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Parents play an important role in our lives no matter what age we are. They are mentors, teachers, disciplinarians, and some of the people who love us most in the world. July 22 is National Parents’ Day, a holiday that got its start in 1994.
Today’s families are often fortunate enough to have as many as three or four generations of parents alive and involved in one another’s lives. Since this is a holiday that occurs during kids’ summer vacation, one way to celebrate is with an intergenerational family road trip.
These tips can help you plan your family’s getaway.
5 Tips for Planning an Intergenerational Road Trip
1. Set a budget and agree on financial arrangements.
When several generations of a family take a vacation together, it’s important to recognize each one has different budgetary constraints. College tuition, afterschool sports, medication copays, and mortgages can vary at every age. Setting a budget that everyone is comfortable with helps avoid stress and conflict.
2. Find a destination with something for everyone.
After you establish a budget, explore destinations that offer something for every age group. Don’t forget to factor in climate and how much walking is required. High humidity, for instance, can be dangerous for seniors.
One of our country’s many national parks can be a good choice. Most national parks offer camping, hiking, handicapped trails, fishing, boating, and more. From Sleeping Bear Dunes National Park in Michigan to Glacier National Park in Montana, national parks are also affordable. Seniors can purchase an $80 pass that grants them and up to four additional people in their vehicle lifetime admission to any of the national parks.
Other intergenerational destinations to consider include Colonial Williamsburg; Washington, D.C.; Monterey, CA; and the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
3. Consider travel arrangements carefully
While one generation of the family might be willing and able to drive long distances without stopping, it can be difficult for others to do so. Seniors and young children often need to take frequent breaks to stretch their legs. As you plan how to get to and from your vacation destination, keep that in mind.
A benefit of making frequent stops is that you enjoy other adventures along the way. Take advantage of Google Maps or MapQuest route-planning features to plot a journey that includes fun stops every three or four hours.
4. Plan for healthy meals
Traveling can be tough on the waistline. While you want to be able to kick back and relax during your vacation, it’s important to make accommodations for special diets. The good news is that most restaurants have menus posted on their websites, and many include a nutritional breakdown.
Don’t overlook another healthy option: a picnic in a park or at a scenic roadside stop. Many delis in vacation and resort areas will pack a healthy lunch for you. Ask the concierge or desk clerk at your hotel for suggestions.
5. Allow time for everyone to do their own thing
Don’t try to make everyone in the family spend every minute together. Teens might prefer to sleep in, while seniors may want to head out early for coffee and sightseeing. Block out time in the schedule so everyone can explore sights on their own or just enjoy a relaxing few hours by the pool.
We hope these tips help you plan an intergenerational getaway that is fun for everyone. Our final suggestion is to make sure to capture pictures along the way! It’s a great way to capture the memories you are building so you can enjoy them for years to come.
Intergenerational Activities at Sunrise
Because we know how important intergenerational connections are for the younger and older generations alike, you will routinely find activities that promote them on our life enrichment calendars. We also welcome visits from scouting troops, youth choirs, and more. Contact the Sunrise community nearest you to learn more!