Vacation ideas for three generations

My mom has invited me to create a vacation (at her expense) for her, my son, and me. My mom is 76 and has mild arthritis in her knees. I am 42, and my son is 6 (and just as wild and imaginative as you would want a 6yo boy to be :knight2:).

The budget is open, and we’ve considered things like cruises in various parts of the world, trips to Alaska, Lourdes, Fatima, Rome, or even taking an RV and traveling for a couple weeks. I don’t generally go on vacations, and never really wanted to go on a cruise, but that seems like a good idea for my mom and my son to both have activities up to their speed. Going in a small RV sounds like fun for seeing the country and spending time together.

But I’d like some other ideas as well, either in the contiguous US or out of it. My son loves to be active, but also loves nature. We both love to hike, but obviously my mom won’t be able to do that.

Cruises? RV trip? Other ideas? I’d love to hear from personal experience, or just the great ideas you might have!



Hmm, my Husband’s family rents cabins by a lake for a week and fish, hike, do things in the near by areas, like tour wineries, go to a pizza place and window shop in historic down towns. Everyone goes Grandparents (One greatgrandpa) Children and babies. But there are a lot of people so having such an open ended vacation works.

Some national parks (I’m thinking specifically of Rocky Mountain National Park and Grand Canyon) have hiking trails for all ability levels. Rocky Mountain National Park (near Estes Park, CO) is simply beautiful–wildlife, fishing, shopping, hiking, etc. Go in the fall and you’ll see more elk than you’ve ever seen in your life! Grand Canyon has a shuttle for the Rim Trail hike… the path is fairly level and a free shuttle makes the rounds of seven scenic spots every 15 minutes. It’s fairly close by to other places of interest as well. That’s where our family (ages 10 to 75) will be spending a week this August!

Well, in my experience as a mother and grandmother, taking a 6 year old on an extended RV trip may be a bit much if he is really active and doesn’t like to sit still in a vehicle for too long. Have you considered a trip to DisneyWorld? It can be pretty expensive, but often you can get good deals with travel agents. Probably not more expensive than all of you going to Europe. Off-season is the best time to go. You don’t have to keep up a frantic pace if you don’t want to, just visit the parks and attractions you want to, and make it leisurely.(Or you can purchase a pass where you can visit all the parks at any time.) I’ve been there a number of times with my children when they were young and now my grandchildren and have seen many older people there enjoying things. We usually took a rest period at the hotel if we started to get tired and let the kids swim in the hotel pool or took a nap, then had dinner and returned for some evening events. Disney is very accomodating for it’s guests, I’ve found. Of course, I’m a bit predjucided, as a trip to Disney is my favorite vacation in the whole world.:slight_smile:

You could try a nice resort like Atlantis in the Bahamas or Walt Disney World in Orlando. For some more ideas, you can stop into any travel agency and pick up some brochures for free. An agency can also take care of all the details for you, especially if your Mom has mobility issues.:juggle:

We’re Disney junkies, too. :smiley: We do Disneyland in California, though, since it’s a shorter drive from Arizona.

I love all kinds of vacations, but cruises offer special advantages for an age-diverse family.

Having been on a cruisetour to Alaska a couple of years ago, I highly recommend it for adults (a link to my photos is in my signature block), but I’m not sure how that would go over for a six-year-old.

One advantage to something like a Caribbean cruise is that the weather is better than Alaska, bigger ships mean a lot more guided activities for kids, and there’s a ton of things to do for everyone. The scenery isn’t bad, either (though nothing like Alaska). You can spend as much or as little time together as you like.

There are cruise lines to every taste–for example, Carnival tends to attract partiers; Royal Caribbean (my favorite) is more subdued, Princess is more upscale, and the joke about Holland America is that it’s for senior citizens…and their parents.

Since you’ve got the budget to splurge a little, get a cabin with a balcony and be prepared for some relaxing views as you sail along.

If a cruise isn’t to your taste, you could rent a condo at the beach and relax, fish, eat, swim, all that good stuff.

I vote for the cruise, especially if you do one catered to kids, such as a Disney cruise. On a cruise, you will have all manner of things to do available to you, and there will be something appealing to all age ranges. You can do some activities together and also spend some time individually, if you want. I think it’s the perfect vacation to accomodate the diversity in age and physical ability of your son and your mother.

we have done multi-generational family vacations for the last few years, we have learned
limit hours in car or plane for the very young and the oldsters, we have to watch our circulation, and toddlers just can’t be expected to sit still that long

sightseeing can’t be just looking, it has to be interactive and appeal to all ages, which is why Disney works, the surrounding stuff not necessarily the rides which appeal only to a few in the group. There had better be something for the non-ride lovers to do and enjoy.

what works best to us is to stay at a central location that is resort-y with at least swimming, some nature, some kid friendly activities, room enough for all to get a good night’s sleep (quiet place for little ones and grandma to nap), and make it central to a range of activities that appeal to all–golf, riding, museums or historical sites, fishing, and so forth, and plan a couple of group outings to a family venue. Myrtle Beach was a success, for instance. In Orlando we found the kids were content with a day at Disney, and spent a lot of the time in the pool and game rooms at the resort and we found so much outside the theme parks we had never known was there.

San Antonio, Texas! You got SeaWorld, Six Flags Fiesta Texas, the Riverwalk, the Mission Trail, the Alamo, the zoo, camping in the Hill Country, and you’re an hour or less away from two other major cities with lots of attractions (Houston and Austin) and a couple hours’ drive from Corpus Christi!

A three-generation cruise in the Carribbean nearly 20 years ago is still talked about by ALL THREE GENERATIONS in our family. I’m hoping to be able to see a four-generation cruise within the next few years . . .

THANK YOU for all the wonderful feedback! I spoke with my mom briefly this evening, and she would definitely prefer a cruise or all-inclusive type of vacation. So a cruise or theme park may be the direction we’re headed for this one. Never thought I’d be considering going on a cruise! :eek: (I get seasick just looking at the ocean!)

More ideas and suggestions are welcome :slight_smile:

Thanks again!


Not sure where the columbines are growing, lol…

We are not “Disney people” but we have been to Busch Gardens in Williamsburg, VA a couple of times, and we all loved it. Not as hot as Florida, not as crowded either. Rides for all ages or just really lovely places to sit and watch everything including musical shows. It is beautifully done up as different countries and there is a train and a sky ride to get you around the park so “traveling” from country to country is not a problem. Different food places for each country make meals not as boring too…

Colonial Williamsburg is nearby and lots to see and do there too, although it does involve more walking. There is a water park nearby as well. You can find info on the internet and there are package deals for tickets for the area attractions.

Have a great time wherever you end up going! :slight_smile:

I’ve never been on a cruise either - that sounds DREAMY! :slight_smile:

My DH has the travel bug… so we’re always visiting new cities and seeing the local sites… but it’s hardly a RELAXING vacation - ever… we’re ALWAYS on the GO, up early, seeing sites, driving wherever our rental car can take us… WHEW - that cruise is sounding more and more like a nice, relaxing time!

We’re Disney junkies too… and have annual passes - it’s a FABULOUS place and works well for all ages - definitely should be on your short list.

Have fun deciding!!!

For those who have been on cruises, did you get seasick? Could you even feel the motion of the ship?


That would be colorful Colorado, where the columbine is our state flower, as well as the subject of possibly the most un-singable state song!


I didn’t get seasick on any of the cruises I’ve taken, but on one cruise some people aboard did–during a *very *rough storm we sailed through. It’s pretty rare, though, and there are medications you can take to prevent it.

You can feel the motion of the ship–it’s like being on a train or an airplane or any other moving thing. I kind of like it; a subtle rhythm that makes me feel that I’m actually going someplace!


Two word:

Carribean Cruise. :thumbsup:

National Parks get my vote!

There’s also a wristband that lessens or eliminates motion sickness. My husband used one all the time, while flying small planes during our insanely intense Phoenix summers, since it gets really hot in those itty bitty, non-pressurized, non-air conditioned cabins. For him, being uncomfortably warm increased his motion sickness.

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