7 Super Tips For Your Most Memorable Multigenerational Family Trip

“Family is not an important thing. It’s everything.” – Michael J. Fox.

It may sound like you’re asking for the biggest headache of all time, but planning and going on a super fun multigenerational family trip is actually possible, and more importantly, allows for a whole family to spend meaningful time together and create lifelong memories.

We spoke with Noreen Nong Musa, Senior Executive of Client Engagement at Holidays Tours & Travel, who goes on regular vacations with her extended family. What sets Noreen’s family apart is that their family trips involve numbers of 50 up to 100 people. Yes, you heard that right. Noreen’s family trips can easily single-handedly pack out a restaurant or take up a whole lot of seats on a flight. So, how does she do it?

Says Noreen “Everyone leads such busy lives, and some of us live very far apart from each other, so we do not really get the chance to spend much time with our parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins etc. So, travelling together is a great way to strengthen our family bonds.

As we are talking about 50 to 100 travellers sometimes, we have found that it is imperative to work with a reputable tour agency like Holidays Tours & Travel, who have 48 years of top-notch expertise in the travel and tourism industry.

Not only do they negate that headache that comes with planning a trip for so many people, but also importantly, they can get special rates for large groups for flights, entrance fees to tourists attractions and activities and help to reserve (sometimes entire) restaurants.”

To date, Noreen and her multigenerational extended family have travelled to Europe, the UK, Bali, South Africa, and Australia and there’s much more still to come!

multigenerational family trip
Taking a multigenerational family vacation is a trend that is steadily rising, according to a report by health and travel insurance company Blue Cross, and one of the key factors to making it a successful experience is working with a reputable travel agency. | Credit: AsiaOne

here are our Top 7 Tips For your Most Memorable Multigenerational Family Trip

1. Ok, so who’s doing the planning?

Noreen said that for her family trips, different people would take turns to be the ones in charge of the planning.

For their most recent multigenerational family trip to Australia, her mother took on the “Chief Organiser” role, which meant that she was the one who liaised with the travel agency to get the itinerary, dates and all the very many necessary details sorted out.

In this modern day and age, it is a no-brainer to discuss with your group regarding your upcoming trip with the use of technology such as WhatsApp group chats and google sheets etc.

As always the case when it comes to travelling in a group, it is best to be as easy-going as possible (even if that is not your natural personality type) and allow the leader to be the key decision maker.

family trip planning
Being easy-going and letting one person be the key decision maker is the secret sauce for Noreen’s many successful family trips – with their groups of even 50 to 100 people, the extended family have travelled to Europe, the UK, Bali, South Africa, Australia and there is much more to come! | Credit: Bruce Mars via Unsplash

2. Come To An Agreement About Finances

Here are some budget considerations for flights, accommodation, ground transportation and entrance fees for tourist attractions and activities:-

  • If the family can afford to travel during off-peak times, this can help to save you money on flights, accommodations, tourist attractions and activities. Prices are lower during mid-week or the shoulder season.

Tip:- Take advantage of travelling with the family when the children are not in school yet. Once children start going to school, going away during off-peak times will be much harder to organise, and you will have to pay the surcharge that comes with travelling during the school holiday season. Click here to read about how to handle flying with a baby like a pro.

  • Many overseas destinations offer free or low-cost activities for families. Do your research ahead of time and you may be able to find parks, museums and other attractions that are free or have discounted admission.
  • Popular tourist destinations can be expensive, so you may want to consider visiting less popular destinations that may be more affordable.
family trip with kids
Whilst some parents may feel that it is a daunting and insurmountable task, travelling whilst the children are still young does have its advantages. Once children start going to school, going away during off-peak times will be much harder to organise, and it is more expensive to travel during the school holiday season. | Credit : 91249144gary via Pixabay

3. Plan Transportation In Advance

For multigenerational family trips that are within driving distance, families can select a meeting point that is easy for everyone to get to, such as a central location, or a place of interest. From there, you can all drive to the destination together and the road trip can be part of the adventure.

If your family trip involves air travel, particularly long-haul travel, this is where you will have to be prepared, especially if there are small children, seniors and individuals with mobility issues travelling.

This is where travel agencies come in handy, as they take the stress of flight bookings from you. They can also help with making sure that wheelchairs are on hand at the airport to cater for seniors and those with mobility issues.

Click here to read how tour agencies can make flying with special needs a positive experience.

travelling with seniors
Create extra special family memories by making sure you include the seniors in your multigenerational family trip. | Credit: Getty Images via Unsplash

4. Plan Accommodation That Is Convenient

Noreen’s tip here is to book accommodation that is close by to shopping malls, or shopping districts. This makes it easy for family members to grab a bite to eat, or to get supplies for children. Especially for larger families, renting a holiday home or apartment can be a more affordable option than staying in a hotel.

Consider the location and size that best suits the needs of your family, properties that are in safe and convenient neighbourhoods, with easy access to food, attractions and activities. Consider the size of the property, the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, and the availability of common areas for socializing and relaxation.

Be sure to carefully review the amenities and features of the property. Look for features like a fully equipped kitchen, laundry facilities, outdoor space and parking. Read the reviews! Be on the lookout for any red flags such as the cleanliness, safety, noise level and accuracy of the listing.

family trip accommodation
An example of a hotel that is super accessible to public transportation and connected to a shopping mall, is the AVANTÉ Hotel, right next to the Bandar Utama MRT Station and the world’s 7th largest shopping mall, 1 Utama. | Credit : AVANTÉ Hotel Bandar Utama

5. Plan Activities In Advance

A tip from Noreen is not to have too many activities planned – the last thing you want on a holiday is to be overly tired from too many activities and really, who wants to have to wake up at 6 am for a long bus ride during precious vacation time.

Keep bus journeys as short as possible for the comfort of small children and seniors.

Here are some things to consider, if you are taking a multigenerational family trip to the mountains, beach or a popular city.

  • Mountains

More adventurous families may enjoy a family trip in the mountains where the great outdoors can provide the perfect playground for everyone.

Hiking – Explore the natural beauty of the mountains with a hike that is suitable for all ages and fitness levels. Many national parks do offer easy hikes that can be done by young children and seniors.

Scenic drives – Take in gorgeous, once-in-a-lifetime mountain views on a leisurely drive, with plenty of stops for photo opportunities and scenic overlooks.

Skiing or snowboarding – Hit the slopes for a fun day of skiing or snowboarding. Many mountain resorts offer lessons and activities for all ages and experience levels that will suit a winter multigenerational family vacation.

Mountain biking – This may not be for the entire family but young kids and active family members can explore trails via mountain bike. Many mountain towns would rent mountain bikes by the hour and even offer guided tours where you can immerse in the local culture.

  • Beaches

Who doesn’t love a beach holiday? Especially if your loved ones are there with you to share the memories.

Family members and children with non-stop energy levels can play in the waves, whilst older adults with limited mobility can relax in the shade.

Swimming – there’s nothing like a refreshing swim in the ocean or just playing in the waves. Many popular beach destinations will rent out seemingly never-ending lists of water sports equipment. These days there are surfboards, stand-up paddle boards, kayaks, banana boats and the adrenaline junkies in the family can jet ski, kite-surf or go beach para-gliding.

Build sandcastles – have fun and build sandcastles or make sculptures on the beach.

Beach games – Have a family-friendly competition with games like beach volleyball, frisbee or dodgeball.

  • Cities

City holidays can offer a total cultural experience, even if it is in your own country ( think of Penang ! ). Here are some fun things to do in cities:-

Walking tours – Explore the history and culture of a city by taking a walking tour.

Museums – Some museums are age-appropriate for all family members, such as art, history and science museums.

Sightseeing – Take in the sights of the city, including famous landmarks, attractions and amusement parks.

family trip activities
A must-visit if you are at the Gold Coast in Australia is Movie World which is what Noreen’s group did; once again, this is where a travel agency will come in handy by getting you the best bang for your buck in terms of entrance fees for large groups. | Credit: Warner Bros. Movie World – Gold Coast Australia

6. Plan Menus In Advance

If your family members already have food sensitivities, you would already know the drill, thanks to family gatherings where you would have had to plan menus.

If you’re travelling with babies or toddlers then make sure to be prepared and to bring your own supplies to be on the safe side.

Also, if you are exploring a new and exciting destination, part of the experience is to taste the cuisine of the country. Make this known to your travel agent so that they can make reservations for you at the famous local restaurants.

As with Noreen’s multigenerational family trips, 50 to 100 people would require booking out an entire restaurant!

7. Free And Easy Is The Way To Go

Any multigenerational family trip will definitely be a super-special occasion, but just because you are all there together does not mean that you all need to spend every waking moment together. Give everyone a little bit of privacy and space for downtime and do not force on too much togetherness. Let that come naturally.

Noreen shares with us that to date, their best family trip was their most recent one to Australia. The key difference? There was a lot of free and easy time so that families could do their own thing, and then come back together for meals or for visiting tourist attractions and activities. Again, she shares that working alongside a trusted travel agency was a key factor in making sure the trip struck that fine balance between having time together and equally important, time apart.

multigenerational family trip
“The memories we make with our family is everything.” – Candace Cameron Bure. | Credit: iStock via LovetoKnow

No matter what the destination is, the length of stay, or the number of people coming – the key is to choose activities and arrangements that are inclusive and enjoyable for all members of the family. By planning ahead and taking everyone’s interests and abilities into account, multigenerational families can create memorable experiences that they will cherish for years to come.

After all, there really is nothing like family.

plan your next multigenerational family trip with US – Holiday Tours & Travel
REACH OUT TO US AT +603 2303 9100 OR
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