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Making Multigenerational Magic

Thanks to smart eating, slick workouts, and cutting-edge medicine, grandparents today look nothing like the grandparents of yore. Today’s group is ready to explore our big blue marble with their favorite people. Here are some tips for building a happy trip:

  1. Consider everyone’s health as you plan a multigenerational trip. Take into account Granddad’s knees and Grandma’s balance issues.
  2. Ask your older adults the right questions before you book a trip: Is there a dream vacation you’ve always yearned to try? Would you like a daily nap? What time do you want to turn in? How early do you awaken? These kinds of questions can be eye-opening for those of us who remember active parents from our childhood. (On that note, if you keep hearing “I don’t care,” respond kindly with “What do you guess would work better for you?”
  3. Build in plenty of downtime so that seniors can grab a nap.
  4. Use hotel shuttles, Uber rides, and the like to get around more quickly and give slower, older people a break.
  5. Even if your older adult has been savvy with tech for years, be patient. Give them time to pull up their information like a hotel reservation or an airline ticket. Remember your pace is not their pace.
  6. Pack your patience and understanding and require that your kids do the same.

Travel Ideas for Five to 105

It’s tempting to take the same family trip year after year, but recharge your family with something new that will dazzle everyone. Try to be creative when the seniors in your family are along for the fun.

Has Oma always wanted to return to the small Colorado town her family left when she was ten? Consider combining her dream with a Colorado ski trip.

Do your parents love cruising? Choose a ship – or a ship’s destination – that appeals to all ages, like ships in Royal Caribbean’s Quantum or Oasis Class that deliver premiere activities catering to every age.

Don’t want to think about a thing? Check out the highly rated Beaches resort in Turks & Caicos (flights start at $350 in low season). Kids will thrill to the SkySlide, the hotel’s six swimming pools and the booming kids’ clubs. Everyone will love the spacious guest rooms, family suites and villas, and twent restaurants.

Traveling with a variety of ages isn’t easy, but it’s an adventure unto itself. Remember your older adults won’t be around forever. Create wonderful memories for everyone today. Above all, plan for the best, expect plenty of spilled milk, and default into laughter. Where is your crew traveling next?


Wendy irvine is a family travel writer who recently relocated to the East Coast and a regular contributor to Trip Advisor and Expedia online, as well as local and national magazines. She homeschools her twin boys and lives with one foot in RVA and the other in Atlanta. Visit for more from Wendy on the reality of family travel.

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