Generational Travel: Tips for Vacationing with the whole Family

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One of the best perks of retirement is the abundance of free time to spend with family. Unfortunately though, it can often be a challenge to get everyone together under one roof. Sometimes a planned vacation is the only way to guarantee everyone being free, but that can come along with its own set of challenges. The travel experts at Choice Hotels Canada are helping bring families together by sharing some tips to simplify the process from planning to packing:

  • Safety first: Kids are no strangers to bumps and scratches, so make sure to pack a basic first aid kit with Band-Aids and ointment to take care of any cuts.
  • Comforts from home: Small children can sometimes become overwhelmed when on the road and at a new destination. Make sure to pack their favourite security blankets or stuffed animals so they can get relief from a comfort from home if needed.
  • Leave room for down time: Although it’s normal to want to see all the sights, make sure to leave time in your schedule without any set plans.  Whether you use it for exploring or nap time, you and the kids will appreciate the flex time.
  • Make friends with Ziploc: These are so many uses for resealable bags, from breaking up pre-planned outfits – which will help avoid over packing – to using them to separate the dirty clothes from clean.
  • Check out the facilities ahead of time: Plan ahead for attraction you’re visiting to check out what facilities are offered on-site. From washrooms to elevators and ramps, particularly if you’re bringing a stroller or a member of your group has mobility difficulties.
  • Medication reminders: Keep a list of medications required on you to ensure they are not forgotten and also put reminders in your cellphone so no one forgets while enjoying the sights!
  • Late-night sitter services: If you plan a late night without kids, remember the grandparents aren’t babysitters – especially when on vacation! Consider using a babysitting service like Nannies on Call which caters to major cities across Canada,from Edmonton to Halifax. 

Family-Friendly Attractions

With your tips for planning in-hand, now’s the time to figure out where you want to go. There are attractions cross-country for every type of family – from the adventure seekers to the food fanatics. Below are a few favourites:


Foodie Family

  • Vancouver Food Truck Tour, Vancouver, British Columbia: If you’re heading to or live on the West Coast, you’ll enjoy a visit to this mobile eatery. For $49 guests can enjoy a two hour tour of Vancouver’s top-rated food trucks, indulging in four courses, and five tastings. Plus if you need a nap afterwards, consider booking at the Comfort Inn Downtown, which is within walking distance (or a two minute drive) from the starting location.
  • Cows Creamery Tours, Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island: On the other side of the country is another dairy-friendly tour to be tasted. This family-friendly attraction allows guests to taste the “World’s” best ice cream, COW Chips and cheese. For value-driven accommodations, check out the Quality Inn & Suites in downtown Charlottetown,where a stay includes passes to CARI complex, which features two swimming pools and a waterslide, perfect for kids to work off excess energy!

Beach-loving Family

  • Ingonish Beach, Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia: Surrounded by stunning natural scenery, this beach is right on the ocean and a great stop-off for families of all ages. Breathe in the refreshing salty air and enjoy the comfortably warm waters perfect for swimmers or travellers who just want to dip in their toes.
  • Sandbanks Provincial Park, Prince Edward County, Ontario:This region is known for more than its wineries, it’s also a lovely stop-off for families exploring central Canada. Enjoy water activities like windsurfing, for adrenaline junkies, or boating for those looking to enjoy the water without raising their blood pressure. The park also offers food events and fairs, so there’s no need to pack a picnic.

Outdoors Adventure Family

  • Glamping, Tofino Village, Vancouver Island, British Columbia:  Glamping isn’t just for high-maintenance women, it’s also a great option for families who want to get close to nature without getting their hands dirty. Here you can experience the wilderness like you would camping, but with the luxury of cottaging. Really, it’s the best of both worlds.
  • Montreal Botanical Garden, Montreal, Quebec: Fun for kids, parents and grandparents, this green attraction is considered one of the biggest and most beautiful gardens in the world and features a collection of 22,000 species, 10 exhibition greenhouses, a Tree House and more.  If you’re looking to stay downtown, the Clarion is in the heart of the action on popular Crescent Street.

With a little bit of planning, you’ll find travelling with the whole family isn’t as complicated as you may think. Plus you can save money when booking your accommodation by signing up for a hotel loyalty program like Choice Privileges, which has some of the fastest redemption rates in the industry.

Special rates for CARP members!