The logistics and can be daunting and the costs can be steep. But for the family that travels together, the payoffs can span generations, and last a lifetime.
There’s a fresh buzz term going around the travel industry these days — generational or multi-generational travel. And it means exactly what it sounds like, whole families traveling together. Whether it’s a road trip across the country or a journey around the world.
This category of leisure travel was growing almost exponentially before the Covid-19 pandemic, fueled by travelers of every age group, from Baby Boomers to millennials. and even the virus can pump the brakes on this only temporarily. Its attractions are too many and too strong.
Family travel brings the old, the young and the very young closer together with shared memories of great adventures and good times.
It broadens young minds and can put them on the road to success at school. Studies have shown that kids who travel with their families at a young age do better academically.
And it’s a way to put the whole clan in touch with their heritage, whether the roots of that heritage lie in Europe, Asia, the Americas or Africa.
Even the other travelers around you can get a kick out of seeing a family enjoying their time together in a different part of the world. And locals, who often have families of their own, may go out of their way to give you special treats.
Doing it right, though, takes careful planning and forethought, keeping every member of the family group in mind. And it starts with the budget.
Air. Lodging. Food. Ground transportation. Tours. Attractions. The cost of everything has to be calculated carefully when you have multiple family members to account for.
The biggest expense will almost surely be airfare. Unless there are ten or more of you traveling, the chances of scoring a real break on your ticket prices are virtually nil. Which makes it vital to save as much money as possible everywhere else on your trip.
Luckily, once you get where you’re going, things begin to tilt in your favor. You can find local places to eat, away from the tourist zones, that offer good food for good value. From lodging to tours, travel providers are offering more family discounts, more family-friendly accommodations, more flexibility, and more activities that takes the whole family age range into account.
Cost, however, is not the only critical factor.
One of the biggest keys to a great family vacation is to involve everybody in the planning, right from Day One, even the little ones. Because the surest way to ruin a trip even before leaving home is with the attitude that “I’m paying for all this, so I’m calling all the shots.”
Not everyone might want or — even be able — to do all the same things all the time. And that’s okay. But everyone needs to feel their voice is being heard.
Plan activities with the wishes — and the physical needs — of all your family members in mind. And make it clear that everyone will need at some point to make allowances for one another.
A good travel advisor can be your best ally in making a travel plan that has something in it for the whole lan, and has everybody coming home happy.