroad, we have organised trips to all meet in an international destination that’s midway been all of us, or have set off on trips together from the same starting point.
Intergenerational travel is great for connecting families. Our past trips have had the purpose of all members meeting in a central destination, or travelling together to see specific places, both locally and overseas.
A popular way for families to travel together is a cruise. We’ve sailed up the Inside Passage of Alaska as a three generational family trip, and found it to be an optimal way to travel with people of different ages, abilities and interests.
The benefit of a cruise is that the transport is taken care of, and site seeing is made easy at ports. We all chose different activities based on our interests and taking into account that we were travelling with a five-year-old as well, and while we often went our separate ways at port, we always met for breakfast and dinner each day.
Other options for extended family holidays can include river cruising or tours with companies such as Intrepid and G Adventures. Both companies have options that are suitable for taking children travelling, and take the work out of planning the itinerary and transport.
Renting a large villa or home at a destination is a great option for families who want to vacation together and spend more time in the one location, usually by a pool or beach. Tropical destinations work well for these types of holidays, but you could rent a large home in locations such as Tuscany, New Zealand or the south of France for something a bit different.
Domestic travel with multiple generations is also a great idea, particularly for families with older family members who aren’t able to, or comfortable with, fly abroad. We enjoy renting holiday homes on the coast of NSW for short getaways. We even have the option of pet-friendly homes so the dogs can come too.
Road trips are another way for families to travel together, but in our experience it’s a lot harder to spend quality time together if a lot of driving is involved, particularly in seperate cars.
- 1 Tips for planning multigenerational travel
- 2 Ideas for your next intergenerational family holiday
- 3 Always get Travel Insurance
Tips for planning multigenerational travel
Choose destinations where there is something for everyone
This is applicable even for beach villas. As yourself what everyone will want to do: my parents, for example, like a short walk to the beach but not actually swimming. My daughter, however, loves to swim, so the beach needs to not only be a short distance from any holiday house, but also be safe for young children. A pool (preferable heated!) is always ideal so there is something for kids to do at the house.
Stay longer in less places
The more transit time, the less time together. This is why cruises and vacation houses where you stay for longer periods are idea.
Make sure everyone has space to themselves
This might mean separate bedrooms and bathrooms, or balconies so there is always a quiet spot to escape to.
Plan together and apart time
Agree on what time you will come together each day, such as breakfast or dinner. This leaves time in between for each member to do what suits them.
Ideas for your next intergenerational family holiday
We love Disney Cruise Line (DCL) but there are plenty that go from Australia as well as other ports around the world such as Royal Caribbean and P&O. We love DCL because the quality is top notch and it’s incredible family-friendly.
Similar to above, a river cruise takes the work out of transporting everyone between destinations. Europe is a particularly good destination for river cruises.
Overseas villas/holiday homes
Bali is a particular favourite in Asia for families to rent a villa and stay for longer periods of time. I would suggest looking at other countries around the world as well, however, through websites such as Airbnb and even house exchange websites. In Australia, we use stayz.com.au to book holiday homes.
One of our favourite holidays has been to Hawaii when we were living in New York. My brother and sister-in-law flew in from California and my parents from Sydney, where to we rented a three bedroom apartment on the waterfront of Ko Olina. It’s an ideal location because the weather is always good, food is easy to find that everyone will eat, and there is so much for everyone to do from lounging on the beach, to swimming, hiking and sightseeing.
A holiday that will particularly appeal to the kids! Theme parks can be an overwhelming place for families, so having extra hands from grandparents or aunts/uncles/cousins definitely make it an easier holiday. While theme parks can be exhausting, they are also a lot of fun and parks such as Disneyland/ Disney World and Universal have attractions that appeal to everyone.
Always get Travel Insurance
There are too many horror stories of unprecedented large bills should any of your family need assistance. We recommend World Nomads.
So what are the benefits of Multigenerational travel and why should you do it? We love spending time with our extended family and getting the chance to connect away from the humdrum of school and work routines. The experiences we share connect the generations together – the grandparents cherish time with their kids and grandkids, grandkids develop an even deeper bond with their elders, and parents get a bit of a helping hand. Really, it’s a win for everyone!
Make sure to read the Top Tips for Travelling with Children
by Christine Knight of Adventure, Baby!
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