How to have a fun, multigenerational family vacation
Discuss who pays for what.
When traveling with family, “there is very little money going up” to the older generation, Madonna Harrington Meyer, a sociologist at Syracuse University and author of “Grandmothers at Work,” found in her research.
Grandparents by default often take note, especially when the kids are visiting, but grandparents can be close or retired. Accommodation costs may increase with each in-laws and grandchildren.
Senior Morgans used to take on vacation rentals, until their growing family meant bigger homes at higher prices. Now they are asking each family to pay a fifth.
However, in recent years, Donna and David Bolls, who live in Charlotte, NC, have accepted a girl’s invitation to join her family at a cabin on Seabrook Island, South Carolina. She declined their offer to pay part of the rent for the week.
“We try to take the check if we go out to eat,” said Ms Bolls, 65. “Sometimes we share the races. We don’t want them to foot the whole bill, even though they can afford it. Caring for their grandchildren, 5 year old twins, helps balance the ledger.
Beware of old models.
“People tend to fall back into their usual roles without thinking,” said Sally Tannen, an early childhood educator who has led the parenting and grandparents workshops for years at 92nd Street Y in Manhattan.
Adult children may regress, expecting their parents to take care of them and their children. “But you’re an adult now,” Ms. Tannen noted. Likewise, grandparents can be expected to be in charge, a recipe for conflict in nearby neighborhoods. “We’ve always been the caregivers, and it’s hard to let go,” she said. “We like to be in control. “