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How to Enjoy a Vacation With Your Adult Children

Family vacations run the gamut from a mountain cabin shared with mice and other creatures to a retirement celebration in Hawaii. As we jump on planes, trains and automobiles for multigenerational summer sojourns, what can we do to guarantee five-star success?

Family walking on beachI consulted three experienced family vacationers who’ve traveled near and far with adult children and grandchildren in the toddler-to-teen range. All agree that planning is essential. Who pays for what – transportation, meals, rentals, activities – must be discussed in advance. Are the parents picking up the tab or are adult children expected to pay? How much and for what? Clarifying costs will minimize misunderstandings later.

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Location is another key element of vacation bliss, and each spot presents different challenges.

Family home

Twice a year, the adult children of Helen Oxenberg, an advice columnist and retired social worker, vacation at her New Jersey home. Her suggestions:


On the beach or at a lake

When I chatted with Ruth Nemzoff, author of Don’t Roll Your Eyes: Making In-Laws Into Family, she was heading off for a swim with her family on a New Hampshire lake. Her suggestions:


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Tourist destination

This “neutral ground” can inspire family harmony, says Melinda Blau, author of Family Whispering, who recently traveled to Universal Studios Florida with her daughter’s family. Her suggestions:


Mary W. Quigley’s blog, Mothering21, tackles parenting of emerging adults and beyond.

Photo: Neustockimages/iStock

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