A Multi-generational Vacation

Our family’s planning on a multi-generational trip this summer! We’re going with our kids and grandkids on a long road trip, and multiple generations means multiple sets of needs, desires, and expectations, so it involves a LOT of planning.

The first step is to really know what everyone wants out of  the trip. Make sure that’s expressed early in the planning process. For instance, if some adults want a spa day, who’s prepared to hang back and care for little ones? If the kids are desperate for pool time, who’s going to stick with them to supervise? Have everyone’s hopes and expectations laid out, and of course: make sure each couple has some time alone to enjoy each other.

Secondly, think about what kind of activities can you all do together? What will the big, group, everybody-participates activities be? How will that work logistically with kids? Part of the group activities might be the initial travel. Will you drive together? Caravan? Arrive separately? How often do you need to stop? How early will you hit the road? How long is too long in the car?

And don’t forget about expenses. Discuss ahead of time who’s pitching in for what, who’s paying for gas and/or food. Is that something you’ll do together? Or will you go dutch? What expenses can be shared, and is everyone comfortable with that?

Communication is key, and compromise is essential. Understand everyone has different needs — what are you unable to bend on? What can you let slide? How can you support those you love? Most of all, take time to celebrate. Celebrate that you all love each other enough to want to travel together; you are making memories, and building a legacy that will last across generations.

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