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Multi-Generational Travel

Grandfather With Grandson Reading Together On SofaMulti-generational travel is a fast growing segment of the leisure travel market – but doing it successfully takes a bit more planning than usual. Here are some tips for traveling while keeping your extended family close.Travel with grandma and grandpa, aunts and uncles, and, of course, the kids, is great for those of us trying to take advantage of limited vacation time while maintaining close ties to family. There are just a few extra steps that need to be taken to ensure everyone has a great time… and that everyone is still speaking when the trip is over!

To that end, communication is key. If you’re the one making the effort to plan the vacation, be sure to solicit input from everyone. If they’re old enough, the kids might have an opinion as well that could affect the trip.

Choose a destination with options for everyone. All-inclusive resorts are a good choice – with lots of activities for travelers of all ages. Cruises can work as well, for families that prefer to visit more destinations without having to repack suitcases.

Scheduling will also be key to the success of your multi-family member trip. If it’s back-to-back museum visits you’re interested in, you might want to wait until next time. Instead, spend time relaxing together, not seeing how many attractions you can check off your list. Believe me when I say trying to jam too much into everyone’s schedule will backfire.

It’s also important to have respect for everyone’s sleep schedule. Some require more than others, and some prefer an earlier lights-out. Book accommodations that will allow everyone a bit of quiet time if and when they need it.

Another important but sometimes awkward factor, is the finances. Work this out before you go. Who’s paying for what? What can everyone afford? If you wait until you’re on vacation to figure this out — I can guarantee someone’s not going to be happy!

Lastly, and most importantly, is everyone’s health. When investing in a big vacation with three generations of family, you want to make sure you get the most out of it and no one is stuck inside. Children and older generations can be more vulnerable to getting sick in a new country or climate. Families who explore new countries may be exposed to a range of health risks resulting from different sanitation and hygiene standards.

For example, it is estimated that 30 to 70% of travellers who visit a tropical or subtropical region will have at least one episode of diarrhea, which may last three to five days. A specific strain of E. coli bacteria, called Enterotoxigenic E. coli, or ETEC, is the most common cause of diarrhea in travellers’ and occurs most frequently during travel to Latin America, Mexico and the Caribbean. ETEC is typically found in food that is not adequately cooked. It is also found in contaminated water and ice. Even all-inclusive resort guests need to be on the alert. Up to 98% of travellers let their guard down when eating or drinking during the first three days of their holiday.

The good news is that a vaccine, Dukoral®, is available to help prevent diarrhea caused by ETEC. However, vaccination is only part of a healthy vacation strategy, albeit an important part, taking the proper precautions with food and water are also essential. Other travel health essentials include sunscreen, hats, long-sleeved clothing, mosquito repellent, etc. It is important to speak with a doctor or pharmacist 4 to 6 weeks before your departure date to discuss what you need to know about travel vaccination and other safety precautions.

Just a few tips to get you started. Traveling with family can be fantastic and a special bonding experience, it just needs a bit of planning ahead.

This post was sponsored by Valneva Canada.