Planning a trip with your whole crew? You’re not alone. Multigenerational travel is one of the top three travel trends of 2019, according to the industry magazine TravelAge West, which focuses on the western U.S. Nearly 100 million Americans will take a family vacation this year, slightly more than last year, a recent AAA Travel survey shows. From short visits to Disneyland to long international adventures, time away with extended family can help you reconnect, create lifelong memories, and even provide a few bloopers to laugh about next Thanksgiving.
Scottsdale resident Mary Lou Meyer wanted one thing for her 80th birthday: An epic celebration with her extended family in a faraway place. So she and her husband contacted a local complimentary AAA travel agent, hashed out ideas, and ultimately sprang for a week-long Alaska cruise for a party of 33. For Meyer, the memory was one she’ll cherish forever.
“There’s nothing like going away and seeing your kids and grandkids having fun together,” says Meyer. “Traveling as an extended family is a gift to ourselves that benefits everyone.”
Taking time to strategize a vacation for a group of people with varying interests and abilities can prove to be challenging, but in the end, it’s usually worthwhile. Whether you are traveling with your in-laws or planning a destination family reunion for 30, follow these seven tips to craft a trip that appeals to all.
1. Build the itinerary as a group.
Most intergenerational trips start with one family member’s dream or vision, according to Kathy Schebor, a Phoenix, Arizona based AAA travel agent who helped the Meyers. From there, it’s a good idea to get everyone else involved. Schebor advises gathering adults and kids ahead of time in person or online (via video chat or email) to discuss ideas, desires, and suggestions for how the trip might play out. Ask everyone to name one thing that’s most important for them to do, see, or eat, and make sure all—or the vast majority—of those picks are on the final itinerary. “A trip of this nature is like anything else: The more you communicate, the better off everyone will be,” Schebor says.