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Multigenerational Travel is a Trending Vacation Plan

A quick Google search will show the trend in multigenerational travel. Why’s this trend so popular? Can traveling with aging parents and children really provide the experience everyone is hoping for on their summer vacation?

This travel trend has been on the rise in recent years and for good reason. Many families, especially those geographically separated, use a vacation as a time to reconnect. Other families use a multigeneration trip as a learning experience to explore family roots and distant family connections. This kind of vacation is also the perfect time to create lasting memories everyone can cherish because the ultimate goal of the trip is to spend time together.

While planning a multigenerational vacation does take some time and research, if you keep the ultimate goal in mind, you can set yourself up for a successful trip!

Primary considerations for each generation


  • Ages
  • Necessary equipment or accessories like strollers, car seats, bottles
  • Nap/rest times
  • Activity level
  • How often are bathroom breaks needed?


  • Dietary restrictions
  • Medications and/or medical devices like oxygen, wheelchairs or canes
  • Rest time
  • Activity level
  • How often are bathroom breaks needed? 

Knowing the answers to the above questions will help ensure the trip addresses everyone’s basic needs and will allow you all to enjoy yourselves more. Although it’s vacation, there is still a need and benefit to having some kind of routine in place for everyone.

For example, if you’re traveling with younger children who require afternoon naps and there’s no time in the day to rest or no place for a nap, a broken routine can shake up the evening and add unwanted stress. If your dad or mom need to take medications with a meal, the rest of the group should be willing to adjust their meal schedule and/or find a separate activity to do while your parent enjoys a meal. This might be a great opportunity for you to have some one-on-one time with your mom or dad and discuss if the vacation is meeting his or her expectations.

It might also be a good idea to ask your parent to discuss the travel plans with his or her physician. Perhaps you could go along to the visit or participate via conference call. Ask the physician for any travel recommendations.

Tips for Choosing Activities/Destinations

  • Ask each person attending the vacation what he or she wants to do. Don’t take “I don’t care” or “I don’t know” as answers!
  • Select locations and attractions that cater to all ages offering everyone something fun or interesting to do.
  • Consider the climate of your destination. Seniors can get chilled more easily than you or your children.
  • If your parent uses a wheelchair or cane, look for venues with ramps and fewer stairs to make getting around easier.
  • If you’re driving long distances, be aware of rest stop locations for necessary bathroom breaks and the opportunity to walk around and stretch.

A fun way to make new memories is to plan a vacation around a bucket list destination that your parent has always wanted to visit. This kind of trip will help you learn things about your parent you never knew and create unique memories for your kids’ legacy.

Two of the most popular vacations for multigenerational travel are cruises and all-inclusive resorts which have something for everyone. If you need a few more ideas, check out SmarterTravel’s ten fun, family vacations.

Whether you choose to cruise, visit family heritage in neighboring states or explore national parks, remember to slow down and enjoy the moments and memories being made. Happy travels!


Last revised: July 11, 2018

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