Planning a multigenerational trip is like herding cats, especially when school holidays are involved. Start planning approximately five presidential elections ahead. Just kidding. Well, if you're orchestrating a gathering that involves more households, you better start at least a year in advance. We're talking early enough that even the birds are hitting the snooze button. It might seem excessive, but you'll need that time to get everyone on the same page. But fear not, for smaller multigenerational shindigs require a tad less time-traveling preparation. Inviting just grandma and grandpa for a jaunt? You might get away with planning a few months ahead.
Here are some tips on how to make your multigenerational trip so epic that your kids will tell their grandkids in legendary bedtime stories!
Hold a Family Budget Summit (With Popcorn)
Gather the family around the dining table for a budget discussion that rivals a high-stakes poker game. You might want a luxury spa, while Grandma and the kids insist on spending all the money on ice cream. Compromise by planning to go to the nearby grocery store getting some rocky road and have grandma have ice-cream with the kids while you are having your you time.
Appoint a Chief Fun Officer
Too many planners spoil the vacation soup. Designate one brave soul as the Chief Fun Officer. This person must possess the patience of a saint, the organizational skills of a librarian, and the diplomacy of a UN peacekeeper. If you can't find a volunteer, draw straws.
Pack Smart: Choose Your Luggage Wisely
Selecting the right luggage is key to a successful multigenerational trip. Invest in suitcases that are not only spacious but also lightweight and easy to maneuver, especially if you have elderly family members or energetic toddlers in tow. Consider luggage with multiple compartments for efficient organization. Also, don't forget to Get colorful luggage to make identifying your bags at the airport a fun family game rather than a stressful scavenger hunt. After all, nothing says "family bonding" like collectively searching for your missing luggage carousel after carousel.
Choose a Destination Where Wi-Fi is Stronger Than Your Aunt's Opinions
Researching the perfect destination is crucial. Look for places that offer more than just a beach. Think national parks, cruises, or anywhere that won’t induce a family-wide eye roll. Remember, a destination without Wi-Fi might lead to a multigenerational mutiny. No one wants to see Grandpa try to navigate an analog map.
Avoid Locations That Require a Treasure Map to Reach
Choose a destination accessible to everyone. Avoid places reachable only by a combination of a plane, three buses, a ferry, and a donkey ride. Unless your family enjoys extreme adventures, opt for somewhere that won’t turn your trip into a modern-day Odyssey.
Consider All Mobility Levels
Ensure your chosen destination caters to all activity levels. Grandma might not be up for rock climbing, and toddlers won’t appreciate fine dining as much as finger painting. Plan activities that won't leave anyone out. And if you think stairs are the enemy, avoid hotels with elevators that resemble a snail’s pace.
Pack Patience and Extra Snacks
Remember, a multigenerational trip is like a marathon, not a sprint. Pack enough patience to rival a saint and enough snacks to feed a small army. Grumpy teenagers can often be appeased with a well-timed chocolate bar. It’s like magic, but tastier. If else fails, there always cat videos. (see point 4)
Prepare for Unexpected Bedtimes
If there are toddlers involved, be prepared for early bedtimes. The nightlife might not be on the agenda, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a wild party in your hotel room after 8 PM. Just keep it down; the baby is sleeping, and we all know what happens if the baby wakes up.
In the end, remember that multigenerational trips are about making memories, even if those memories involve Grandma learning to surf and Uncle Bob insisting on karaoke night. Embrace the chaos, laugh at the mishaps, and savor the moments of togetherness. After all, it’s these stories that will be retold at every family gathering for years to come.