Any vacation encompassing children, teens, adults and grandparents together can get bogged down by trying to decide what to do and where to go. Since your vacation time at Sea Shells Beach Club is precious, you should make the most of it by giving each party a voice.
Traveling with multi-generational families is challenging, and appointing a representative from each age range (yes, even kids) to help plan activities will give you a better understanding of everyone’s needs in a more productive way. Here are four reasons why it works:
Generally speaking (at least in my vacation experience), kids are all about excitement, the elderly emphasize knowledge and the middle aged are just trying to have a good time. We don’t have to do any of that all of the time, but we can do all of it during the vacation.
When you have persons of different ages in the room during the decision-making process, you’re less likely to plan something that’s completely against an age group’s wishes. Attractions such as the Grand Canyon have universal appeal while the hypothetical Museum of Wooden Benches draws more of a niche crowd.
When you consult the youths of the family, whose opinion is commonly overlooked, it could save you an afternoon of scoffing and pouting.
Fewer Cooks in the Kitchen
Assign each generation a go-to family member for vacation planning and you’ll most likely have three to five people involved instead of a whole gaggle of talking heads. This makes the planning process much smoother. You’re not going to please everybody, so leave it up to a select few to act as the balance to appease the most people.
Most families like to go the extra mile to make everyone happy, and one negative remark in a room of 15 people is enough to reset the entire discussion.
Here’s a fun activity you can try at home: Gather as many members of your family as you can and try to pick a movie to watch on Netflix with everyone in the room. Good luck.
Less Talking, More Doing
While it’s good to listen to everybody’s opinion on what they want to do, it might be better to leave it up to your generation advocates to make a decision. It’s important to stick with it so that you can get out there and experience a destination instead of polling the audience for 30 minutes.
Even if you end up splitting up the group or if you’re trying to stuff in as much sightseeing as possible, you’ll want to remember the experiences, not the toll it took to get there.
Getting to know the preferences of the younger, middle and older crowds can do wonders for future vacations and make it easier to plan. Grandchildren can acquire a better sense of the past through their grandparents and kids can bring adults into their world. Vacations soon become a feel-good experience that brings families much closer together.
I don’t care much for planes, but my grandfather couldn’t get enough of them. At first I thought it was boring. But his enthusiasm and our trips to air shows taught me more than I learned in most books. Likewise, he would always embrace the little kid shenanigans that I was into, so we came to understand each other’s passions. From then on, it was easier to embrace the activities we each wanted to do.
When you evenly distribute the vacation planning through multiple generations, it will improve the quality and efficiency of the time you spend together. Who knows, maybe the three-year-old in your family knows the secrets to ultimate family fun.
How do you balance the different age groups and interests? Let us know in the comments.