Are you planning a trip with older relatives or friends? Our multi-generational road trip travel tips were compiled with you in mind.
This year has been full of travel, but one of those trips was especially memorable. I’ve mentioned before that my kids are now grown and the days of traveling together are becoming less and less frequent.
My kids no longer want to travel to the same places my husband and I enjoy most. We enjoy different things. My kids want to jump out of airplanes and snowboard down mountains where my husband and I enjoy shopping at antique stores and flea markets and seeking out covered bridges.
If you think this is a sad post, allow me to correct you. It’s not. And neither is it a jumping up and down, this is the moment I’ve been waiting for type of post because it’s not that either. I’m simply stating that things are changing and I’m okay with that. I think.
Having grown children that no longer require my presence at home has opened other doors to me. This past summer, I traveled with my parents from our home in NC Ohio to Branson, Missouri. Our trip went off with barely a hitch and I don’t think it could have gone much better. Even though I made some BIG mistakes- like purchasing expensive tickets to the Sight & Sound Theater and a 2-night stay at a beautiful resort for the WRONG dates. Yeah. Not my best moment. But in the end, it worked out beautifully and I learned a few things about traveling with my mom and dad and multi-generational travel.
Multi-Generational Road Trip Travel Tips: What You Need to Know
Be mindful of the type of activities that everyone likes to do and try to plan something for everyone.
Let’s face it, it’s not any fun to go on a trip that was not at all planned with your interests in mind. My mom and dad weren’t very vocal on what they wanted to do so I planned the bulk of our trip, but I tried to consider their interests when I planned where to go and what to do. My mom loves to shop so that’s easy- there are always fun souvenir shops to browse. My dad enjoys nature and spending time near water so I planned to travel near some lakes because I knew he’d enjoy that view.
Plan stops so you can stretch your legs and make restroom breaks.
Whether you’re traveling with little ones that need to run off some energy, or older people that need to ward off cramps and blood clots from sitting too long, it’s important to plan stops every couple hours. We were driving across US 30 and Route 66 so there were plenty of fun roadside attractions and stops along our way to enjoy.
Keep medications handy.
You won’t want to dig through your luggage when it’s time to take medications. Save yourself some time and energy and keep all medications in a day pack in a location that will be easily accessible when needed. It’s also a good idea to keep a list of medications handy with the phone number for healthcare providers.
Pack plenty of water and snacks.
You’ll want to stay hydrated on your trip so pack plenty of water and snacks to take with medications if needed.
Keep any mobility issues in mind when planning activities and lodging.
If your loved one is unsteady on their feet, you probably don’t want them climbing a lot of stairs. If they tire easily, you won’t want them to walk long distances. Keep this in mind not only when planning activities but when reserving lodging or booking hotel rooms or vacation rentals. How far will your loved one need to walk from the parking area to reach the hotel room or property? When at a hotel, ask to see a map of the hotel with the location of your room before you agree on a room number. Are you on the 2nd or 3rd floor? Make sure a working elevator is present. Are handicap rooms available? How far is that walk from the parking lot to the room?
Once in the room or vacation property, remove any potential hazards and leave a light on at night so you can find your way around.
This is so important for little ones and older folks in unfamiliar locations. If you don’t want to leave a light on because it’s too bright, pack a nightlight from home.
Try to stick to a routine.
You may be traveling, but young and old respond best to a routine. Try to stop for meals at the same time of the day and wrap up travel for the evening at the same time. Allow plenty of time to reset and rest so you’re ready to go the next day.
Wear or pack layers.
It doesn’t matter if it’s summer or fall, it’s important to pack layers for comfort. Even with climate control for the driver, passenger and those in the back seat, my minivan was either too hot or too cold.
Don’t forget the neck pillows and blankets.
Neck pillows aren’t just for flying in an airplane. If you tend to doze in the vehicle, a neck pillow can be handy and a small blanket can be the difference between a comfortable ride and a miserable one.
Save a bit of money with a senior or AARP discount.
10% may not seem like much, but when you add that up over the course of a week of hotel rooms, that little bit of money that you save can amount to a nice meal someplace unique or special. Our savings added up to a stop at Lambert’s Café, home of the “throwed rolls” in Missouri, one of my mom and dad’s favorite stops on our entire trip.
Check your dates and double check before purchasing tickets or making reservations for resorts or vacation rentals.
It doesn’t take more than a minute or two to confirm the dates you need tickets for and this simple step could potentially save you a lot of money. Go ahead, ask me how I know.
Make sure your vehicle is road trip worthy.
A visit to your mechanic or local auto center can potentially save you hassle down the road. Make sure your fluids are topped off, belts are looked over for wear and tear, and tire pressure is checked. You’ll also want to be sure that you have a spare tire.
You’ll also want to keep in mind the date of your last oil change. If it’s been a while and you’re nearing the number of miles the manufacturer suggests is optimal for an oil change, you may want to change the oil in your vehicle before or after your road trip.
Do you have any upcoming road trips planned? What tips do you have for planning a fun road trip for all ages?