That Family Getaway Can Actually be Perfect – Here’s How
By Kelly Luf
It was on a trip to Amsterdam that I first became struck with the notion that memories truly mattered more than material things. In one of the first few rooms inside the Anne Frank House, there was a quote from the young woman herself. When challenged to pack quickly for their time in hiding, she was quoted as saying, “memories mean more to me than dresses.” The quote stopped me in my tracks.
I vowed to focus on experiences and memories. And I was happy to learn, through quick research, that I wasn’t the only one holding this sentiment. In 2017, AARP reported that 57% of its members traveled to connect with family and friends, and the number is steadily growing.
Destination weddings are cornering the bridal market, and reunions are on the rise. A one-day family get-together just isn’t cutting it anymore, and we’re here to help you find the best place to get away with your loved ones for the perfect amount of time – and in a destination you all will love.
Planning a multi-generational trip can be a daunting one, but working with a Travel Associates Luxury Advisor can help set you on the right path. Here are some helpful tips to make sure your planning leads to memories to last a lifetime.
Declare a Group Leader
Too many cooks in the kitchen can be a problem. However, everyone can participate in the planning and have a spot somewhere in the kitchen.
“Sometimes you have a lot of type-A personalities in a family,” Travel Associates Luxury Advisor Teresa Pander says. “And the key is to give everyone a voice and trust the process. For instance, I’m working on a large multi-generational trip to Disney. The grandparents are footing the bill, but each of their adult children has a specific task in the planning process, whether it be setting their FastPasses for the day, or choosing what restaurant to dine in.”
Teresa, who works out of the Travel Associates New Jersey office, stresses the importance of having a decision-maker, but also giving control over to the process. “Sometimes the trip that is being planned might not be exactly how you’d like to allocate your vacation time, but it’s important to me that everyone enjoy it.”
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Many destinations hold interesting sights beyond what they’re known for. A trip to Barbados, for instance, is a great fit for not only a foodie (it’s the only Zagat-rated Caribbean Island), but also for a culture vulture (exploring the Garrison Fort and the oldest synagogue in the Western Hemisphere) or an adventure-seeker (take the Wild Cave tour at Harrison’s Cave, or enlist the services of a local pro to introduce you to kite surfing) as well as the traveler simply anxious to park themselves in a lounge chair with the sand below and the sun above.
Whatever your style – and that includes everyone – there is probably a specific experience to match in the destination you all agree on visiting as a group.
“I can make sure that there is something for everyone,” Teresa promises.
“Breaking bread is always the best time to rehash your day, especially when you have family going in all different directions,” Pander says. “I pay special attention to mealtimes and suggest that dinners be the place where everyone comes together.”
Securing dinner reservations ahead of time is a wise way for the restaurant to be prepared for the size of your party, as well as ensure that the staff goes the extra mile to make certain it’s memorable – in a good way.
Hire an Experienced Planner
“I will call the resort to make sure that all requests are heard and followed through to the best of both of our abilities,” Pander says. “And I’m calling upon your arrival to make sure you’re happy. There is nothing worse than wanting to spend time together and having to traipse across a huge resort to get to one another.”
Another recent trend is residential resorts or villa style accommodations. “There’s nothing like a big, beautiful home away from home,” Pander says with a smile, “and an entire staff there to take your worries away.”
As family getaways are on the rise, so is the luxury in experiencing one. Now is a great time for everyone to make a trip of it together.
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If you’re interested in making some incredible family memories, contact Teresa Pander at 1.888.895.7222 or Teresa.Pander@travelassociates.us for expert guidance.