Planning a trip with your kids and your parents? Before you go, Emily Kaufman, author of The Travel Mom's Ultimate Book of Family Travel (Broadway Books, 2006), has tips to make your multigenerational vacation a pleasure.
- Identify who is in your group.
- Think about the age ranges. Does anyone have any special health or medical needs?
- Talk about what everyone is interested in doing. Have you polled the group for their activities, entertainment, dining and other recreation interests?
- Evaluate everyone's budget.
- Based on the group's interests, budgets and needs, select two to three options for a vacation and survey the group for everyone's choice.
- Select one destination and appoint one person to gather information and send it to each group member.
- Arrange loose schedules or itineraries for the trip.
One final thing to keep in mind when you're planning your multigenerational vacation: Stuff happens, so stay flexible. Again, if you arm yourself with information, you can have interesting options at your fingertips for backup plans for your daily itinerary. But the key to adapting and adjusting to snafus such as museum closings, inclement weather or an illness in the family is to be open to possible changes and to remember that the real reason for your trip is to be with one another. More people means more agendas. Multigenerational travel requires more patience with fewer expectations and that everyone be accommodating of the needs and wants of others. You may want to save your dream trip for another time, when you can have more say and control. For a multigenerational trip, it's best to go with the flow and keep the peace.
Excerpted from The Travel Mom's Ultimate Book of Family Travel by Emily Kaufman (Broadway Books, 2006).
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Cover design by Michael J. Windsor