Written By Megan Grossman
Edited By Beth Zollars
4 Minute Read Time
Multigenerational travel has been one of the top travel trends for the last few years, and according to a survey of more than 1,000 Virtuoso travel advisors, it is THE top trend for 2019.
Families want to create closer bonds and lasting memories and find new, exciting ways to share their time.
I love this trend!
Multigenerational travel is a treasured part of my family’s history, present, and future.
Every summer from the time I was 4 until I was 19, my grandparents, Gaga and Papa, took us to Colorado for a week without our parents.
Fourteen of those years were spent at a family-owned dude ranch called Tumbling River Ranch. Even though we all lived within a mile of each other and saw each other regularly, we loved that it was our week.
It was precious and uninterrupted time, and one of the few times I recall Papa not wearing a tie. I truly believe all those trail rides, campfires, shaving cream fights, and games of spoons solidified our bonds with Gaga and Papa as well as with our siblings and cousins.
Even as teens, we looked forward to our week with Gaga and Papa as much as they did.
Fast forward, four generations later, we are still visiting our favorite Dude Ranch in the beautiful mountains of Colorado. Truly memories to last a lifetime!
As our family grew and became geographically scattered, our trips, dubbed “Cousins’ Trips” by the youngest kids, endured with three and sometimes four generations together.
One of my mom’s favorite memories is of her grandsons awakening her at daybreak every morning to walk the beach at Sea Island Resort to check for sea turtle tracks and collect treasures that had washed up on the beach overnight.
At the end of that trip, a 40th anniversary celebration for my parents, she recalls young Eli asking, “Nana, when are we going on our next anniversary trip?” as if it were everyone’s anniversary.
One of the kids’ favorite memories is when Gaga, a teetotaler, ordered a root beer float instead of a cocktail at a restaurant in NYC.
Of course, all her great grandkids quickly followed suit! It is rare that we are all together without reminiscing about a memory from one of our trips…and laughing a lot.
Multigenerational travel doesn’t always have to include the whole clan. My parents have a tradition of taking each grandchild to the U.S. destination of his or her choice after sixth grade.
My dad says, “Bonding with grandchildren through travel is priceless.”
Their trips have been as varied as their grandchildren’s interests—from sports halls of fame to major cities to deep sea fishing.
This May will be their ninth and final when they take Greta on her trip. Greta’s choice: Kennebunkport, Maine to “chill and eat lobster.”
My mom reflects, “Each trip has been so unique and special because each grandchild is so uniquely special!”
As a travel advisor, one of the most rewarding parts of my job is that I have the privilege of helping other families create experiences that make the most of those opportunities to strengthen and forge bonds and create their own memories.
Do’s and Don’ts of “Multigen” Trip Planning:
- Do pick a destination that offers something for everyone. Try to plan an activity to satisfy each person’s interests.
- Do get the kids involved in planning
- Do be realistic about the ideal amount of togetherness time for your family. Is short and sweet better than longer and leisurely?
- Don’t rule out holidays for travel. Hotels and resorts can set up Christmas trees for you to decorate and even kosher kitchens during Passover.
- Do consider the best type of accommodation for your family. My family likes to have a kitchen–the grandkids always want to have Nana’s pancakes at least once and with so many people, someone is always hungry between meals.
- Talk about financial expectations ahead of time. Don’t assume grandparents are paying for everything.
- Do find a place to congregate during your trip. It could be the living area of a suite or a grassy area at a resort. A place to gather before or after dinner for conversation or to play games.
- Speaking of games…Do pack your favorites. For us, those are definitely Catch Phrase, LCR, and cards.
- Do pack your patience. Family members have different travel styles/personalities.
- Don’t expect everyone to do everything.
- Don’t exhaust the grandparents!
- Don’t stress if it’s not perfect–some of our favorite memories are from things that didn’t go as planned or weren’t as fun as we thought they would be. For example, kayaking brought out the worst in all of us but now brings out some of the biggest laughs!
What would your family enjoy?
Popular Types of Multigenerational Trips:
Beach resorts, all-inclusive resorts, guest/dude ranch, safari, ocean and river Cruises, family tours, voluntourism, private villa, tracing your ancestry, national parks and adventure trips to name a few!
Please comment below if you have a favorite “MultiGen” trip or just your travel dream locations!
Megan is a travel advisor with Chicago-based Huffman Travel.
She and her husband, Michael, reside in Kansas City and have four children.
Megan Grossman grew up in Central Kansas, but her parents and grandparents believed in introducing their children and grandchildren to the broader world through travel. They instilled a curiosity about the world and a love of travel in her.
Megan has traveled extensively in the U.S. and abroad with her husband, children and extended family. Family trips and getaways with Michael are among Megan’s fondest memories.
Megan loves working as a travel advisor because of the joy she brings to her clients’ lives and the memories she helps them make.
Beyond travel, Megan also loves preparing and sharing meals with her family and friends, yoga, Pilates, gardening and reading.
For more information on “MulitGen” trips or any luxury travel needs contact Megan at 913.730.8579 / Megan@huffmantravel.com