I had the luxury of going on a Multi-Generational trip every year with my grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. They lived in Cleveland and we lived in Chicago so it was our one chance a year to all be sure to get together. It is one of my favorite memories and we went everywhere from Vail, Colorado to Martha’s Vineyard, MA to Bermuda for 35 years. That is 35 multi-generational trips!
Today, the multi-generational trips are one of the fastest growing segments in the travel industry. Grandparents love to show their grandkids fascinating destinations, spend time together and are often more able to financially afford a wonderful large family reunion type trip. It is a treat for them to spend time with the grandchildren and their own children. Some of these reunions are done for anniversaries, milestone birthdays or when the grandkids are old enough to remember or appreciate such a trip. When the gathering involves a large group, it can often mean there will be a lot of details to think about, decide upon, manage, and implement. Given there will be so many different perspectives and preferences to consider, this kind of trip can be a lot of work to plan, but do not despair. Not only is it very doable, the overall result can be a lifetime of memories for everyone to treasure.
If it is the grandparents who have taken on the task of planning a multi-generation trip, whether it includes just the family with grandparents or a true family reunion encompassing every generation available, there are so many details to consider.
The first major consideration is where to go, and there are so many destinations to choose from. A trip to Europe is a wonderful way for everyone to see and learn about some of the most iconic locations in the world, from the Coliseum in Rome, to the Eiffel Tower in Paris, to the Tower of London, and so much more. If the idea is a truly unique and memorable experience, perhaps a Safari is in order, where the family could experience the unequalled beauty of the African plains coupled with the incredible power, majesty and diversity of its wild creatures. Another option would be to simply kick back and completely relax on a cruise, where the family could really see it all while their accommodations essentially travel with them.
Once the question of where to go is answered, it is important to plan far enough in advance to ensure all options are available at the best price possible, especially if the plans will include a large multi-generational group. In this case, planning should begin at least one year in advance. Another great tip is to create a “Family Trip Website” to keep everyone up to date on the details as they are finalized. This is also a great way for family members to begin a travel log, documenting their thoughts and excitement as the travel date approaches.
Of course, half the fun of the trip is all the wonderful things to be done, no matter where the trip might take the family. No matter the destination, there are sure to be side trips for everyone of every age, including hands-on experiences, like a cooking class to learn how to make pasta from scratch, or a behind-the-scenes tour of the Tower of London.
Once the details are ironed out and everyone has gathered to begin the trip, a great idea is to have a “bon-voyage” party where everyone can talk about what they plan to do, who is doing what side-trip, and any other last minute choices to be made. This is where the memories begin.
Looking back over everything to be planned, decided, and done, planning a trip like this can be a bit daunting for anyone to take on, including grandparents with the best intentions, but take heart. There is a choice here too. Instead of taking on the planning personally, make use of the expertise and knowledge of a professional travel planner or tour operator. These professionals know all the tricks of the trade and can offer just the right options for everyone in the family. Using a professional travel planner takes all the stress away and allows everyone to simply enjoy the trip and each other.
That’s where we come in. When you decide to begin planning that multi-generational trip, give us a call. We can help you plan the perfect trip for you and your family.
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Liz and Mike Kohler
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We specialize in family travel to Europe and Central America creating memories to last a lifetime.