How Teens Benefit From Multigenerational Vacations

Multigenerational vacations have really been a key component in helping our teens connect with their extended family members, and especially their grandparents! Whether we’ve been traipsing through a theme park in the pouring rain or laughing until we couldn’t breathe over a game of Chicken Foot in the condo way too late at night (see the video at the end of the post), the memories we’ve created are truly priceless!

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Branson Missouri Multigenerational Vacations Silver Dollar City
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Why we started taking multigenerational vacations…

Our experience with multigenerational vacations all started with our first-ever trip to Disney World back in the year 2000. Henry’s dad had just passed away, and his mom wanted to take all her kids and grandkids to get away and just spend some quality time together. There were a lot fewer of us back then than there are now! Henry’s oldest sibling was the only one who had any kids at that time, and there were a total of 10 people.

Multigenerational Vacation Disney World Animal Kingdom
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We went back to Disney World as a multigenerational group of 18 in 2011! This is a meal we enjoyed at Tusker House Restaurant in Animal Kingdom. Several of the kids are grown now, so it would be neat to go back in a few years (after they start having families of their own) with four generations! - It's a way of life!
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Some of our priceless memories of multigenerational vacations…

Cinderella's Castle Multigenerational Travel Magic Kingdom
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Over the years, Henry’s mom has been with us on several trips, my parents have joined us on a few, and both sides of grandparents have come with us on a couple of trips! I wish I could share photos of all of those past trips with you, but some of them aren’t digitized yet, and most are pretty poor quality. I’ll share some memories from a couple of multigenerational trips we’ve taken in the last few years.

Multigenerational Vacations Sight and Sound Theater Branson
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Back in 2016, we took a spring trip to Branson, Missouri with my parents. We bought season passes to Silver Dollar City, so we went back during the Christmas season to enjoy all the holiday magic. Henry’s mom and step-dad joined us for the second trip. You can’t help but have fun with grandparents like these!

“It’s so much more fun because of all the different personalities!”

Multigenerational Vacations Silver Dollar City
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Last summer, both grandmas joined us for a large group trip to Orlando that we went on with our church for a National Fine Arts Festival. After the kids performed at the festival, we did four days at Disney World. It was a real treat to be with my mama (who is a very young great-grandmother :-)) for her first time ever at Disney! I’d love to go back with all the grandparents and stay a little longer to enjoy it at a slower pace.

Splash Mountain Disney World Multigenerational Vacation Magic Kingdom
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“Getting to have these experiences together gives us lots of good memories!”

Multigenerational Vacations Magic Kingdom Disney World
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So, I wanted to get my teenagers’ perspectives on how multigenerational vacations have benefitted them, and some of their answers were a little unexpected…

“Having extended family around on vacation helps us to get along better with each other.”

Branson Missouri Multigenerational travel Silver Dollar City
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For example, they said that having extended family members around on vacation helps them to get along better with each other. Um…okay. I guess that means they are on their best behavior (well, maybe better behavior) when the grandparents are around.

All the different personalities make it more fun, and they also enjoy hearing all the stories from the past. We’ve got some great storytellers in our family, and I do think some of those stories have been, uh…shall I say, improved, over the years!

“We get to hear all their great stories!”

And I have to say that at least one of my children has inherited that gift of storytelling…

Watch the video below if you want a good belly laugh! (Disclaimer: The neighbors may or may not have called security on us…)

When we lived in Texas, we were just around the corner from our parents, so the kids saw their grandparents all the time. When we moved to Oklahoma, however, it became that much more important to make sure they stayed connected to the older generation of our family. We have found that sharing travel experiences has been the ideal way to create lasting bonds and lifetime memories for all of us! Now to get planning that next multigenerational vacation…!

Now, it’s easier than ever to plan a multigenerational vacation. Everyone can stay comfortably in a common space and share the cost.
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What are some of your favorite multigenerational vacation destinations?

I love to share my passion for family, faith, learning, and adventure! I am a worship pastor's wife, a homeschool mom, a former public school teacher and counselor, and a Ph.D. in educational psychology. My heart is to encourage and support families who are homeschooling kids with ADHD, homeschooling high school, and raising teenagers. I'm so excited for you to follow along on this joyous journey!


  1. Jennifer Reply

    What a beautiful site and such wise words. I agree, the bonding that happens between family members on vacation is truly priceless.

    • Melissa F Reply

      Thank you so much, Jennifer! I really cherish these special times with our family!

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