So, what is multigenerational travel? Exactly like it sounds, it’s when three or more generations of family travel together. This kind of travel has been topping travel trends for quite a while now as it gives family members that are geographically separated the opportunity to reconnect. Additionally, these trips provide ways to celebrate milestones (birthdays, new members to the family, anniversaries, etc) and even trips to trace family history. The travel industry even has a category called PANK (Professional Aunts with No Kids) for single career women that collectively spend billions traveling with nieces and nephews. That was some new information there.
Consider these statistics from a 2016 travel study from AARP. 91% of Millennials say a multigenerational trip is something they take every year. These trips, along with bucket list and summer vacations are among boomers top three favorite types of trips. Grandparents are typically the ones footing the bill with 35% paying for trips to help families take trips they couldn’t otherwise afford.
Now there are obvious, inherent challenges to traveling this way. Finding ways to keep everyone entertained is at the top of the list. What appeals to a grandmother or grandfather is typically very different than what appeals to children. Additionally, mobility issues must be considered as the grandparents get older. Add to that the logistical issues when extended family are present and just figuring out where to have dinner can become a point of contention.
In these instances, it’s important to remember the goals of the vacation. Creating stronger bonds and making memories. These are trips that really require everyone to pack extra patience and step out of their comfort zones. I know in year’s past, we’ve wound up in Orlando simply from the thought of, “Well if the kids are happy, we’ll all be happy.” I’m just not certain that’s the right approach. Of course, it really depends heavily on the family and the personalities involved. The key is to find destinations that offer a variety of options that can accommodate a wide variety of personalities and ages. That can be easier said than done, right? My parents will be celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary this year and wanted to take everyone on a trip. Alaska was the first choice and an exciting one. However, as we looked into the trip, we didn’t feel like the appeal would be there for everyone that would be going, so we pivoted to a cruise where the private island and tropical weather would appeal to everyone.
So, what are some options? Where can you go for a vacation that will excite everyone in your family?
The easy trip is to go sit on a beach together somewhere. Personally, I never see that as a bad option. In fact, I’d personally rather be on a beach than just about anywhere. That being said, let’s look at some other options that might have some value for a multigenerational trip.
1. Make History Come Alive. Let me give some airtime to my inner geek. I think this is one of the coolest trips a family could take. If your kids are interested in history or studying American or World History in school, that’s the perfect time to take a family trip. Grandparents, parents, and even the children will have a unique perspective. I will never forget being in New Orleans and visiting the National D-Day museum (an amazing museum by the way). I was behind a family where the grandfather, who was in WWII and participated in DDay) was telling his family stories t
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