Risky or brilliant: Is multigenerational travel for you?
On your next vacay, how crazy would it be to bring grandma and grandpa along?
Would it make things harder or easier for you if they were your travel buddies?
We took a road trip to Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, Alabama, back in September. The weather was beginning to cool off in Nashville, so we did what smart travelers do --- we went south to chase our second summer.
For this trip, we invited Nana and Papa to join us.
In travel terms, this is what’s known as a multigenerational getaway. Many travelers are opting for travel experiences that include their extended family, various ages all together.
And it’s growing in popularity!
Our travel friends at Our Family Passport are a great example. They’re experts in the space of multigenerational travel. Feel free to use their family photos for inspiration. Since they're such gurus, we figured they would have some helpful wisdom to pass along to all of us.
So, we decided to pick their brains and ask them a few questions!
1. How do you handle meeting the needs of everyone on the trip-- kids to grandparents? There seem to be different expectations of fun.
"We usually sit down and get a list from everyone on what are a couple of things each person would like to do and we try to incorporate something from everyone into our itineraries. We also are really pretty easy going about participation. There are some things that some people just do not want to do and we have learned over the years that is totally okay. Not everyone has to participate in EVERY activity."
2. What's the one hardest thing about multigenerational travel?
"The expense and coordinating schedules. We really have to make traveling together a priority. And boy traveling with 10 people can get EXPENSIVE! (haha)"
3. What’s the best perk of multigenerational travel for you?
"Getting away from our individual lives and being able to reconnect and experience the world together. Honestly, most of our happiest memories are when we are all traveling together."
Are you willing to give it a try? Not without these tips.
If you're still reading this, we'll assume you are up for the challenge...which is good, because after our trip to Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, we have some tips for you.
Tip #1: Drive separate cars, if possible.
Have your own transportation so everyone has mobility independent of one another. Nana and Papa drove a separate car and met us at the beach. This allowed them to have their own vehicle for the week they were there, to explore when they wanted, or to pop over to the store whenever they needed something.
Tip #2: Choose accommodations wisely.
We stayed at San Carlos Condominiums by Young's Suncoast in a 3-bedroom beachfront condo. Every room had their own bathroom which allowed for space and privacy.
Tip #3: Know that you don’t have to do EVERYTHING together.
Nana and Papa came along to some activities like renting a pontoon from Florabama Marina and exploring Gulf Shores and Orange Beach’s waterways! But they stayed back at the condos for other activities, like racing go-karts at The Track or visiting Alabama’s Gulf Coast Zoo.
Tip #4 Take full advantage of the benefits of multigenerational travel.
One night, Nana and Papa stayed in with the kids and played games while my husband and I fit in a romantic dinner away. When was the last time you had a date-night while you traveled with kids?? You'll significantly increase your odds with multigenerational trips!