Plan Your Next Family Adventure

From 5 to 65: 7 Tips To Survive a Multi-Generational Vacation

Photo Source: IHG Digital Library

Adapted from 7 Ways to Make a Multi-Generational Vacation Work on Holiday Inn Joy of Travel


Grandpa wants to visit the art museum, Grandma wants to attend a cooking class, the kids want to build sandcastles by the beach…and you, you just want a quiet night out. While there is an upward spike in multi-generational travel, travelling with your family and grandparents in tow is undoubtedly as challenging as it is enriching. But with the right planning, these tips will alleviate the stress to make for memories that will last a lifetime.

1. Choosing a Trip for All Ages

Not all destinations are created equal, some stand out more than others. For extended families, choice of a well-rounded destination is key to cater to diverse needs. Consider a cruise through Europe with port of calls at popular cities and towns that offer variety with easy convenience and accessibility. Tick off that holiday resort you’ve always wanted to visit – what can be better than an all-inclusive venue that offers local flavours, fun activities and family-friendly amenities to spark smiles on faces? Or check off family-friendly cities like Charleston in South Carolina or London that serve up the best of city entertainment with family fun.  

2. Brainstorm Together to Create the Perfect Trip

The most successful family vacations are ones that involve both adults and children choosing destinations and planning the trip. Working together can help uncover important information and cement the “buy-in” process. Talk with every member of the family about their interests, activities and dream destinations to make sure your trip includes something for everyone.


kid with grandpa

Image source: Holiday Inn Joy of Travel


3. Take Health and Safety Measures

Planning a multi-generational vacation should cater to the needs of all ages. No one wants to make a trip to the emergency room or witness a two-year-old melt down in a theme park line. Take into account preferences and limitations, including capabilities for activities and any dietary and health restrictions. Pack along a set of medication and vitamins to boost your immunity and creatively weave in regular breaks and rest-time to reset for the next activity.

4. Set a Budget That Works for Everyone

Decide on a comfortable budget for your trip, and make sure to factor in extras like souvenirs, tips and a few spontaneous activities or necessities. The best family trips cut corners wisely, plan for the unexpected and consider the options. “Successful multi-generational trips do not have to be expensive ones,” says Nancy Schretter, founder and managing editor of Family Travel Network. “If you have a tight budget, explain that at the outset and set a dollar figure for how much things can cost.”

5. Balance Together Time and Personal Time

While the goal of any multi-generational family vacation is to create shared memories, you don’t need to spend every second together. Kids often want time to play with other kids, and parents and grandparents need down time. When deciding on a trip, build individual time for each generation, as well as the entire family. Stay flexible, have a plan B, and don’t stress if everyone feels like doing something different or one family member wants to opt out of an activity.


kids playing video game

Image Source: IHG Digital Library

6. Consider Your Group Size

You may have to adapt your plans to fit the size of your group, especially if more than 10 people are travelling. For example, large families travelling in Sydney can consider going on a Kayaking Sydney Harbour tour with Ozpaddle for a fun filled morning exploring one of the most famous harbours under the guidance of their experienced guide. For last-minute meals, opt for counter-service restaurants that can more easily seat a large group of patrons.

7. Save the Best Memories

Give each grandchild a journal and/or a disposable camera to bring along. Post-trip, you can assemble a scrapbook together. Or if your family likes to share memories through Facebook or other social media channels, encourage everyone to take plenty of digital photos that can be posted during the trip or once you’re all back home. You can even make up a vacation hashtag for the more digital-savvy members of the family.


This article was brought to you by Holiday Inn. Explore more things for families to see, taste and do at At our 1200 Holiday Inn® Hotels and Holiday Inn® Resorts, kids 12 and under stay and eat for free! Discover the joy of travel with us today.