With the Baby Boomers increasingly choosing to vacation with their children and grandchildren, the odds are good that a multigenerational vacation is in your future Although these shared experiences provide opportunities to connect with family members, traveling with both your kids and your aging parents at the same time poses unique challenges. Here are nine tips to help you take a multigenerational vacation that you can all enjoy together.
1. Seek input from everyone—regardless of age
Before exploring potential destinations, ask all participants what they want to do on this vacation together. If someone says, “I don’t care,” don’t accept that answer. Trust me: everyone cares.
2. Plan for a variety of activity levels
Choose a destination that can accommodate different activity levels so the more active members of your group can run as hard as they want while those who want or need a more relaxing vacation can enjoy themselves too.
3. Plan for frequent bathroom stops
Older adults may be embarrassed to mention any age-related urinary incontinence, and small children are still learning bathroom skills. So be prepared to visit restrooms often.
4. Slow down and take rest breaks
To meet the needs and interests of different age groups, a good rule of thumb is to take in one major site together, then have a rest period.
5. Discuss babysitting expectations before you depart
Even if your parents regularly watch your children now, don’t assume that they’ll babysit for you while you travel together. Remember, it’s theirvacation too.
6. Bring snacks everywhere
People of all ages get testy when they’re hungry, so bring snacks on all of your excursions. Definitely bring any food or drink that you absolutely need so you aren’t inconvenienced—or worse—if you can’t find it while you’re out.
7. Bring entertainment for everyone
Wherever you go, always pack entertainment options for all ages in your group. (Crayons and coloring books are a great way for grandparents to connect with little ones, for example.)
8. Bring sanitary wipes and hand sanitizer
You don’t want to spend your vacation caring for someone who’s sick (or being sick yourself)! Sanitary wipes and hand sanitizer will go a long way toward keeping germs at bay (especially when traveling with young children who touch everything—and then put their hands in their mouths!).
9. Get involved with the luggage
When you’re traveling with young children and older adults, at some point you’ll probably be hauling everyone’s luggage. So ensure that everyone packs appropriate items (and not too many of them!) and nothing that could cause problems at airport security checkpoints.
Sure, traveling with your kids and your aging parents at the same time can be rather challenging. But multigenerational travel can be one of your most exciting adventures. With a bit of extra planning, everyone in your group can have a wonderful vacation together, regardless of his or her age!
With a father as a pilot, Valerie Grubb began traveling at the age of four. She and her mom took their first overseas vacation together more than 20 years ago, and have logged over 300,000 miles (and counting) since. Throughout the last 20 years, they have visited destinations such as Thailand, France, Australia, China, and Cambodia.
In addition to writing her blog, Travel with Aging Parents, Grubb is the principal of Val Grubb & Associates, Ltd., where she works with mid-range and large companies in the U.S., Asia, Europe, South America, and Central Eastern Europe as an operations and leadership consultant. Prior to launching Val Grubb & Associates, Ltd., she served as the vice president of strategic operations and initiatives for NBC Universal. She holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Kettering University, and obtained an M.B.A. from the Indiana University Kelley School of Business.
A true renaissance woman, Grubb is passionate about traveling the world and spending time with her family. Originally from Indiana, Grubb currently lives in Manhattan’s Upper East Side. Planes, Canes, and Automobiles is her first book.
Planes, Canes, and Automobiles will be available for purchase on Amazon.com and through otherbooksellers on October 6, 2015.
September 24, 2015