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How to Make a Vacation Fun for a Family Traveling with Grandma

Are you planning a summer vacation with the family and invited your mom to join?  It seems like a good idea, right? But is it? You’ll need to explore a few things before commiting to both Grandma and the kids.

It’s fun to imagine having the whole family on a group getaway; one that includes grandparents. Here are a few suggestions on what types of vacations are fun for people seven to 70.

Grandma wants togetherness and making memories, and the kids want fun. When spending time together on the road or in the air, nothing can beat a blend of these three desires. 

No matter how elaborate the trip, the first step is plan early and thoroughly.

Rule 1: Keep it Simple

Plan a trip that doesn’t require a lot of logistics, it’ll be your saving grace. Select a popular cruise, or an all inclusive resort that provides activities for the entire family, even your mom.

Avoid roadtrips to national parks like the Grand Canyon. Hours in a car with antsy kids and an older person cramped in a car will create a lot of complaining and screams for unnecessary stops. It’ll turn from leisure to nightmare fast.

Create a vacation with one location; one that offers a home base with activities for all. Go this route and avoid the car nightmare. The family can find plenty of things to do right outside the front door. These include a condo at the beach or golf resort, a beach house, or a cabin in a park or dude ranch.

Don’t worry, you’ll have time to enjoy one another at the end of the day.

Rule 2: Plan Activities

Make a list of activities, pasttimes, and things each person can do for entertainment, exercise, and sightseeing. Remember, individuals make up the family unit and each person enjoys different things. Not everyone will enjoy doing cannonballs in the pool, especially Grandma.

Pay attention to the weather forecast and be flexible. Don’t get stuck outside visiting the zoo while it’s raining cats and dogs. Nor do you want the family at beach in a thunderstorm.

Don’t be the Gestapo, there’s no need to accomplish every activity on the list. Lighten up, it’s a vacation. If someone elects to sit in and read a book instead of visiting a museum, it’s okay split into several groups.  The family will resume again at dinnertime. Make that a fun activity for all.

Rule 3: Be aware of an older person’s needs

There’e little concern traveling with an older person who is healthy and in great shape. But if your mother has several chronic conditions requiring medications and relies on a wheelchair for mobility, then serious planning is in order.

Check into medical facilities before arrival – get to know the city and locate the hopsital. Prepare for an emergency, just in case one is needed.

Learn about all medications your mom is taking, for example does one require refrigeration?

Will your parent need assistance with activities of daily living like getting dressed, help with bathing, or grooming? If so, contact a local home health care services company before you arrive to order services in advance.

Plan for transporting a person who is wheelchair-bound: How will the individual get from the curb to the airport gate? From the lobby to the room? In and out of the hotel tub?

Know your own limits and do not take on more than you can handle.

If extra care is needed, then hire a caregiver to help with the tasks you’d rather not do.

Abandon all other vacation options and select a cruise. It might be the best fit for an older adult. Schedule a few days for yourself when you get home. You’ll need it.

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