Are You Planning the Great Family Escape?
When we think of family heirlooms, we think of jewelry, quilts, antiques, maybe even gold teeth. You get the gist. Yet the most treasured possessions are the memories created by experiences. Experiences like ziplining past a troop of monkey, walking the Coliseum in Rome with your family, or just relaxing with some iguanas at a serene beach. A family vacation, especially when it includes two or more generations, is one of the best ways to build those memories and create a legacy that lasts.
Multi-generational family travel has become a significant trend in the U.S. since the pandemic made everyone more aware of how precious time spent with loved ones can be. Vacationing together enables family members to experience the wonders of traveling to a new place together. It may also be the answer to reports that Millennial heirs are not interested in inheriting their parents’ and grandparents’ old belongings, no matter how valuable they may be. When these possessions remind you of good times together, Grandpa’s war medals or Mom’s book of recipes suddenly become something you want to hold on to.
The travel industry has taken note of the growing trend. According to Virtuoso, a high-end travel agency, this kind of holiday has been the top travel trend for several years.
You do not have to become an amateur travel agent to help your family take part in this trend. You can find specialized packages and itineraries from travel organizations such as Road Scholar, Tauck Bridges Family Adventures, and Smithsonian Journeys, to name a few. For example, Road Scholar offers educational trips for grandparents and grandchildren that include visits to signature cities, national parks, archaeological sites, and even locations featured in the Harry Potter films – an unforgettable activity that will bridge the gap between the eldest and youngest generations. Grandparents can teach art and history to their grandchildren, and grandchildren can bring wonder and imagination to their grandparents as they navigate new terrain together.
For an even easier multi-generational vacation, try an all-inclusive resort. Destinations like Beaches Resorts offer fun activities for all ages. Adults can lounge at the pool or get pampered at the spa while the children enjoy age-appropriate activities planned just for them – and everyone can get together for recreational fun like kayaking, horseback riding, water sports, and golf.
Family Vacation Tips
Here are some ideas for vacation destinations that may appeal to multiple generations of your family:
- Beach Cottage
A beach cottage is relaxing and refreshing, with many opportunities for group gatherings. Plan to stay for at least a week and book at least a year in advance for the best rates.
Not crazy about sleeping on the ground? You can still enjoy this option; camping has changed a lot since you last pitched a tent. Not only are cabins a popular option, but they have become downright luxurious, an experience known as “glamping” (glamorous camping). Just be sure everyone is on board with this.
- It is the ultimate family vacation, although plenty of childless couples have a great time too. It can be expensive, so be aware that you do not have to stay in one of the resorts’ on-site properties. There are some excellent alternatives close by – and remember, you will be spending most of your time away from the room, so as long as it is clean and comfortable, why pay extra?
These offer lots of fun experiences for all ages, and many offer discounts for large groups. Unless it has a clear appeal for families, check on policies for children.
Sharing in the Vacation Planning
With a vacation involving many family members, solving the logistics will take some analysis and detailed planning. We recommend these vacation planning tips for your multi-generational getaway:
- Come up with two to three different vacation plans and put them up for a family vote.
- Have the planning portion managed by the family member with logistics experience.
- Have the family member with the best money skills handle the financing portion.
- Plan dates at least six months in advance.
- Discuss the travel expenses with family members ahead of time.
- Consider adding 15 to 20 percent more to your planned spending budget. (Especially if you have children!)
Along with planning the “fun” stuff for your vacation, our law firm is here to advise you on what else you need besides your suitcase.
Practical Planning Tips:
- Know the Laws Where You are Going
Traveling overseas can be a legal labyrinth. You need to know the local laws and customs that govern the places you will travel. Start by looking at the U.S. Department of State’s website at Travel.State.Gov for a wealth of helpful information. Also, do some independent research to stay abreast of any unusual laws in the country that you will be traveling to.
- Set Up Power of Attorney and Health Care Surrogate
These documents are crucial in an emergency abroad or while traveling to another state. Before your trip, visit an estate planning attorney to draft these documents. In them, you will designate your “agent” or the person(s) who can make legal and financial decisions on your behalf in case you experience a medical emergency. While laws vary in different countries, the rule of comity should render your documents valid outside of the U.S.
- Prepare for Grandparents’ Medical Needs
Be sure to keep a list of all prescription medications the older adults in your family are taking and a list of any items they may be allergic to. In an emergency, you can readily hand this list to the treating facility.
Vacationing with Peace of Mind
Before embarking on your multi-generational family vacation, visit an estate planning attorney to ensure your estate plan is in order. We can help provide you with peace of mind on your next adventure. Contact OC Estate and Elder Law at (954) 251-0332 or firstname.lastname@example.org to get started with your free consultation. Our attorneys are fluent in English, Spanish and Russian.