Here are five reasons why gathering the clan matters. (And here's hoping you can make it happen sooner rather than later:)
Today’s families are spread far and wide.
And during these challenging times it has been more difficult than ever for families to maintain and nurture family bonds. When the time is right we'll all look forward to spending relaxed, quality time with extended family. We know that time together enables the generations to gain important insights into family history.
When it is once again possible, consider a family friendly beach resort in the Caribbean or in Hawaii where everyone can meet on the sand or by the pool for stories and water sports.
Contact: www.cheapcaribbean.com; www.GoHawaii.com
Sharing resources has rewards.
Grandparents, aunts, uncles and godparents have the opportunity to bond with the next generation while giving weary parents a break and a chance to rekindle their relationship.
More hotel companies are reaching out to families of all compositions to help them plan a meaningful holiday. Preferred Hotels launched a website to help families find the right destination and activities.
The natural cure.
Plan a multigenerational trip around camping, hiking, biking or fishing. Unplug from technology and tune in to the sounds of nature. Encourage the experienced to share outdoor skills that will serve youngsters for a lifetime. Any of nearly 400 national parks would serve as a grand classroom.
Active children can be great motivators for aging relatives.
Plan a vacation that enables young people to help their less agile relatives get moving.
Many adventure-travel companies specialize in making sure every member of the family receives the right dose of adrenaline from the day’s activity. Ready, set, go!
Did a member of your family serve in the military or provide some kind of public service? Honor their commitment by making a family visit to a memorial, battlefield, museum or other historical site that might encourage the sharing of his or her individual experience.
Exploring our nation’s capital together will provide an interesting context for any personal stories that might unfold.
Check out our Grandparent Travel Collection for more ideas on how and where to
travel with the grandkids!
Gather the extended family and share a travel experience.
Here are five ideas that will appeal to multiple generations:
1. The Family Cruise.
Choosing to sail as an extended family is a great way to see the world together without decimating the family budget. Whether your idea of a good time is relaxing poolside or tackling the high suspension rope course, there are options for every energy level on board the modern cruise ship. Access water parks and kids’ camps by day. Then check out teen clubs, plus family and adult entertainment by night. Spa lovers can schedule treatments, and often casino gaming is available for adults. Gather for dinner where dining options are designed to satisfy the picky and the piggy eater in your gang. Design your time together to suit your family’s unique interests. Consider using a travel agent to help wade through deals, itineraries and cabin configurations.
2. College Bound.
Include multiple generations in the college search. If grandparents are grads, consider a visit to the town where they earned their degree. Encouraging senior family members to revisit this important time in their youth will be meaningful for all. Include elders when visiting your own college town and encourage grandparents to share memories of delivering their teen to the dorm decades ago. Make plans to take the University tour, and then explore the surrounding area. By planning this time as a multi-generational experience, a bit of family history may emerge that has long since been forgotten.
3. Eco 3G Getaway.
Leave the wired world behind and gather your family deep in the rainforest on the banks of the Moho River in the southernmost region of Belize. Choose the solar-powered eco-lodge’s all inclusive package and enjoy birding, horseback riding, biking, kayaking and nature walks on 100 private acres. Tour nearby Mayan villages and linger to learn how chocolate is made at a cacao farm. Explore caves and waterfalls. Environmentally inquisitive family members will want to visit the organic garden and discover the local sustainability practices that include a reforestation project. Family-friendly cabanas are gathered around a central boardwalk.
Contact: 866-480-4534; www.cottontreelodge.com
4. Bike the Danube.
The active, extended family will enjoy a bike trip along the Danube River that enables speedy riders to scope out the best bakery in the town ahead while others linger along the scenic pathway. The route showcases medieval towns, castles, vineyards, cathedrals and magnificent scenery. With the cities of Passau, Germany and Vienna, Austria as bookends, the trip offers a storybook itinerary. Following an ancient towpath, there is little traffic and riders have the option to bike for as long as they wish. Once tired, they can hop on a train or boat and wait for the remaining bikers at the inn where the group will spend the night. Children’s bikes available.
Contact: 1-877-462-2423; www.BikeToursDirect.com.
5. Explore Colorado Springs.
Visit a high mountain zoo, the Garden of the Gods Park or tour the US Air Force Academy together. In the weeks ahead, this sunny Colorado city and the surrounding Pikes Peak region make it easy for your whole family to explore the area with their “Tank Full of Summer Savings” promotion. Travel industry partners, including tour guides, lodging establishments, restaurants and attractions, have extended discounts and offers designed to take the pain out of the higher gas prices at the pump.Contact: 800-888-4748; www.visitcos.com/fuel
Multigenerational travel is more important than ever.
Families are living geographically farther from each other than at any time in history.
A multigenerational trip is often the only option for today’s modern and mobile family to gather in one place.
The hyper-fast pace of life in the 21st century means evenings and weekends are no longer untouchable family time, creating a greater need for the escape that only travel can provide.
Baby boomers are trading in their briefcases for a roller bag.
Boomers now have the time, health and disposable income to make travel with their families a top priority.
Intergenerational travel is on the rise.
Busy family schedules and geographic distance sometimes prevent regular gatherings. Thus, “grand travel”, as one aspect of this growing trend is known, provides an opportunity for two generations to get to know each, and the world, a little better.
By spending time away, with parents out of the picture, grandchildren and their grandparents can forge their own special bond. Grand travel need not include a fancy holiday in a luxury resort or a visit to a trendy theme park. There are other options.
Here are a hand full:
Over the river and through the woods.
Invite the grandkids to your place and then paint the town. They’ll love getting comfortable in your home and seeing your local sites. Check in with your Chamber of Commerce or Convention and Visitors Bureau for an update on great options for kids. Consult parents from your neighborhood or church for family-tested ideas. See your home town through the fresh eyes of youth.
Share your passions.
Do you love to ski, play golf, camp or scuba dive? A trip with the grandkids to indulge in your favorite activity will give them the chance to know a special part of you.
Share a bit of your past.
Are you a World War II veteran? Did you grow up inspired by jazz or classical music? Did the ethnic neighborhood of your youth greatly influence the person you are today?
Visit a war memorial, take in a concert or music festival or visit the old stomping grounds. Take the opportunity to share your experiences and knowledge with the kids. It will mean more to hear a bit of history from someone who has been there. And, remember, you are part of their history.
Learn a new skill together.
You’re never too old to learn a new trick! And the grandchildren will be impressed with your sense of adventure and curiosity. Learn to kayak, snorkel or spot rare birds in nature. Go
snow shoeing, ice fishing or cross country touring. Find something that’s new to all of you and share the joy of learning together.
Consider a cruise or all-inclusive resort.
With activities to appeal to every generation, food choices to suit the pickiest eater and itineraries to please the most well-traveled, such an option eliminates the daily decision making that can cause conflict.
Consult an expert.
For many, developing the plan is the hard part. There are travel consultants who specialize in helping families create intergenerational travel memories. They’ll serve up options ranging from cruises in the Galapagos Islands to fly fishing on wild and scenic rivers to train trips through the American West.
However you choose to share time with your grandchildren, you’ll create treasured memories to deposit in your family’s history bank.
Have you perused our Grandparent Travel Collection? It's a great resouce for finding just the right trip for you and your clan!