The popularity of multi-generational travel is on the rise as Aussie adults seek to return to their roots or complete their travel bucket lists alongside their adventurous mums and dads. Skyscanner Australia spoke to Aussie travel bloggers about the bucket list travels they’d taken with their parents and asked for their top tips for making sure your relationship survives the trip.
Where To Travel With Your Parents.
Imagine how special it would be to accompany your parents to a destination they had always dreamed of visiting? That’s what Christine Knight from Adventure, Baby did when 3 generations of her family travelled to Alaska.
“Like with any travel, I think you really have to go when an opportunity presents itself rather than waiting for the perfect time, which may never come. There are always people getting older, family who get unwell, work and school commitments as well, so we decided the best time was right now and just booked a cruise up the Inside Passage of Alaska on the Disney Wonder, and went.”
LISTEN: The Jonesys tell us how they survived three months on the road with a one-year-old. Post continues after audio…
“Our trip was sensational. The perfect way to have a multi-generational holiday. We each had a mix of doing our own thing as well as meeting up together, so no one felt pressured to do things that weren’t right for them. We spent a lot of time together watching a glacier from our balcony. Sharing experiences like that meant a lot both to me and also to my five-year-old daughter, who will always remember that she saw Alaska with her grandmother.”
Erin Bender from Explore With Erin joined her parents’ European road trip so her children could spend some quality time with their grandparents while cruising the Med and driving the length of Italy.
“We arrived in Pamplona, Spain, just in time for a rather unexpected family running of the bulls. Wheelbarrow bulls chased children through the streets in an epic moment my kids and their grandparents will never ever forget. Would I do it again? Definitely. Travel is the perfect bonding experience for grandparents and grandchildren, not to mention a handy babysitting opportunity to get in couple time as well. When’s the next one, Mum?”
For Leah Smileski of Kid Bucket List, a multi-generational trip to Macedonia enabled her children to explore their paternal heritage with her in-laws as guides.
“It wasn’t until we were wandering the old village lanes that the legends of the past transformed and became ‘real’ stories that my own children could pass on one day."
"The most priceless gift for my kids was meeting their 94-year-old great-grandmother who, dressed in the village garb of her youth, spoke to them in her language and delighted them with tales from her childhood."
"From threading tobacco, one of the country’s main crops, to walking the donkey to its daytime pasture, the experience was an incredible moment of our lives, made richer by the perspectives of different generations.”
Closer to home, Lyn Baker from A Hole In My Shoe stepped in when her mother’s twin sister was too unwell to travel from Perth to Melbourne for the Military Tattoo.
“Mum experienced so much enjoyment in Melbourne. From morning tea at Hopetoun tearooms in the Block Arcade, a beautiful gala dinner at the Grand Ballroom of the Windsor Hotel, to seeing the traffic in Melbourne streets stopped for the Chinese New Year parade.
Mum checked out a lot of the street art in Hosier Lane, ate quail for the first time, tried Sushi and we enjoyed a Jack's and coke together each night as a nightcap. But the highlight was fulfilling her dream to attend the Military Tattoo, which she thoroughly enjoyed. I will never forget the joy of seeing Mum enjoy all the pomp and ceremony of the tattoo.”
Top Tips For Planning A Trip With Your Parents.
Planning a trip for parents who are used to home comforts can certainly be a learning curve. Anne Sutherland-Smith from Pretraveller took a multi-generational trip to New Zealand with her parents and young children and learned very quickly that her parents weren’t too keen on the budget accommodation they would usually have booked. There was also the factor of accessibility to consider:
“My mother kept saying ‘that they didn’t need accessible accommodation, but did need a shower without a step etc.’. I eventually worked out that rather than having to ask 20 questions of each accommodation provider that it was just easier to book accessible accommodation and have the peace of mind.”
Making Sure Your Relationship Survives The Multi-Generational Trip.
In each case, it seems the key to a successful trip with the folks is making sure you have the time and space to chill out away from each other – especially if the holiday involves a lot of time in a confined space like a rental car or caravan.
The bloggers we spoke to also recommend plenty of rest stops and a few early nights are factored into the itinerary, especially if parents/grandparents are used to their own routine.
Finally, if you’re not 100% sure you can survive a whole week with just mum or dad for company, why not considering roping in a friend who can bring their parents too? That way it’s easier to divide into twos if the things you want to do aren’t compatible.