Why multigenerational travel is popular

When was the last time you connected with your family? First, lets assume you want to be together with your immediate family. I’m not talking about the twice a year visits during a special occasion or the holidays. I am leading this conversation to taking a vacation; yes, spending a few days or longer with your parents, grandparents and siblings.

A few months ago, my wife and I spent a week on a cruise ship with her family, four generations. Mom had turned 80 and as part of her birthday present the kids pitched in for a cruise. We had our octogenarian all the way to the adorable 5-year-old. Of course, the 5-year-old child stole the show and captured the attention of the crew and fellow passengers.

This plan started almost a year prior to cursing our California Coastal, mutigenerational cruise. In this case, the trip was all about the experience of being together rather than the destination. However, seeing San Francisco at night from our balcony was a magical experience. Sailing under the Golden Gate bridge was cause for celebratory hoots and hollers. Maybe even raising a glass to toast our fellow revelers.

Generational travel is becoming more popular each passing year. A perfect way to get multiple generations together for a reasonable price is a cruise. We secured 5 cabins in a row each couple or family occupying a balcony cabin. None of our category of cabins offered the adjoining room feature; however, if that is your preference, we can arrange adjoining cabins. Step out on the balcony and you will notice the sides can open allowing access between the cabins. We asked our room steward to unlock the appropriate dividers allowing the 5-year-old to run freely and the convenience of arranging activities together.

The benefits of each couple or family having their own cabin is privacy and not having to share a room with a family member that may not have the same routines. Another benefit is the freedom to do separate activities and shore excursions. At the end of the day you can dine together and reminisce about the activities of the day and what is on tap for the rest of the evening.

Parents take note, cell service is not operational in international waters. There is onboard wi-fi, but it is not free and the cost for a family may be prohibitive. This translates to no smartphones at dinner, what a concept that a conversation might break out whereby freaking out the teenagers.

Think the children will not have anything to do, on certain cruise lines there are waterslides or rock walls along with other age appropriate activities directed towards the entertainment of children from 3-17. On the Ruby Princess they have Camp Discovery; The Treehouse for ages 3-7, The Lodge for ages 8-12 and The Beach House for ages 13-17. You should have no reservation about taking the children on your cruise, by the way, you need them for the generational picture.

This leads me to the most valuable benefit of cruising together. I witnessed four generations sit for their picture and my thoughts turned to family and the value of capturing that moment in time. No one was arguing, just four big smiles from four generations creating a perfect moment captured on film, well okay digital.

All too often I hear this phrase, “someday I will do…. with the family”. There is no price I can put on the experience of mom’s surprise when she entered her cabin and there was a bouquet of flowers with a Happy Birthday wish from all of her family. Or, seeing the wonder in the eyes of a 5-year-old mesmerized by the visual effects of a Broadway style production in the Princess Theater.

What does your someday look like?