So, you’re considering going on vacation with the entire family – grandparents and children. Three generations of family together for a seven-night Gulf Shores vacation could go one of two ways. It’s either a blissful week of connecting, reminiscing and memory making or you wish you had rented separate condos. A successful multi-generational family vacation requires a little planning and flexibility. Read on to discover our four tips for planning a vacation filled with good times and great memories.
If these were the 10 Commandants of a multi-generational family vacation, this would be the most important one. Planning together helps cater to the needs of all travelers, from toddler to teenager and parent to grandparent. This is when you lay it on the table. Talk about the preferences and limitations of everyone going. Toddlers will likely require downtime. Teenagers will want to be where the action is. Parents may want to relax and grandparents may be ready for golf and shopping. Discuss expectations prior to booking your Gulf Shores AL vacation rental. Setting realistic expectations that everyone is on board with can be the difference between a good vacation and a “good grief” vacation.
Just like planning together, flexibility ranks high on the scale of attributes for a multi-generational family vacation. Give each other some space and know that every moment doesn’t have to be spent together, unless everyone wants it that way. Give the kids time to be kids. Enjoy some of the hot new Gulf Shores attractions together and give yourself plenty of beach time. Determine what activities and Gulf Shores restaurants you’d like to all experience together, then allow the remaining time to be flexible.
Travel writer, Becky Beall of The Travel Voice By Becky, travels regularly with her adult children and grandchildren. “Multi-generational trips are always special times! I have found the key to successful vacations full of memories is to keep the ages of the youngest travelers in mind. There may need to be afternoon pauses for naps and snacks, but it will be well worth it to have children who are rested and happy. Don’t pass up opportunities for photos, either! They’ll be the best “happies” from your travels,” she said.
When dealing with a large group, here’s where things can get tricky. A great multi-generational family vacation doesn’t have to be expensive. It’s important to talk with each other to determine the type of Gulf Shores rental needed and an acceptable budget for everyone. Whether you need an Orange Beach condo rental or Gulf Shores beach house, you can find rentals to fit all budgets, from economy to luxury.
You should also address meals and dining out. Condos and beach houses offer fully-equipped kitchens, making it easy to prepare meals. If you plan to prepare most of your meals at your home-away-from-home, assign meal nights to each family.
Many times, your largest vacation expense is your accommodations. A multi-generational family vacation will usually require at least a three-bedroom beach rental. However, during your planning stage, you may have discovered you’d all enjoy yourselves more in separate condos that are near each other. Condos like Endless Summer and Coastal Bliss are both located at The Beach Club in Gulf Shores. The units are near, but separate. The Beach Club is an ideal resort for multi-generational family vacations. The resort boasts children’s activities and kid’s camps, as well as multiple restaurants, a full-service spa and six pools.
A duplex may also fit the bill for your beach vacation. Blue Parrot #3 and Blue Parrot #7 are ideal for large families who need extra (and separate) space. The five-bedroom duplex is directly on the beach in Gulf Shores and offers several large decks, as well as a shared pool.
If you prefer to stay together, a large beach house like Barefoot in Fort Morgan is calling your name. With eight bedrooms and a private pool, everyone will have a spot to spread out. The Fort Morgan rental also has an elevator and the downstairs shower is equipped with grab bars. This is an ideal property for anyone in your group with mobility issues.
Regardless if you’re planning a multi-generational family vacation or a trip with you and kids, vacations rarely go as planned. There will likely be some bumpy spots, and that’s okay. Take each experience as it comes and go with the flow. Sometimes, it’s these vacations that make the best memories around the dining table for years to come.