Last Updated on February 11, 2021 by Travels with Kids
We thought that multi generational travel or intergenerational travel (that is, having a holiday with grandparents) was something that only our family did. However, on a recent holiday, we saw how widespread and popular it is to combine several generations of family on one vacation and came up with this thought-provoking list about the benefits of travel in multigenerational groups.
During this time, probably 50% of families we interacted with were “multigenerational” – grandparents with the grandkids, three generations traveling as one – or perhaps our favorite, a Great Grandmother, her daughter, and the Great Grandchild all on holiday together!
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What Is Multi Generational Travel Or Intergenerational Travel
Multigenerational travel is a relatively new and favored way for families to spend time together. By families, we mean parents, their parents, the children, aunts, uncles, and cousins to go on holiday together.
So, I hear you ask, “what are the benefits of such an arrangement, and are there any difficulties that you might encounter”? How can you ensure that a trip like this is enjoyable and even stress-free?
The Benefits Of MultiGenerational Travel
Maximize Holiday Time
Forget the old days of spending a week at your folk’s house so the kids could spend time with the Grandies. Take the Grandies on holiday and everyone is happy and you get an extra trip in for the year! Time is one of the most important commodities today. Making this one of the bonuses of traveling together.
Relationships Flow Easier On Holidays
In general, vacations are a time of relaxation and overall happiness. You know how things always seem easier on holiday. So too are relationships with the folks.
Tick Off Bucket Lists
With grandparents fitter and healthier than ever before, and with a healthy taste for wanderlust in their bones, means that everyone can visit destinations that they have dreamed of. I can’t say for sure, but many grandparents have travel bucket lists too!
Cost Savings/ Economic Efficiency
For those who live on other sides of the world, long haul travel with littlies (for example, from Australia to the UK /USA /Canada) seems very daunting. Who wants to take 3 small kids on a flight?
More to the point, paying for long-distance, international flights for 4 or 5 people can be crippling! Therefore you can save on the bank balance and have the grandparents visit you – just two flights instead of 4. Several of the families we met had grandparents who had traveled long haul to spend time with their children and grandchildren. Then they all went on a holiday near to the children’s home.
Reduced Travel Expenses
In addition to paying fewer flights, there are inherent cost savings in combining accommodation, or bulk bookings. Of course, this is depending on how many people are traveling! However, more people together means combined savings which, usually, means reduced travel expenses.
Grandparents Are Wonderful Carers
It is often said that free of the daily grind of parenting, grandparents are wonderfully soft and kind, with all the time in the world to share with grandchildren. This sharing of family history contributes to a sense of grounding and belonging for grandchildren. In a fast-paced and often disconnected world, this belonging will be increasingly important to stay grounded and realistic.
Different Ages Provide New Perspectives
Educational and history-wise, grandparents can share an alternative viewpoint as they come from a different generation. Children can learn about the “olden days” while their parents can also learn from their folks. Personally, as this Mumma has grown mellow and entered her 40’s, she has stopped to ask her own parents about their history.
Grandparents Are Built-In Baby Sitters
That is right, instead of just having mum and dad to raise the brood, there are suddenly two more hands to help. Also, if you are looking for a date night, massage, or to do your Divemaster course, they are often delighted to help.
Having grandparents around that are willing to care and happy to care for the children helps give mum and dad time to reconnect.
How To Make Your Intergenerational Travel Run Better
Let us not wax lyrical or get starry-eyed about the idea of having a built-in baby sitter along for the trip. There can be some issues when an extended family comes together.
Sibling rivalry may raise its ugly head, or your laid-back free-range parenting style might not work so well for your authoritarian father. Yes, there are inherent difficulties in families. Some people might feel that the benefits of multigenerational family vacations are outweighed by the problems caused by traveling with the grandparents. So, here are some ways to make your multigenerational travel vacation a success.
Establish The Hierarchy
I laughed when I wrote this! What I mean is who is going to be the boss on the trip? This may fall naturally to the travel planner or most organized. However, if there are competing candidates for this role, establish roles, and discuss how the trip will be planned.
Discuss Costs And Budgets
Your university student sister might not have the same budget as you, nor might the parent on a pension. There are going to be differences in spending patterns, so discuss costs, who pays for what, from the outset. This way any uncomfortable moments, or cause of friction, can be avoided.
Be Aware Of Different Interests/Energy Levels
Another way of describing this is, who needs a nap and who does not? Smaller kids will need a nap and so will older folks. Keep this in mind so those people can plan their day. In our case, the grandmother has a sleep at the same time as the 2-year-old and everyone else goes out!
Plan Alone Time For Different Groups
Depending on your style of accommodation this will be easy or difficult to achieve. We like Airbnb’s for multigenerational travel (check out our full post on pros and cons of Airbnb’s here ) but it does mean that the common spaces are shared at night.
If you are going on your first multi generational travel trip, you could consider each group (within the broader family group) has its own hotel room each night to retreat to. Also, be aware that the whole family may not want to go traipsing around tourist sites and that’s OK.
Establish boundaries for what is acceptable and what is not. Communication is so important and so are boundaries. Make sure to establish these early on and be flexible.
Best Places To Go Multigenerational Family Vacations
Peru And Machu Picchu
Peru is a country near and dear to our hearts. Mumma traveler lived in Cusco for a period of time and we have written extensively about traveling in Peru. Not only that but Mumma traveler is the co-founder of travel adventure specialists APUS PERU. The friendly people, amazing cuisine, and bucket list sites (like Machu Picchu) put Peru at the top of our list.
Being that we have traveled extensively in Peru, we definitely have a lot of great information to share. If you are planning an epic multi generational travel vacation to Peru, we have some must-read guides.
These are just a few of the posts we recommend. We highly recommend you check out our Peru Destination Guide as well. And, as always, don’t hesitate to email us or leave us a comment below for further advice or recommendations.
What is not to love about Australia? As we are based in Western Australia, we can highly recommend many Australian multigenerational vacations destinations. From stunning beaches to once-in-a-lifetime experiences, Australia has something for everyone. No matter where your Australian intergenerational travel itinerary takes you, make sure you read Australian Bucket List Holidays For Families and The Best Family Holidays Australia.
Being that Australia is such a large country with lots to explore, we really recommend taking the time to plan out your vacation. Here are a few places we highly recommend for an awesome multi-generational travel experience in Australia.
Cairns and Great Barrier Reef
When people often think of Australia I believe one of the places that come to mind is the Great Barrier Reef. Whether you are an Aussie or traveling from overseas, this is one of the most iconic vacation with grandparents spots.
With there being so much to do and see, experience the reef definitely takes some planning. Take a look at our Things To Do In Cairns With Kids for an idea of how to start planning.
City Escapes Like Sydney
Australia is more than just the outback and definitely has some famous cities. No matter where your family is traveling from, most of the time your base for exploring Australia will be from one of the major gateway cities like Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Margeret River, or Perth.
Sydney is the biggest (population-wise) and perhaps the well-known. If flying into Australia from an international destination, chances are Sydney is on your family’s list of places to see. Things To Do In Sydney For Kids will help you get a good idea of what to plan. As there is a lot to see and do in Sydney, it makes Australia one of the best vacations for three generations to take.
Also, perhaps the grandparents (and kids too!) would like to learn some cool facts about Sydney’s attractions. If so, check out The Most Interesting Sydney Opera House Facts For Kids and Facts About Sydney Harbour Bridge And Sydney Facts For Kids. Reading these facts with the kiddos is a great way to get them excited about a holiday with grandparents.
If exploring Western Australia is on the radar for extended family vacations, then Perth is the place to base yourself from. Being from Western Australia ourselves, we know Perth well. Make sure you read An Awesome Perth Itinerary For Family Travellers.
Other Australian Multigenerational Travel Resources
I wasn’t kidding when I said I had a lot of information to share when it comes to Australian multi generational travel ideas. Here are a few more posts that I think are especially helpful when planning a family vacation in Australia. Whether you are a local looking for something different or visiting Australia for the first time, these are worth a read.
Italy is a great intergenerational travel destination in that there is so much to see and do. Renowned for its history, food, and famous attractions an Italian family vacation truly has something for everyone. Like Peru, there is truly so much to see and explore that this multigeneral family vacation can be one to tick off bucket list items. Whether it is enjoying a gelato while seeing the sites in Rome, visiting the Vatican, or exploring the ruins of Pompeii there is so much to do.
Italy can be a tricky place to navigate so having grandparents along to help with the kiddos makes Italy an ideal intergenerational travel destination. Plus, with so much to experience, it makes it easier to divide and conquer. For example while in Florence, maybe the parents want to check out the famous art in the Uffizi Gallery while the grandparents and kiddos explore the Leonardo Di Vinci Museum.
Thailand is a perfect spot for a multigenerational travel adventure. The “land of smiles” loves families, especially kids, who are enthusiastically greeted everywhere you go. Depending on where you are coming from, Thailand can also be a great budget-friendly vacation with grandparents. There are so many resorts across the country that cater to families.
On our last holiday with grandparents we ventured to Thailand and stayed at a great family-friendly resort in Khao Lak. You can read all about it here in our Khao Lak Resorts: Seaview Resort Khao Lak. Additionally, if you are visiting Khao Lak make sure you read our Top Things To Do In Khao Lak For Families.
Overall Thailand is a top destination choice and has a lot to offer. If relaxing on the beach or hitting up an all-inclusive resort is what is in order then Thailand can accommodate that. If your family (and grandparents) are the more adventurous type we recommend reading Off The Beaten Track Thailand With Kids. No matter what your style, Thailand has many great multigenerational vacation ideas.
As far as multigenerational travel destinations go, Caribean Resorts are pretty much a given. This is the ultimate destination for rest and relaxation and offers great opportunities to really spend some great family bonding time.
The Caribbean encompasses a large area and many different islands so there is something for every family and budget. If you are looking for a cheaper way to explore, perhaps a Caribbean cruise for your family is the way to go. If you are looking to splurge then Atlantis Resort on Paradise Island in the Bahamas is the ultimate Caribbean multi generational family resort.
If you are looking for a unique (and possibly closer to home) multigenerational travel experience, then consider a dude ranch. It doesn’t matter if you have never been to a ranch before or are a proficient rider, this is an awesome and unique multi-family vacation idea.
Often there are different types of ranches depending on what type of experience your family is looking for. There are more resort-type ranches that offer luxe accommodations, additional excursions like fishing trips, massage, etc. Or, you can opt for a more basic true-to-life dude ranch experience sleeping in rustic cabins or helping with the chores of everyday ranch life. No matter what your preference, this is one of those multigenerational vacations that is bound to bring the family together.
Best Holiday With Grandparents / Tips For Multi Generational Travel – The Verdict
We hope you have enjoyed our tips for multi generational travel and the best places to go multigenerational family vacations. There are so many benefits of family travel and having grandparents along on a family vacation is beneficial in so many ways.
Do you enjoy multigenerational travel? Let us know your experiences and what destinations you recommend below!
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