We are at the start of summer vacation season. Thousands of families in our area will be planning their last trip to the Jersey shore. This year’s trip may include grandparents, aunts, and uncles in the family getaway. Multigenerational travel has recently become one of the fastest growing areas of the travel industry.
According to the Travel Industry Association, each year more than 5 million family vacations include three generations. As a result, many families now face the challenge of finding a vacation that is suitable for everyone from toddlers to seniors. The most important part of orchestrating a three-generation vacation is being able to accommodate everyone’s needs. The trick to this type of travel is simple: planning, preparation and flexibility.
General Tips for vacationing with multiple generations:
TIP #1: Let everyone in the family help choose vacation activities.
TIP #2: Choose the right accommodations. For much less than the cost of multiple hotel rooms needed for a group traveling together, vacation rentals provide exactly what multigenerational families need – a sense of togetherness and privacy. Look for vacation rentals that include two, three and four-bedroom single-family homes, condominiums and town homes with full kitchens, multiple bedrooms and bathrooms, washers and dryers.
TIP #3: Schedule activities with your family’s normal routine in mind. Toddlers are generally most active in the morning, a time when grandparents and seniors are often early to rise.
TIP #4: Don’t sell seniors short. Today’s seniors are energetic and adventurous, so consider active multigenerational vacations. Possibilities include bike tours, rafting trips, trips to amusement parks on the boardwalk and dolphin watching in Cape May.
TIP #5: Take advantage of kitchens. It’s all about flexibility. Grandparents and grandchildren often have different meal schedules. Young children frequently find it difficult to sit through three meals a day in a restaurant. Think about staying in and cooking simple meals.
Tips for traveling with the elderly who have dementia:
If you plan to visit a new place, do some homework in advance. Find out about the accommodations and where the nearest hospitals and healthcare facilities are.
Keep in mind that relatives may not understand the cognitive changes that have since occurred with your loved one. Give them an advanced warning as to what to expect.
If wandering is a problem, provide your loved one with an identity bracelet.
If you are staying in a hotel, consider notifying the reception staff. This is really a matter of choice and might not be necessary unless you are concerned about your loved one wandering or are concerned about their current health status.