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Generational Travel Is Still a Thing—and It’s Fun for Everyone

Travel advisor Angie Herdman shares all the details. 

If you want to make memories with family, a good vacation checks all the right boxes. You can experience a place you’ve never been or return to a well-loved destination. It’s planning activities that you might not normally do, trying new foods, seeing landmarks you’ve only read about, or doing a whole lot of nothing and being perfectly happy. And, while travel continues to be on the upswing, one trend has gained a lot of popularity in recent years and shows no signs of slowing—generational travel. 

We spoke with travel advisor Angie Herdman of Intentional Itineraries to get the ins and outs of a trip with extended family, why it’s popular, and some of the best places to go with everyone in tow. 

Whether families are heading to an all-inclusive in the Yucatan Peninsula or are having a travel expert like Herdman help them plan a trip to Europe, the consistent factor is a desire for quality time. “A major trend right now is getting grandparents, their children, and their children's children all together just to spend more time together and do something active that makes memories. People want to focus more on time these days—on memories that last forever—instead of gifts that will fade away,” she says. 

A big part of generational travel is figuring out a location that’ll work for everyone, Herdman advises. “It’s about matching the group with the experiences they want to have. So I ask a lot of questions: Why do you travel? What's the best vacation you've ever been on? What was it about that vacation wouldn't didn't do like, you know, what do you like to do as a family in your free time?” she says.

If having everything at your fingertips sounds appealing, Herdman recommends looking for an all-inclusive that caters to large groups. “A beach resort like the Grand Velas is geared towards the multigen group. Families can book large villas with room for everyone, and the daily calendar is filled with things to do. They've got activities at night; they've got activities during the day like painting sandcastle building trivia, and crafts, and they just remodeled their kid’ and teen clubs. And the food is amazing there,” she says. 

Regarding adventure travel, Costa Rica has seen an uptick in vacationers in the past years. Herdman says places like El Silencio Lodge Costa Rica, where you can zipline, enjoy waterfall repelling, take a horseback ride through the rain forest or by an active volcano, and go white water rafting are very popular. 

Another type of generational travel Herdman has consistently planned for clients is educational and cultural trips. “In Ireland, there are some really neat things that you can do program-wise. You can meet with a genealogist before you travel and they create a package and take you to where your ancestors lived. They might find long-lost cousins or different little villages to travel to that bring your family history to life,” she says. 

In Italy, Herdman has found cooking classes and fresco painting sessions, and once she arranged a goat farm tour and cheese-making class in France for a family with little ones. “Anything hands-on that the family can do together is ideal. You don’t want to separate too much because it defeats the purpose of traveling together,” she explains. 

In Herdman’s opinion, there’s no sign of generational travel slowing down. “It's fun to see grandchildren see their grandparents travel and be able to introduce new places and new experiences. And for grandparents to see what it's like in their grandkids' lives now. It also gives the parents in the middle a little break, to relax”

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