Traveling with grandparents {multigenerational travel}

Summer 2009 – Fun in sun with two parents, 2 kids, 2 grandpas, and 1 grandma.

Hubby and I are fairly selfish with our vacation time. Yup, I’m putting it right out there.

We’ve communicated this sentiment with our parents which means they fully understand how important and special it is when we invite them to vacation with us.

Because hubby and I have demanding careers, we make sure our vacations are actually spent vacationing. We like to relax, play, do a bit of sightseeing, and spend quality time together as a family.

During the summer of 2009, we spend about three weeks between Georgia and Florida for a mega multigenerational vacation.

The top planning tools we kept in mind were:

  1. Everyone was responsible for their travel expenses (well, not my kiddos, of course).
  2. Everyone had to be clear about what they wanted to do during the day. There was no expected mindreading.
  3. We did not have to have set plans for each day. We could go with the flow.
  4. We could spend time together as a big group and family members were also free to make plans on their own.
  5. Extended relatives could participate in some events but we wanted to limit this so the grandparents could have enough quality time with our kids.
  6. Meals had to be easy – otherwise we would order takeout or go out to eat.
  7. Cocktail hour would be held every night (alcoholic & non-alcoholic beverages). This was not negotiable.

The first part of the trip was spent in Georgia with my parents.

We stayed at their house, did some sightseeing, had cookouts with other relatives, and kicked back. Hubby and I had the opportunity to escape and date each other, which was the icing on the cake.

About five days later, hubby and I drove with our kids to Florida for our beach vacation. We did very little sightseeing and spent most of our time playing in the sand or at the pool.

It was a great time, except for when the then 2-year-old went missing in a department store and we had to call Code-Adam. Yeah, I had a bunch of cocktails later on that particular night.

My parents drove to Florida (about a 5 hour drive) and stayed in a hotel a few miles away from us.

They took my kids for two nights, and hubby and I were free to celebrate our 11th wedding anniversary. It was the best gift ever.

We all drove back to Georgia and my father-in-law flew in from Minnesota. That’s right, my nuclear family and my father-in-law were all staying with my parents in Georgia. My cousin’s two daughters stayed with us for a few nights too (they are the same age as my daughter). We were a loud, laughing, and loving group.

How’s that for a summer full of multigenerational travel?

Share some of your multigenerational travel trips or stories from your multigenerational travel. We’d love to hear from you.

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3 Responses to Traveling with grandparents {multigenerational travel}

  1. We are going on our first multigenerational trip this summer with my inlaws and my two daughters. We have decided to go to the beach. The goal is to rent a house. It has been a challenge finding a house that suits everyone’s needs. We prefer to be at the beach. My inlaws would prefer to be in the town a few miles away so they could walk to restaurants etc. We decided against seperate rentals as we wanted the kids to spend as much time with their grandparents as possible. We know the kids will have fun just having them there and being spoiled for attention. I think your planning tools are great.

    • Sounds great, Cheryl! We like to use when we do a house rental.
      I would say let the inlaws be closer to town – IF mobility and access to nap time is a consideration. Sometimes the mature adults don’t come right out and say why they are making certain requests. Hmmm… :-)

  2. Pingback: 6 ways to nurture, not force, your relationship with your father-in-law | it's a full nest

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