Recently, we headed down to the Dominican Republic with the grandparents in tow. We headed to Dreams Resorts, which is an all-inclusive resort in Punta Cana. This is now our seventh trip as a multigenerational crew, and I wouldn't have it any other way.
To see your own children with your parents experiencing a new city or new food or a new adventure is one of my greatest pleasures. When you take everyone out of their daily environments and routines it is like a breath of fresh air washing all over you.
I am not saying that everything is perfect and at times, we can even look like a hot mess debating over restaurants and activities, but that is why you can break off into small groups much more easily too. Quite often, my son and husband and dad will want to golf or snorkel, where us girls and Nana are left with more artsy adventures or seashell collecting.
The key to multigenerational travel is keeping the agenda light and knowing that these are precious moments that do not last forever. I also reflect upon how much my parents did for me as a kid and I want so badly to return that favor. So having them join on our family vacations is not only meaningful, but my way of saying thank you.
The other bonus to this traveling crew is that there is built-in babysitting. I find that my husband and I can take a break and go out for dinner or even have an evening alone. It is hard to have a family vacation and also somehow give oneself a vacation at the same time. The grandparents are the secret weapons for this. Even if you are still "on duty," having another set of eyeballs on your kids whether it is sandcastle building or just swimming pool monitoring is extremely helpful. I found that I actually read an entire book this last vacation.
Yes, there are amazing kids clubs too. I have experienced them at Dreams Resorts and Beaches Resorts. However, still being able to all be together during the day on a family vacation is important to me. I don't want to take a family vacation and not see my children at all.
The bottom line is you need to be appreciative when you are a multigenerational traveling crew. It is about time together and we all know time is fleeting especially when it comes to our grandparents.