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Lifestyle & Travel

5 Ideas for a Multigenerational Vacation

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Think of your vacation self. No stress, no deadlines, no wake-up calls, and nowhere to be but where you are.

It’s your best self, really. And it’s a self that you might want to think about sharing with your family. That way, you can get to know their vacation selves, in all of their smiling, tanned, relaxed glory.

Multigenerational trips have been among popular travel options in recent years, and for good reason. Vacationing with kids, parents, grandparents, and even great-grandparents offers a valuable opportunity for family members to enjoy one another away from the workaday grind. It also presents a chance for everyone to get what they’re after in a vacation: grandparents can spend time with grandkids, mom and dad can get a break, and kids can just be kids. If you’re considering booking a multigenerational trip with your crew, here are some travel ideas to consider.

Take a cruise. Cruising and family travel are excellent shipmates. That’s because there really is something for everyone on a cruise ship. Kids can climb on ropes courses, zip down waterslides, race on go karts and even ride roller coasters. Adults can hit the gym or spa, lay by the pool, and immerse themselves in the dining scene. And then there are the ports, of course, and the opportunity to take in new places, learn about new cultures, and expand the horizons of the whole family.

Return to your roots on a heritage trip. Think about places in your life that have meant the most to you. Maybe you want to take grandkids to see your childhood home, or to the beach town where you vacationed as a child. Or perhaps you’re interested in introducing them to the countries from which their ancestors emigrated. Take them on a trip down memory lane, and let them catch a glimpse of the world through your eyes, learning as they go.

Explore the great outdoors. Nature can have a calming effect and really take you away from the workaday world. Plus, when you’re outside, it’s easy to transform a trip into an active vacation, and impart the importance of exercise and nature to your family. Think about what your brood might like. Can you enjoy miles and miles of hiking in a national park? Would a farm stay or a visit to a ranch be a good fit? What about a cycling trip or a camping adventure? Perhaps river rafting, or long walks on the beach? The more time you spend being active, the less you have to worry about that extra s’more you’d like to eat.

Rent a home together. While hotels are lovely, there’s something special about spending time together under one roof. With the home-share websites available today, finding a house that will accommodate a large family is easier than ever. By selecting a vacation rental, you can save money you’d spend on restaurants and, together, prepare healthy meals at home. You can relax on the porch and share stories. You can take long walks around the block, or, if the home is near water, take a dip in an ocean or lake – all while spending time together and being active.

Try your hand at voluntourism. Rally the troops around a cause and plan a trip that helps you help others. That could be a trip to a foreign country, where you volunteer at a school, orphanage, or other non-profit organization together; or it could be a visit to a city closer to home, where you commit to a shorter-term volunteering activity, like spending time in a soup kitchen or helping to build a home. Not only is voluntourism a valuable way to give back as a family, but it may even be good for your health. And that’s an important message to pass along.

A multigenerational trip offers a chance to develop a closer relationship and find commonalities across age groups. It’s an opportunity to encourage your children and grandchildren to learn about other places and cultures. And it’s a way to create lasting memories, for everyone involved.

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