Don’t try to see too much
Scheduling one day of leisure for every three days of activity can give seniors a chance to recharge and young children some free time “just to play in the hotel room,” Wirth said. He also suggests spending more time in fewer places instead of trying to see every city and site because “six-hour car trips are usually not fun for anyone.”
Free time matters
““Everyone doesn’t have to be doing the same things all the time,” said Ms. Fine, who has vacationed with her extended family more than 20 times. She has found that “a combination allows people to spend time together but also do what is important to them.” Young children may get cranky in the afternoon and need a nap. Some adults can do it too. Teenagers may prefer to go shopping rather than visit another museum. Some families segment the day with a group activity in the morning, free time in the afternoon, and then a group dinner.
Cooking is cheaper, but dining out is special
Cooking together can save on food costs and avoid the hassle of making reservations and arranging group transportation, but staying home every night can make the experience less of a vacation, Regenstreif said. “Experiencing food culture and interacting with people is part of the experience” when traveling, she said. A hybrid approach of cooking and dining out usually works, she said. Also consider varying your dining companions, Fine said: “You don’t have to all eat together every night.” The younger generation may want to venture out on their own, or grandparents may want to spend time alone with the grandchildren.
Discuss cost sharing and remember to say thank you.
If one branch of the family, or grandparents, foots the bill, Ms. Regenstreif suggests each part of the group pay for dinner one night, buy snacks on a day of touring or find another way to say thank you. When costs are shared more widely, the family should discuss ahead of time how finances will be handled, she said, “and do it in a way that is comfortable for the group,” whether by taking turns shopping or maintaining more detailed control. spreadsheet of who has been paying for what.
Be aware of health concerns
For minor illnesses, be sure to bring basic medical supplies like a thermometer, pulse oximeter, disposable masks, Covid self-tests and over-the-counter pain relievers like cough medicine, said Rebecca Acosta, a nurse in Manhattan whose Traveler’s Medical Service helps people prepare for travel. If a family member contracts Covid or another contagious virus, the advice is the same as at home, Acosta said: isolate the sick if possible, treat their symptoms and ask them to wear masks in shared spaces. If they have trouble breathing or experience other serious symptoms, take them to an emergency room, and if they have a significant pre-existing condition, see their primary care doctor, Ms. Acosta said. To keep the rest of the family healthy, open the windows to increase fresh air and, if possible, engage in outdoor activities. They are still on vacation, so “try to organize things in a way that you can avoid risks but still have fun,” Ms. Acosta said.