ZERO TO 100 — How to plan a multigenerational vacation

If grandparents and even great-grandparents can still hit the road with the entire gang, what’s holding you back from planning a truly once-in-a-lifetime trip? Multigenerational travel is a unique experience — especially for kids — where everyone gets to bond with the entire clan and store a lifetime’s worth of memories.

While these trips are rewarding, they do require more-than-usual planning, as they include everyone from babies and toddlers through teens, adults and the elderly. So think through everyone’s:

  • Capacity for walking — or being carried or wheeled about
  • Patience for museums, tours and inspiring sights
  • Time before nap or rest
  • Tastes and dietary needs in restaurants and requirement for snacks

So, let “something for everyone” be your guiding principle. And when the unexpected happens — and it will — roll with the punches and improvise!

5 tips to get you started

Plan early. Researching, planning and booking a year in advance is not too early!

Share the load. These trips have many moving parts. Share the research (destination, travel, transport, accommodation, meals, excursions, video/photos, etc.) with clan members and get full agreement before booking.

Book apartment-style accommodations. Includes kitchen and sometimes washing machine. Easier and cheaper with kids, allowing for some eat-in breakfasts and lunches.

Share suitcases, hair dryers, chargers, etc. Save on baggage costs.

Rent larger vehicles. Book large-capacity vans or, if there are enough of you — a bus!

5 vacations to get you imagining

  1. City getaways: Keep it in Canada and it’s more budget-friendly. Cities with the most attractions: Vancouver, Victoria, Toronto, Montreal, Quebec City, Ottawa, Halifax and St. John’s.
  2. Camping: Reduced costs, plus everyone enjoys the great outdoors, pitching in for meals and flying off for hikes and exploration. Start researching Canada’s glorious national and provincial parks soon. Campsites go fast!
  3. Resorts: All-inclusives offer lots to do, keeping every generation busy. Look for off-season deals such as ski resorts offering mountain stays in summer. Scout out smaller resorts, too, with kid-friendly staff.
  4. Beach house. Often costly in season, but you’ll likely split the rent. Offers a home base, group meal prep, family games, sun and fun on the beach.
  5. Cruises: If you sail from North American ports, it can be more affordable than big-city vacations. Lots of group and solo fun, and ideal for the elderly, since there’s limited walking. Also lots of on-board entertainment, activities and food — too much food!

Start planning now, while everyone is still up for the trip of a lifetime.