Holiday Travel: Have a Happy Group Trip
We’re in the thick of it now – the holidays! While it’s a time of year where the focus is on giving, joy and togetherness, we all know that sometimes tension and conflict are unwelcome visitors. Whether you’re spending time at home, vacationing with extended family or travelling with a multi-generational group, Globetrotting Mama has tips to help minimize potential conflicts so that everyone enjoys the holiday travel experience!
Plan for Everyone during your Holiday Trip
Congratulations! You’re the designated trip planner! It’s a job that comes with its perks and its difficulties. The key is to remember that this trip is for everyone. Planning for all ages and abilities is key. You’ll need to plan for a destination that appeals to the entire crew which means remembering to schedule a variety of activities that speak to each traveller. Perhaps there are visits to zoos or amusement parks for the kids. Add some fine dining or hit up a local museum for the adults. And someone may want to visit the World’s Largest Ball of Yarn as you make way across the US in your RV. There might even be some holiday specific options while you travel. Whatever the activity might be, it’s always a good idea to be sure everyone is represented!
Leave Time for Leisure during Holiday Vacations
Overscheduling can be the death of any vacation, but especially holiday travel. While you might feel pressure to hit up all of the hot spots as your plan your trip, sometimes the better option is to leave a few sites unseen in the name of preserving family goodwill. When travelling with multiple generations (or on any kind of trip), leave room for rest, relaxation, or a spontaneous change of plans. Be flexible and willing to adapt to whatever your trip throws at you. You never know, it could lead you to your most memorable activity or a new holiday tradition!
Keep stomachs happy
Food can be one of the best experiences while traveling…especially in places known for their cuisine like Italy. As you plan, try to incorporate preferences for food where you can. Some people enjoy eating out while others prefer to cook a meal together as a family. If you’re renting a cottage, cabin, beachside condo, or have a vacation rental property for your crew, perhaps you can plan a few meals in, and build the menu as a group! For those who enjoy dining out, check out some of the restaurants in the area prior to going on your trip and take a poll of everyone’s favourite options. Does your lodging include food? This might be a great reason to book a particular hotel or resort! Stay at a Bed and Breakfast to get some homemade meals or look at the continental breakfast included at your hotel. No matter what you choose, always be open to including the preferences of the entire group when possible and be willing to try new things! You never known when something that you thought was strange could turn out to be your new favourite and learning about a specific culture through cuisine is always a tasty way to learn.
Enjoy a Good Theme
Sometimes family time and holiday travel are just more fun with a theme! Try adding a fun component to one evening of your vacation like a pyjama night or a games night. On a multi-family trip, each family can bring along a favourite game to share. You could combine themes and have a competition for best pjs. Set out some good snacks, make some hot cocoa, or pop in a classic holiday movie, and see how the night unfolds! By incorporating old and new activities in the trip, each family (or family member) gets a chance to make sure that something they love is included.
Be Willing to Learn from One Another
Once, while on a multi-generational trip to Mexico, I discovered that I was the one grating on everyone’s nerves in the group. How was I doing this, you ask? By trying to be responsible for everyone’s happiness. I felt responsibility for tending to my parents while also looking after the safety of my own children. When I stopped telling my parents and my children that their adventures “weren’t a good idea,” I realized that I could learn a thing or two. By allowing these experiences to happen and by watching my family explore and be curious, we were able to create meaningful memories full of adventure, laughter, and joy. Stay open, be curious, and be willing to learn from the other generations in the group…those moments might just lead to your favourite holiday travel memories yet