Sunday, March 29, 2015

Five reasons why the beach is ideal for multi-generational travel #vacation

A beach vacation is an ideal choice for vacationers of all ages.

My family has enjoyed a multi-generational beach vacation for the past six years. We love family travel. Months prior to departure, we select a vacation rental condo after searching specifically for  layout, location, and rates that suit our varied needs. Each household packs up their vehicle and we all drive from our home state at our own pace, meeting up eventually at our family vacation destination.

Five reasons why a beach vacation is ideal for multi-generational family travel:

#1 - Vacation rentals
Beach destinations have hundreds of vacation rental properties. Websites such as VRBO or HomeAway allow future vacationers to search many listings at once with their own specific parameters and easily get in touch with the property owner or management company. Our family uses vacation rentals to customize the living space that fits our growing family. Number of bedrooms, number of bathrooms, types of beds (queen, king, bunk), pool access, beach access, parking availability, wi-fi... all of these are important considerations for us. Vacation rentals allow us to have togetherness for morning breakfast and evening game time while also providing privacy via our own sleeping and bathroom spaces for a family vacation that is free of elbow jabs and cramped quarters.  

#2 - Sand
The smallest children may hate the sand at first. I remember one family vacation where Amelia would not remove her shoes. But by around age one, sand is lots of fun! Spread a blanket on the beach, hand a toddler a shovel and bucket, and see what happens! Older children can dig a big hole, bury Mom or Dad, or work on a sand castle creation. Other family members can enjoy exercise with a walk on the sand or hunting for seashells. (If the sand is a no-go for the little ones, make them a fun space on a blanket underneath an umbrella with lots of toys and favorite snacks. Food always helps!)

#3 - Ocean
Toddlers often enjoy running away from the water as it laps up onto the beach, jumping the tiny, rippling waves, or slapping their toes down into a shallow tide pool. School-age kids who love to swim usually enjoy riding the waves with a float, swimming, or tossing a ball around in the surf. Adults can take in the sound of the ocean and feel stress dissolve as night time quiets the joyful squeals of day.

#4 - Food
If you are usually based inland like we are, there is something special and exciting about real beach seafood while traveling with family. It is delicious and different than the usual chain establishments all over the rest of the country. The children can try something new, like a fish and chips basket or hush puppies, or they can stick with their old standby selections. Beach restaurants are generally very family-friendly. The parents and grandparents can savor tastes and flavors that are not naive to home. It is a lot of fun to try new restaurants on vacation!

#5 - Sunshine
Hopefully, your multi-generational beach vacation will have plenty of sunny days. The sun is beloved by all of us - big, small, older, or younger. If you have a chance to take a family vacation to a warm beach area during the off season, you will really enjoy leaving cold behind to soak up some well-deserved rays. 

For a family vacation with little kids, big kids, parents, and grandparents, I definitely think a beach destination is ideal. Some of our southern east-coast favorites are Hilton Head Island and Amelia Island, and we also love Destin, Florida on the gulf coast. A beach vacation has something for everyone and allows each person their own freedom to have fun in their own way. I wish we could pack up and go right now!

hunting for ghost crabs at night

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