How to Travel with Extended Family

When planning a trip with extended family, take these extra steps to ensure a great time is had by all, no matter their age

To ensure a happy family trip, make sure everyone’s needs are taken into consideration

Multigenerational travel can be rewarding — but plan ahead if you want to keep all ages happy

Travel with grandma and grandpa — even aunts, uncles and, of course, the kids — is great for those of us trying to take advantage of limited vacation time while maintaining close ties to family.

Take these extra steps to make sure everyone has a great time (and to ensure everyone is still speaking to one another when the trip is over!).

  • Communicate with Each Other: To that end, communication is key. If you’re the one planning the vacation, start by soliciting input from everyone. If they’re old enough, the kids might even have opinions that can affect the trip.
  • Account for Everyone: Choose a destination with options for everyone. All-inclusive resorts are a good choice, as they feature plenty of activities for travellers of all ages. And cruises can work for families that prefer to travel to more destinations without having to repack their suitcases each time.
  • Allow for Leisure Time: Scheduling will be key to the success of your multi-family-member trip. If it’s back-to-back museum visits you’re interested in, you might want to save that for a different holiday. Instead, spend time playing cards or just relaxing together, and don’t worry about how many attractions you can check off your list. Believe me, trying to jam too much into everyone’s schedule will simply backfire.
  • Get Enough Rest: It’s also important to have respect for everyone’s sleep schedule. Some people require more hours of sleep than others. Book accommodations that you know will allow everyone a bit of quiet time if and when they need it.
  • Plan your Expenses: Lastly, and perhaps most importantly: the finances. Work them out before you go. Who’s paying for what? What can everyone afford? If you wait until you’re on vacation to figure this out, I can guarantee someone’s not going to be happy!

Overall, travelling with family can be a special bonding experience and leave you with fantastic memories — but just be sure to do a bit of planning before you go. 

Claire Newell is the travel media expert for Global BC, host of the travel series Operation: Vacation, best-selling author, spokesperson, wife and mother of two.

Originally published in TVW. For daily programming updates and on-screen Entertainment news, subscribe to the free TVW e-newsletters, or purchase a subscription to the weekly magazine.