5 Tips for an Awesome Multigenerational Family Vacation

A multigenerational family vacation can be a managerial nightmare; but if you play your cards right, you can have loads of fun with your big family. Planning such a gargantuan trip is all about organization. Each and every family member will have their own idea of good fun; so you have to choose a destination that satisfies a bit of everyone’s needs. However, no matter how well organized the vacation is, it will never be ideal. This is a point where family members need to bring their good will to the table. If somebody is not particularly agreeable, have a conversation with them before you proceed to apply these top 5 family vacation tips for an awesome multigenerational family holiday.

Playa Espadilla Norte, Manuel Antonio National Park, Quepos, Costa Rica,Top 5 Family Vacation Tips
Playa Espadilla Norte, Manuel Antonio National Park, Quepos, Costa Rica: Photo on Flickr by Ian D Keating / CC BY 2.0

Top 5 Family Vacation Tips for an Awesome Holiday

Plan way ahead of time

Multigenerational vacations need to be planned way ahead of time because numerous factors need to align: you have to consider matters such as your job, the work your spouse is engaged in, school when it comes to children, therapies when it comes to elders, and the most ideal time frame when it comes to the weather at your destination. A big family brainstorming session without any initial idea of destinations is usually a bad idea.

It’s sensible and time-saving to start off by doing quality research online for some family-friendly destinations. Create a list of three to five destinations and show it to your family members. This is where the opinion of elders should trump the wishes of children because not every scenario will agree with their physical condition. Lavish cruises and vibrant summer destinations are usually the safest bet for everyone.

Space is important

Balchik, Bulgaria on the Black Sea,Top 5 Family Vacation Tips
Balchik, Bulgaria on the Black Sea

A multigenerational vacation usually includes numerous family members. This means you have to find a space that can accommodate so many people. It does not have to be enormous or luxurious, but it has to fulfill certain requirements; for example, it needs to be just big enough so everyone has breathing space and at least some sense of privacy.

When every family member gets a good night’s sleep; you can bet they will be a lot less grumpy or prone to arguments. This is why it is also important to keep elders and children separate, as there is a high chance that at least one senior member of the family snores. Another important aspect you need to pay attention to is the matter of bathrooms. Go out of your way to find accommodation that will leave at least two bathrooms at your disposal.

Health and safety measures

Top 5 Family Vacation Tips,children,fun,sea

Multigenerational family vacations include two groups that are especially sensitive when it comes to health – elders and children. Because of this, it can be a real challenge to create an ideal health kit without pulling an entire pharmacy along with you. These safety measures also include matters such as preferences and limitations that include physical capabilities, dietary and health restrictions. If the elderly members of your family are accustomed to in home care assistance, it can be a good idea to have at least one of the caregivers accompany your senior on the vacation. This puts an extra hit on your wallet, but it can also make management of your vacation immensely easier.

When it comes to children, take into account the fact that they, just like elders, need to have their rest period every day. You might have planned a vacation filled with activities; but too much physical strain can put a lot of stress on the immunity of a child, especially when they change environments. The last thing you want to do is miss out on half of your holiday because you are running around or you have to take care of someone who is ill.

Create meeting points

Praia da Formosa, Silveira, Portugal,Top 5 Family Vacation Tips
Praia da Formosa, Silveira, Portugal

Each family member will chime in with their own ideas for fun activities as soon as you arrive at your destination. This is completely normal as the ideas start to flow; once you are finally able to see everything your designated destination has to offer. The key thing under such circumstances is to keep your cool and stick to the plan. If you are truly good at improvising, you can make some drastic changes on the fly; but this is not advisable as it opens the door to a rather chaotic vacation. The best compromise you can make is to create meeting points.

If family members are old enough to take care of themselves – let’s say if they are older than eighteen – they can go their separate ways and enjoy the activity they are interested in as long as they get to the designated meeting point at a mutually agreed time. These meeting points have to be distinct places, for example, squares with statues; and every family member has to be familiar with how to find them. The rest of the children should stay in the group and with their parents without exceptions.

Delegate duties

Even though the weight of organizing a multigenerational family trip is on your shoulders, you should not manage everything by yourself. More importantly, nobody expects you to; there are probably at least several adults in the group who will happily give you a helping hand. Just like every good owner of a successful business, you have to learn how to delegate. You can divide up the work across several dimensions that are crucial for a well-functioning vacation.

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For example, if you have rented an accommodation that gives you a chance to cook your own meals; a few seniors can be responsible for at least one cooking session a day. A young-adult member of the family can be in charge of acquiring information and reserving seats in a restaurant over their phone. You can have a designated driver for the day; and keep rotating family members in this role so nobody feels the driving fatigue. There are many ways to approach this delegation of duties and it can indeed be modular in accordance with the size of your family.

Organizing a family vacation is like a full-time job; yet the benefits every singular family member reaps from such experiences are invaluable. It is an opportunity to strengthen bonds and establish rapport with family members that have become alienated due to countless daily obligations. These top 5 family vacation tips should help you streamline the experience to the best of your abilities and have a multigenerational holiday on your hands that is in equal measure challenging and enriching.

About Olivia Williams Jones

Olivia is psychologist and entrepreneur from Brisbane. Mother of two beautiful children and proud owner of two silly boxer dogs. She is passionate writer, a traveler and conscious consumer, seeking healthy and sustainable products to incorporate into the lives of her family. Her motto is “Be the change you want to see in the world”.

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