As I learned this summer on my travels through New Hampshire, multigenerational traveling is not always easy. As I discovered when my big dog ate the last twenty pieces of my nieces incomplete jig saw puzzle off the coffee table, even the family dog needs her own personal space when on vacation. Here are a few tips for keeping your crew happy and healthy.
1. Pack everyone in the family his/her own labeled water bottle. This is a sure way to monitor that everyone is getting enough fluids. Try to do refills at the same time for all so that you can make sure no one is getting dehydrated.
2. Include everyone in the planning of the trip and try to make sure that there's something to suit everyone's interest. On the day you take the kids to the theme park, make sure that other family members that aren't into the rides can attend a museum, hike a trail or just kick back with a good book.
3. New places often mean new germs. Insist on everyone using hand sanitizer and antibacterial wipes. You will not have a good time if you are all sick.
4. Respect the way others in your family are raising their own kids. You don't have to like it, but it's really not about you here.
5. Pack plenty of family games: Monopoly, Life, Candy Land, Headbands and Smart Ass are among my favorites.
6. Allow everyone their own personal space when possible. 24/7 is a long time to be together so when you have time to do your own thing, go for it.
7. Don't be offended when old Aunt Helen tells you what you're doing wrong with your new baby. She actually thinks she's being helpful sharing her wisdom and experience.
8. Think twice before letting the kids eat that deep fried Oreo. Keeping healthy snacks on hand will prevent a lot of tummy aches and pit stops, but since travel always almost means encounters with new foods, supplementing your child's diet with a probiotic like Culturelle will cut down on the digestive disruptions of travel.
9. Pack prizes from the Dollar store. Everyone loves to win a contest such as: most state license plates seen; longest baseball hit, and; how many pennies in Grandma's purse? Make them up as you go along.
10. Remember travel in itself is an adventure. Be open to detours, unexpected delays and bumps in the road.
I was compensated for this post. All opinions expressed are my own.