Does The Idea of Multigenerational Travel Appeal to Your Family?

July 28, 2021

Does the idea of multigenerational travel appeal to your family? As long as your family has healthy boundaries, multigenerational travel is a great opportunity. Instead of joining a random group on that European tour, why not get some quality time in with your whole family?

Why is Family Travel Important?

Family travel is an important way to maintain bonds that are lost through the busyness we all drown in. Prior to the interstate highway system, it was rare for families to live so far apart. Sure, cross-Atlantic travel and railroads helped, but the automobile made mobility easy -- and put a strain on family relationships. So, how do you help? Quality time! 

If you don’t want to travel alone and pay the single supplement, invite your daughter. She has been way too busy being a Soccer mom anyway. Grandpa can go on that camping trip with his son and grandson and Grandma is relieved. Hey, whatever works, right? (It’s been hard for your husband to find purpose after retirement.)

Why Do We Call it Multigenerational Travel?

We used to refer to family vacations as, well, family vacations and yet the more you search online the more you see multigenerational travel. So what gives? Honestly, we believe it’s the use of the term family to refer only to the immediate family. Meaning, family vacations include only parents and children. Family vacations can also refer to a group of siblings going on a trip together, too. So why the new term?

Vacations can be challenging enough. With several generations going on a trip, however, a travel agent becomes your new BFF. Why? Because your granddaughter (who is now 21) lives in Paris, France, with her husband. You’re living in Southern California, and one of your children lives in Atlanta and the other in Newark. Those are all great cities for airport hubs, and yet, that Tahiti vacation to celebrate your 50th anniversary has become quite the logistical challenge. We haven’t even mentioned cousins who have to drive at least two hours to find a decent airport.

MultiGenerational Travel Requires Good Boundaries

Decide what your goals for the vacation are and group activities by interest. Discuss who will pay for what and who will do chores. If you rent an AirBNB for a month, someone still has to take out the trash. Who’s covering the dinner on the beach that was catered? Your sister wants the whole family to go kayaking so who is going to make dinner afterward? These are all best discussed while designing travel plans. 

“Adult children can regress, expecting their parents to take care of them and their children. ‘But you’re an adult now,’ Ms. Tannen noted. Similarly, grandparents may anticipate being in charge, a recipe for conflict in close quarters. ‘We’ve always been the caregivers, and it’s hard to let go of,’ she said. ‘We like to hold on to control.’” The New York Times

Will multigenerational travel be your new norm? What’s your destination? Whether your family cabin or a trip to Iceland to see the Northern Lights, travel is rarely a bad idea. As always, feel free to subscribe to our newsletter if you found this on social media and get back to living your best life!

Back to Magazine
Healthy Access Banner