A family vacation is tough enough to plan without age difference consideration. Meanwhile, many families use their vacations as an opportunity to spend time with their parents and children.
Going on a holiday with all the family members is fun and exciting. However, the lack of planning may lead to disaster. If you are responsible for the planning part, the below tips can help you come up with a vacation that will satisfy everyone.
Know That Ideal Vacations Don’t Exist
An ideal multi-generational vacation exists in the same magic universe as Santa Claus and the tooth fairy. If you are planning to go on a vacation with a big family, someone will always find something to be upset about.
Your goal is not to plan an ideal for everyone. It’s to find an option that will satisfy most of the family members.
Start planning the vacation as far in advance as possible. People have a way of changing their plans so make sure you set the dates early. The earlier you start planning, the better chance it will be that everyone will make it to the vacation.
Meanwhile, you can get some early booking deals. Early planning allows you to take things slow and avoid being in a constant rut.
Ask for Everyone’s Opinion
Before booking, ask everyone what they want from a vacation. The best way to go about it is to have them make a wish list. Let them know that all the wishes are impossible to consider but you’ll try to factor in at least a couple.
This way you’ll get an idea of what to look for when planning while satisfying at least some wishes of each family member.
Don’t Hesitate to Get Help
If you are the designated vacation planner, it doesn’t mean that everyone else should sit around and do nothing. Delegate some of your responsibilities to the others. While you are busy with hotel booking, someone else can look for car rental options, museum discounts or interesting places to visit. Once they have the options ready, you can proceed to incorporate them into your plan.
Choose Accommodation Wisely
Large multi-generational families usually go on a vacation together in order to spend some quality time with each other. That’s why you should consider accommodations that allow everyone to live close. Townhouses and villas are great choices. Such accommodations usually have large common areas such as kitchens and backyards. Meanwhile, everyone gets his or her own room.
However, some families prefer not to have a common area. They’d rather go to a restaurant and spend quality time there. Ask everyone for their accommodation preferences when they are making their wish lists.
Optimize Your Packing
When several adults from one family are traveling together, they can optimize their packing list. There is no need to bring 3 scissors, 2 tweezers, 2 flat irons, and 4 boxes of Advil. If you are planning to live in the same villa, this over packing is not necessary.
Talk to the family members and designate someone responsible for each shared item.
Consider the Expenses
Since you’ll be living together as one big family, you need to discuss the finances. In most cases, someone pays for the trip (hotel and tickets) but the expenses incurred during the vacation are distributed among the family members. Talk about the financial part in advance in order to avoid misconceptions during the vacation.
Financial matters have a way of ruining even the best of times. A great way to avoid financial complications is to book an all-inclusive vacation, just make sure you pick a family-friendly all-inclusive, not an adults-only resort. When everything is covered in advance, most of the money questions become irrelevant.
Plan For Some Time Apart
Even if you consider all the wishes, it’s hard to plan an ideal vacation for everyone. So occasionally, you need to spend some time apart. Grandparents might feel like taking a nice walk in the park while the kids can take advantage of a water park nearby. Spending a little time apart can make your family vacation even more exciting.
Do a Final Check
Before the trip, make sure both grandparents and children have all the proper documents with them. Check for the requirements in advance. If you are traveling to another country, consider checking up on the rule and law differences that don’t appear intuitive.
Some countries require additional documents for children traveling with just one parent. So if you are divorced, you may need permission from your ex-spouse to travel with the children abroad.
Get Ready to Be Flexible
When going on a vacation with a large family, unexpected things are bound to happen. Besides coming up with Plan B and Plan C in advance, you have to be in the right mindset.
When it comes to large multi-generational groups, ideal planning doesn’t exist. Get ready to make changes along the way.
Multi-generational vacations are not a burden. They exist to allow the family members to spend quality time together. The only way to do it is to relax and have fun. After all, such vacations don’t happen more often than once a year.
Even if you get tired by the end of the trip, you know you have just created unforgettable memories.
About the Author:
Kiley Morrow is a travel/lifestyle expert. She’s spent the past 3 years traveling the globe and sharing all the experiences she had through tips and guides.
PS: Special thanks to Emma Johnson (Digital Marketing Coordinator-Sandals Resorts) for facilitating this brilliant story. 🙂
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