Multigenerational family trips can be great learning experiences, great opportunities to bond, to laugh, be silly and see the world through another lens. Grandparents enjoy activities with their grandkids, grandkids love having their grandparents around to spoil them, carry them, buy them ice cream, etc. As a mom, I loved seeing my son’s happiness to see the whole family together, and as a daughter I loved seeing my parents have fun with my son, be silly, and share a meal with everyone in our little family.
Multigenerational trips are common in Hispanic families as family in such a cornerstone in our culture. We just got back from a family trip to Boston– everyone, Mama, Papa, Mami and Papi (grandparents) and even Tonton Andres and our munchkin. It was the first time we went on a trip with the whole family and while it was short, everyone had fun. When we returned my dad, who growing up found it difficult to say yes to a vacation, told me that he had a great time, and that made my heart happy.
Of course, you don’t have to be Hispanic to enjoy a multigenerational family trip, there are many other cultures where vacationing with extended families is common.
Here are 10 ways to make your multigenerational family trip fun for all!
1. Take into account everyone’s interests when planning activities…
Decide what activities are MUST-DOs on your list and make them a priority. Try to have activities that everyone will enjoy.
2. But that doesn’t mean you HAVE to do everything together.
It’s OK to schedule activities where you are not all together… if grandma doesn’t want to go to the museum, she doesn’t have to, she can check something else out.
3. Actually, you probably shouldn’t do everything together.
It can be a good thing to do stuff on your own… you’ll have something to talk about at dinner time! Incorporate some alone time for the abuelos, and if you get lucky, maybe you can schedule some alone time too. Maybe grandma can take your little one to do an activity and you can do something special with your loved one!
4. Make a plan, but be flexible.
Sure, you may have a list of things to do, and your MUST-DOs but sometimes it’s also nice to just go with the flow. Be open to making changes to your plans.
5. Don’t sweat the small stuff… and go with the flow.
On our trip my mom forgot all her shoes at home, so when we arrived in Boston we had to spend some time shopping for new shoes. Hey, stuff happens. Just go with it.
6. Take breaks from walking around.
Multigenerational family trips will mean that little kids and older adults will be present—they may need a few breaks from the action, and that is OK.
7. Decide on a budget and who is paying for what ahead of time.
Often when my dad and husband go to a restaurant, they argue about who will pick up the tab because they both want to. Deciding ahead of time will make things easier.
8. Accept that you will probably not be on a strict schedule.
It’s a vacation for everyone, so don’t be a tyrant and yell at people if they are not ready to leave on time (which I may or may not be guilty of this past road trip). Leave extra time in between activities if someone is running late. If you are on a road trip, expect that you may have to make multiple pit stops for snacks, to stretch your legs, or for any family member to go to the bathroom. If you are flying, give yourself plenty of time to get to the airport, for transfers, etc. For little kids, know that they may not nap when they usually nap. They may go to sleep later than usual as well.
9. Take a LOT of photos!
Candids are really fun, you can capture the silliness, laughter and fun. (Pictures also make GREAT holiday gifts – photo albums, mugs, etc!)
10. Be grateful for the experience.
Of course, be grateful that you get to have this experience with your parents and share it with your children. These are the moments they will always remember!
Have you taken a multigenerational family trip?
Share your tips below!