After my first granddaughter was born, we had to re-think our family vacation plans. I now had to find activities suitable for adults, teens, and a toddler. As many of you already know, this is often far easier said than done.
Over the years, I’ve learned a few tricks to help ensure our multi-generational travel itinerary is a success.
Plan Your Location with Purpose
The first, and most important step in planning multi-generational travel is envisioning the intent of your vacation and selecting a location that is jam-packed with interests for all ages.
Think about what you really want from your vacation. Likely, it’s spending quality time together as a family. With this in mind, ask yourself if the location you’ve chosen will offer you the opportunity to have plenty of shared experiences.
This is the main reason why we turn to Santa Claus, Indiana, and Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari repeatedly for family gatherings. Both town and theme park specialize in entertaining multi-generational travelers with a variety of family-oriented resorts, activities, shops, and scenic stops. There’s a wealth of non-stop fun festivities and the opportunity to have many restful moments, such as picnic stops and campfire gatherings.
Consider Mobility Needs
Cities and attractions that are easy to get around in, or better yet have activity locations in close proximately keep “are we there yet?” syndrome to a minimum. They prevent tired traveler meltdowns which is a true blessing, especially when traveling with children.
Two of Santa Claus, Indiana’s major attractions – Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari and Sun Outdoors Lake Rudolph – are a skip away from each other. In fact, you can walk or take a shuttle from one to the other.
Everything else in the town from dining to grocery stores to museums are easily accessible with a short car ride.
Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari also offer accommodation for guests young and old who have special needs. Most of the rides are accessible to those with disabilities, all restaurants and gift shops in Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari are wheelchair accessible, and there’s even a calming room available on site. Learn more about their thoughtful accessibility options at https://www.holidayworld.com/help-information/accessibility/
Review the Attractions
Once you’ve identified a potential vacation spot for your multi-generational travel, start investigating each attraction in the area. Will there be a range of activities for kids of all ages in your group? Does the attraction have something of interest for everyone in your travel party?
Can you envision your family enjoying the area and the attractions? If you can picture your family immediately having fun, it’s likely you found a winning vacation spot.
Before I ever visited Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari, I could easily picture my family enjoying fun in the sun at the water park, celebrating the festivities in each holiday area, and even venturing to take on some of the more extreme activities like Thunderbird, the rollercoaster that launches riders from zero to 60 miles per hour in just 3.5 seconds (perfect for teens and thrill seekers)!
Younger kids love dedicated areas like Holidog’s FunTown filled with rides and attractions just for them. Everyone enjoys the daily shows (including the special nighttime Holidays In The Sky drone show,) family rides like Gobbler Getaway, arcade areas, wave pools, and the wide variety of dining options.
Set Your Expectations
It’s clear you’ve found the ideal vacation spot, the dates are set, and everyone is on board with the plan. Now is the time to discuss a few key points such as who is responsible for booking travel plans, lodging and attraction tickets and what is most important for your family to experience during the trip.
If you set too intense of a schedule and go in with an expectation that everyone will experience every moment of the trip as a multi-generational family, your trip will be less-than-ideal. Intense schedules are often too much for anyone to handle, let alone the youngest in your crowd. Lack of sleep and drains on energy will quickly fizzle the vacation out.
Instead, have everyone agree on a few key moments that you will all share, such as a family photo with the Santa Claus statue in the Christmas section of Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari or family meal at the Plymouth Rock Café in the Thanksgiving section.
In fact, mealtimes are the best item to set in your itinerary, leaving everyone free to explore as they wish throughout the day. That way, you are still coming together as a group daily, but allowing everyone time to play or rest as they see fit throughout the day.
Mealtime also offers time to sit and chat, to share the excitement of the day with each other, and to create wonderful memories and new family traditions on your trip.
Bottom line, whatever your travel style, you’ll find plenty of joy and have a great start to a successful multi-generational vacation when you put a little thought in upfront and select an amazing family-friendly destination like Santa Claus, Indiana!
Enter to Win A Pair of Tickets to Visit in 2023!
Be sure to follow the adventures of all the HoliBloggers. Each blog post will have a sweepstakes where you can enter to win two tickets to Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari.
Entries accepted through Friday, December 23 at 9pm CDT.
This blog post was written by HoliBlogger Barb W.
Barb Webb is a sustainable living expert nesting just outside of Louisville, Kentucky. When she’s not chasing chickens around the farm or engaging in mock Jedi battles, she’s writing about country living, artisan culture, and exploring the roads less traveled.
An award-winning author, Barb is also the Owner/Editor of the popular blog RuralMom.com where she shares her love of all things green and empowers others to live country life to the fullest. Her newest books “GETTING BAKED” and “GETTING LAID” are cheeky guides offering a fun, in-depth journey into sustainable living topics including traditional and medicinal gardening.