vacations with grandparents

With multi-generational living so common now in America, taking a vacation with three or four generations altogether is increasingly popular. Here are some useful tips and things to consider when traveling with elders, as well as some of America’s best vacation spots that satisfy the grandkids and the grandparents, as well as the generation in between.

Make it Easy on Everyone

Consult with healthcare providers before embarking on any trip, and discuss the destination, mode of travel, and any special accommodations or medical needs that may arise during the journey. Ensure that all necessary medications are packed, along with copies of medical records and a list of emergency contacts. Check on batteries and responder subscriptions for any medical alert smartwatch or other electronic helper. It’s wise to carry extra medication in case of unexpected delays. Don’t forget first aid for the kids as well, depending on where you’re staying.

With elders in the group, choose accommodations that prioritize comfort and accessibility. Opt for hotels or rental properties with amenities such as elevators, handrails, and accessible bathrooms. If elders have mobility issues, consider renting or bringing along mobility aids such as wheelchairs or walkers. Arrange for assistance at airports or train stations if needed.

Plan all your activities at a relaxed pace, allowing ample time for rest and enjoyment – remember that older people may wish simply to sit in a place and absorb its atmosphere (and kids may not – so look for places with multiple options). Avoid over-scheduling and consider the physical limitations of older family members when planning excursions.

Select restaurants and dining options that offer healthy and familiar foods. Keep dietary restrictions and preferences in mind to ensure an enjoyable dining experience for everyone.

Be mindful of sun exposure and stay hydrated, especially in warmer climates. Pack sunscreen, hats, and plenty of water to prevent sunburn and dehydration. Familiarize yourself with the location of medical facilities and pharmacies at your destination. Carry a first-aid kit and be prepared to handle minor medical emergencies.

Places to Go

Orlando, Florida.  Known as the “Theme Park Capital of the World,” Orlando offers endless entertainment options for all ages. Geared for families, with both the very youngest and the eldest in mind.

Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona. Awe-inspiring beauty with scenic overlooks, hiking trails, and guided tours suitable for all fitness levels. It’s worth planning to catch sunrise or sunset over the canyon.

Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming. Home to geysers, hot springs, and diverse wildlife, great for activities and also just looking.

Washington, DC. Let the elders show the kids some American history and culture in the nation’s capital. Visit iconic landmarks, stroll through picturesque gardens and enjoy family-friendly activities throughout the city.

Charleston, South Carolina. A historic city with antebellum architecture, cobblestone streets, and vibrant culture, offering guided walking tours, horse-drawn carriage rides, and great dining in a picturesque coastal destination.

Sedona, Arizona. Tranquil beauty, stunning red rock formations and spiritual energy – enjoy scenic hiking trails or jeep tours, or simply relax and rejuvenate in the desert landscape.

Seaside, Florida. The small beach town used for Jim Carrey’s Truman Show film, an earlier America where time slows down and kids can run around happily while others relax and smell the coffee.

Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia. An immersive historical destination displaying our heritage of the 18th century and the nation’s founding.

Mackinac Island, Michigan. Experience a bygone era where motor vehicles are prohibited, and horse-drawn carriages and bicycles are the primary modes of transportation, amid Victorian-era architecture and historic sites.

Newport, Rhode Island. Once the summer playground of America’s wealthiest families, estate tours display the Gilded Age of an earlier time.

Plymouth, Massachusetts. The site of the Pilgrims’ first landing in Plymouth, with Plymouth Rock, the Mayflower II, and a living history museum depicting daily life in 17th-century colonial New England.

Mystic, Connecticut. Sail into the seafaring past of America at the nation’s leading maritime museum. Explore historic ships, exhibits, and demonstrations, including a recreated 19th-century coastal village and working shipyard, providing an immersive glimpse into America’s maritime history.

Savannah, Georgia. Cobblestone streets, moss-draped oaks, and antebellum architecture. Take a guided tour of historic homes and squares, visit landmarks and savor traditional Southern cuisine in a picturesque coastal city.

Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Offering the rich history of the Civil War as the site of the pivotal Battle of Gettysburg. Tour the National Military Park, witness reenactments and living history demonstrations, and acknowledge the soldiers who fought and died here.

Natchez, Mississippi. Home to a wealth of beautifully preserved historic homes and plantations from the antebellum South. Take a leisurely stroll along the Natchez Trace Parkway, visit iconic landmarks such as Longwood and Stanton Hall, and immerse yourself in the rich cultural heritage of a charming Southern town.