Listen to me closely. If you are in your 30s and 40s and thinking why on earth would I want to take my children’s grandparents along on a trip with us, there are a few things you need to know about multi-generational travel. Both sets of our parents have passed away and I wish more than anything that we had had the time and money to include them on our big annual trips together to see the world. My husband and I both always managed to go to the cottage together with our respective families and that was one sort of multi-generational travel experience that will stick with us forever. I don’t live my life with regrets slowing me down. But I do wish we had the chance to share more travel experiences together as a large extended family.
Multi-generational travel is a unique way to make lifelong family memories. Just imagine watching a sunset in Florida with the grandparents, parents, and grand kids, or seeing the northern lights with three or four generations of family members. Whale watching together, or swimming with dolphins together? All of these experiences could deepen everyone’s relationships as a family and that’s a huge benefit to exploring multi-generational travel.
Why Multi-Generational Travel is Great
There are several reasons that multi-generational travel is something you should do if at all possible.
Sure, you can have memories of going to Disney World or seeing Washington, D.C. or road tripping to almost anywhere. How much more amazing could those memories be if you recalled that both your mother AND grandmother kept hounding your father to stop and ask for directions? Alright maybe not the best example to get Dad on board with the idea of travelling together. But, maybe your parents took the kids one evening and let them sleepover in their room. Or maybe you held Nana’s hand while she walked with you on a beach neither of you had ever been to before. Maybe you recall that really intense conversation about sea turtles that you shared with grandpa while walking to the beach in Puerto Vallarta one night in November. That’s what multi-generational travel can do.
We all naturally bond with our family members, but it can sometimes be hard for kids to bond with their grandparents on more than one level because of a lack of common experiences and even lack of time, or geography. Multi-generational trips give both young and old family members experiences that they can share together and bond in a way that most grandparents and grandchildren can’t.
Closeness and bonding are two sides of the same coin. When families bond over the unique experiences afforded with multi-generational travel, they develop a certain closeness that might not otherwise be had. It brings a closeness fostered by shared experiences in addition to blood ties.
Of course, children have no shortage of wonder over new things, but sometimes older relatives do too. It can feel like they’ve seen everything and done everything there is to do. Nothing keeps you young at heart like a healthy sense of wonder, and multi-generational travel can awaken that in an older adult, especially when they experience the same things that are causing their grandchildren to stare in slack jawed amazement.
A Final Adventure
I know that sounds a bit macabre, but hear me out. Chances are that your parents will not outlive you or your children. Wouldn’t it be an amazing adventure to experience all the magic and wonder of travel with three generations of family? That’s the kind of memory that will resonate with you, the grandparents, and the kids long after grandparents are gone.
Multi-Generational Travel is More Than Numbers
Multi-generational travel is more than just an age range of people going to the same destination. Multi-generational travel is a chance to take family bonding to an entirely new level. Instead of grandparents saying, “When I was your age”, they’ll be saying, “I never saw this when I was your age.”
Multi-generational travel is a way for extended family members to connect in a way that not many families can. If you have the time, and your parents are healthy enough for it, I encourage you to look into multi-generational travel. You’ll make the most unique memories that will last several lifetimes.