Don’t leave grandma home when taking your next family vacation! Multigenerational travel is the hottest trend of 2019! Hotels are catching on and offering more unique experiences than ever before. There is more evidence published than ever recommending families travel together. Multigenerational travel is typically defined as taking a trip with three or more generations. G World Travel has seen an increase in extended families traveling together over the last couple years and it doesn’t appear to be slowing down
Perks of Family Travel:
A retired, healthier and in some cases, wealthier generation of grandparents, is part of the reason for the growing trend and having them around means more cherished memories and priceless bonding time. Travel enables the whole family to form strong bonds and children also benefit by learning from new experiences, cultures and cuisine while intriguing their curiosity and promoting creativity. Family vacations help promote childhood memories and experiences, rather than possessions. We are all so busy and preoccupied. Children are being escorted between ballet lessons and sports games, teens are attached to their devices and mounds of homework, parents are organizing carpools while working a full time job and grandparents are becoming a primary babysitting service and are sometimes forgotten about. We can all take a break from reality, slow down and appreciate the little things.
Are We There Yet?:
So where is “there”? Where are these multigenerational trips going down? Almost anywhere but we should probably chat about the logistics. Location. Location. Location. The diving excursion in the Great Barrier Reef, the secluded over-water bungalow and the hike through Cinque Terre, might not fly with your oldest and youngest travelers. Time for some real talk. Go with the more obvious places where you’ll be within walking-distance to attractions and on flat land. A beach resort with some indoor and outdoor activities is always a winner. The kids will love playing in the sand while grandma might enjoy some time getting a pedicure. Both The Baha Mar Resort and Atlantis Resort offer direct beach access, on-site casinos, world class dining, shopping and full-service spas. The whole family can participate in the marine live exhibits like swimming with baby sharks or jump in on a cooking class.
For those looking to ditch the sand for some culture, what better way to squeeze in a history lesson than in Rome. The Westin Excelsior is a great choice for families and even has an indoor pool. Good luck keeping the kids out of the water! The hotel is just a block away from sightseeing, offers 24 hour room service and baby-sitting services.
Hawaii is another popular destination, especially Waikiki and offers you beach and history! Splash around in a lazy river one day and tour Pearl Harbor the next. Disney’s first beach resort, Aulani is a hit for families. It’s a Disney property on a chill pill! No lines, no crowds, no crazy planning. The whole family can take part in a hula lesson during the day and watch fire dancers perform in the evening.
The Golden State is another crowd pleaser. California really has it all and that is not easy to admit being a proud New Yorker. You can spend a day at Disneyland without committing to the overwhelming amusement park for your whole stay. I hear more parents complain about needing a vacation after Disney World than anything else. Disneyland is on a much smaller scale. Next stop, head to the zoo, the Hollywood walk of fame, take a trolley ride, visit museums and even aquariums. Rent a car and make your way along the coast or stay put in one city. You have options!
Do Your Homework:
Leave time for spontaneous exploring but make the most of your vacation by looking into where are the hotspots and unique attractions. Some favorites that come to mind: baby’s first haircut experience at Grand Velas Nayarit, cupcake decorating with the chef at the Stafford hotel in London, the baby sea turtle release program at the Marriott Puerto Vallarta and a volcano tour in St Lucia that ends with a fun but of course, messy mud bath. I also recommend thinking of the little details that can help with smooth sailings. For instance, pre book your transportation from the airport to the hotel, consider all your guests room options so not only will you end on an option that will fit into your budget but also fit everyone comfortably. Grandpa might not be fitting on the loveseat and little Lucy and big brother Max may not be good with sharing beds. The family suite with connecting kids’ room at Beaches Turks & Caicos, not only is filled with kid friendly amenities but bunk beds and a trundle bed for the perfect ending after an eventful
Plan for Some Un-planning:
This should be a vacation for all, so don’t over plan. The over planner is really a buzz kill. Leave that person home! The grandparents might be itching to try the small cafe down the road or get to bed early, skipping out on the evening show. Ask the proud grandparents if they could handle some alone time with
the kids while you do something romantic or heck, take a nice nap. Drop the kids off at a great kids’ program like the one at Palace Resorts that supplies Nextel walkie-talkies so parents have the ability to speak with their children at any time, offering peace of mind knowing that their children are just a “roger
that” and “over” away.
So, plan the vacation and bite the bullet. You can’t buy this time back later in life. You’ll forget about the cost and planning but you will cherish the memories made. And, don’t forget the camera or better yet, book the in house photographer’s family session. Every and any moment together is the perfect photo
opportunity, even if you can’t get everyone to look in the same direction. But then again, are family
photo’s ever perfect?