About once a year we borrow my husbands cousins condo in Utah. They are very generous with the use of the condo with all the family and its a beautiful place. It’s part of a fourplex and easily sleeps 14. It sits at 10,000 feet with a killer view and very few neighbors, its quiet and beautiful and in the winter you can sit at the window or on the balcony and watch the skiers. Wow, are we lucky!

This year most of us were together for 4 days, a few of us for a week longer than that. We prepared all our food in advance, we packed games and movies and books, we loaded up teenagers and grown ups and babies and headed to the mountains. We slept late, we stayed up late, we watched the opening ceremonies of the London Olympic games, we went geocaching and hiking and a few lucky people who got to stay longer went to the Utah Shakespearean festival and watched a play. We visited and kissed babies and ate too much. We had popcorn and m&m’s, we sat on the balcony and watched a mountain rain storm complete with thunder and lightening. We laughed and played games while debating whose rules we would play by, and we had a great time.

One of the important things about vacationing with multiple generations is patience. Each person, each family has their own rhythm, their own needs. Make a general plan about the trip, but don’t freak out when it doesn’t happen. Give opportunities to do things but don’t get stuck thinking that every single person needs to do it. The grown siblings wanted an afternoon to shop together in preparation for Christmas, so my husband and I did the grandparent thing and took all the babies for a couple hours. I really wanted to do a family picture, so the night before I let everyone know that when breakfast was over and everyone was ready we’d do a quick picture session before everyone took off for the adventures of the day. Some hiked, some didn’t, some went for a drive, some stayed and played games. Don’t over plan and make such an agenda that you’re stressed or upset when things don’t go your way. Let people visit and laugh and be at ease with each other. Have things prepared for the younger kids so they can stay involved and active, boredom is a bummer.

Mealtimes and cooking and cleaning were all hands on deck, everyone pitched in where needed and therefore it went fast and easy. For some families making assignments for certain days or meals works best, we haven’t gotten there yet. But if assignments work, do it! That way no one is burdened with the work or the money output for meals.

We are very blessed that our kids like each other and us! They get along very well and they have a good time together. They are teaching their kids to get along with each other too. We will all be together for about a week at Christmas this year and they all seem very excited to do it, what a fabulous blessing that is. As a completion to our little vacation we drew names for Christmas. My daughters in law like lots of time to ponder and plan, everyone knows that the planning of anything is the most fun.

All in all we had a great trip this year, I hope we can do it more and more as time goes on. So plan a family trip, with a little prep you can have the most fun together you’ve had in a long time.