The Sandwich Generation Family Vacation

Getaways that involve both grandkids and grandparents don’t have to be stressful.

Beverly Beauerman-King, Transat Holidays’ stress and wellness expert, offers some critical ways to ensure your holiday doesn’t degenerate into National Lampoon’s Vacation-level chaos.

Are we there yet?

“Travel time is one of the big stressors for kids because the anticipation is there … but the patience isn’t always,” Beauerman-King says. Prepare the kids for what the actual travel will entail (waits at the airport, long stretches of driving, etc.) and get them to bring toys and games to distract them. In the car, teach the kids to read the GPS so they can track how much longer it is to the next stop.

Timing is everything

Tailor your travel time to your kids’ routine. If they’re impatient in the morning but take naps in the afternoon, plan your departure to coincide with their siesta. Avoid leaving right after work or returning the night before you have to be back at the office. All the rushing around ups the stress levels.

Grandma and Grandpa have needs, too

Choose a destination that caters to everyone, especially if anyone in the party has specific accessibility requirements [by checking with your travel agent.] More frequent rest stops may be necessary. And don’t treat grandparents like built-in babysitters – it’s their vacation, too.

Get real

“All of those same emotions we experience in the day-to-day are probably going to be [on holiday] as well,” Beauerman-King says. When it comes to the kids, tantrums  and fights are going to happen. “But if you’re prepared for it, then it’s easier to anticipate what you’re going to do when it occurs.”