3 Tips for Planning Family Vacations After the Kids Grow Up

Vacationing with Young Adults: Ideas for the Perfect Family Vacation

Family at seaside on wintry day
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Just because the kids are grown doesn't mean you have to give up family vacations. In fact, as many parents of young adults already know, family vacations can be a lot more fun when the kids get older.

Why Take a Family Vacation with Your Adult Kids?

An increasing number of families with teens, college kids, and 20-somethings continue to vacation together. These trips are "more a luxury than an obligation" to a cash-strapped young adult, says travel guru Donna Airoldi of TravelMuse.com, but there's more at work here than finances.

Today's parents are far more involved in their children's lives than previous generations and many young adults are discovering that working life interferes with family time. They may not be able to get home, for example, for Thanksgiving, so vacation time becomes a chance to reconnect with parents and siblings.

The question is...how do you plan a family trip that appeals to everyone?

Location, Location, Location

When the kids were little, vacations revolved around amusement parks, wading pools, and a museum-free existence. College kids and 20-somethings are adventuresome travel companions and you can take advantage of this.

They love physical adventure, cultural immersion, fine dining, cool shopping and nightlife. They may enjoy some beach time, but they want to mix that with ziplines, surfing, and kayaking. These are activities that Airoldi notes are “great for 20s and parents in their 50s” too.

Bustling cities, such as New York, Seattle, and Montreal are all great choices - check out the "5 Great Vacations for Families with Young Adults" list. So are areas with voluntourism and educational opportunities. Cooking classes in Tuscany, anyone? Or tango lessons in Buenos Aires?

Home Base

Hotels are fine, but don't even think, says Airoldi, of trying to save money by putting everyone in one room!

A better option for families with grown kids may be a villa, condo or apartment rental in a central location. This is both spacious and convenient because everyone can get around on foot or via public transportation.

Rentals also tend to be less expensive and more comfortable than booking a series of hotel rooms. There is plenty of room for lounging and sleeping and a kitchen gives you the thrifty option of a few homecooked meals.

Try Vacation Rentals by Owners (VRBO), Homeaway.com or simply Google the name of the city and the words "vacation rental" to find city-specific possibilities.

Scheduling

You have picked a great city with ample opportunities for entertainment, now let everyone enjoy it!

Don't overschedule your time, says Airoldi. Plan on some togetherness, but realize that half the fun lies in spontaneity. You are traveling with grown-ups now and when a fun, new experience presents itself, you should all feel free to take advantage of it!