1. Brainstorm and plan the trip together. Some of the most successful family vacations are those that involve both parents and children in choosing destinations and planning for their trip.
2. Specifically discuss expectations. It's important to discuss goals for the trip - such as having fun, getting to know each other better, experience enriching activities together, and learning about the world.
3. Make it special. Let every member of the multi-generational group choose one thing that they'd like to do on the vacation. This will allow everyone to feel more involved and will get the vacation off to a great start.
4. Build in private time together as well as time apart. While the goal of a multi-generational family vacation is to create shared memories, it is also important to remember that children need time to burn off energy and enjoy the company of kids their own age. Likewise, parents and grandparents need quiet periods for rest and some adult companionship as well.
5. Pack a great attitude. Attitude is everything when going on a multi-generational family vacation. If unforeseen events happen, be flexible and stay positive.
6. Set a comfortable pace. Keep in mind each individual's preference for waking hours, activity schedules, dress, dining options, nightlife, and needs for sleep... then plan accordingly. Respect the differences and be willing to bend the rules a bit if necessary. Letting teens sleep in for an hour might make all the difference in having a great time on a multi-generational family vacation.
7. Capture and preserve your vacation memories. Consider giving each grandchild a disposable camera to bring along on your journey. Kids love taking their own pictures and it is fascinating to see travel through their eyes.