If the first place that comes to mind when you think of a family vacation is Disney World, your summer trip needs a refresh. While it may be the happiest place on earth, it’s far from the only family-friendly destination that will keep everyone from the youngest grandchild to the oldest grandparent happy and entertained.
A vacation to Zion National Park is a great chance for the whole family to relax and unwind, get up-close and personal with nature, and spend quality time together without waiting in line for rides or bumping elbows with crowds watching a fireworks show. Not to mention the opportunities for everything from education to jaw-dropping excitement that you’ll find in and around the park. If you’re ready to treat your family to the ultimate vacation, keep reading to learn a few tips for planning a multi-generational trip.
Start Your Trip Off on the Right Foot
Road tripping to Zion can be a good way to see parts of the west that few see. No matter which direction you’re coming from, you’ll pass stunning natural landscapes and plenty of quirky towns. But extended road trips can be tricky when you have more than 4 or 5 people along. Add in young children or older family members, and it gets even harder.
To start, you would need a vehicle large enough for everyone or multiple vehicles. Cramming into one large van might be more economical and easier to coordinate, but it can also lead to arguments before your vacation even truly gets started. But driving multiple vehicles means caravanning across the country and having to decide when and where to stop together.
The last thing you want is for everyone to arrive at your destination on each others’ nerves. If you do decide to drive, plan your route and stops ahead of time. Make sure that everyone has enough space to be comfortable for the length of your drive. You can also plan some car ride activities, like license plate bingo or trivia to keep everyone entertained.
Make an Itinerary
When you’re traveling with just your immediate family, you might not need to do a ton of planning ahead of your trip. You can have a list of things you want to do, and then decide the night before what you want to do each day. When you’re traveling with a group that has various needs and ability levels, this last-minute planning won’t work.
There are plenty of activities that your whole family will be able to enjoy together. But other activities may require your group to split up into smaller units. Planning an itinerary ahead of time will allow you to find activities that suit everyone, while still leaving time for the things that you want to do together.
Find Activities for Everyone
Before you can create that itinerary, you’ll need to find activities for every age group you’ll have along. You likely won’t have much trouble finding plenty of things for each individual group to do. Older children and active adults will enjoy hiking. Older adults may find wandering the art galleries of Springdale or going shopping an ideal way to spend an afternoon. There are also plenty of easy hikes where little kids can get their energy out.
But activities that everyone can enjoy together are a little less common. A few great options include:
- Visiting the Zion Human History Museum
- Taking a Jeep tour through Zion
- Go horseback riding
- Ride the Zion Shuttle through the canyon, stopping at overlooks
- Pack a picnic lunch and eat it in the park
- Visit the St. George Dinosaur Discovery Area
Choose the Right Lodging
Where you choose to stay during your family vacation is just as important as how you get there and what you do during your trip. Picking a hotel where everyone in your group will be happy and comfortable means that no one gets a bad night’s sleep and winds up grumpy the next day. Also, when you’re traveling with a large group, planning downtime at the hotel is an easy way to give everyone a chance to relax, take a nap, or otherwise unwind in between activities. A hotel with plenty to do on-site means that no one will get bored.
Cliffrose Lodge is the ultimate family-friendly destination. A playground keeps little ones entertained. Beautiful grounds are perfect for an afternoon or evening walk with the whole family. A spa (coming soon) is ideal for adult members of the group who want to relax. A swimming pool and hot tub are perfect for the whole family to cool off in together.
You’re also going to want to make sure that you have plenty of room for everyone. Cliffrose’s villas and suites make it easy to travel with a larger group. Plus, you’ll get a kitchen or efficiency that’s ideal for preparing meals for your family, helping you save time, money, and avoid the stress of dining out with too many people.
Planning the Ultimate Family Vacation
Planning a vacation that your entire family will enjoy, from grandchildren to grandparents and everyone in between, doesn’t have to be a challenge. Opting for a national park visit rather than yet another amusement part is not only a great chance to save some money but also an opportunity to spend real quality time together. Away from crowds, lines, and constant hustle from one place to the next, your family will be able to talk, relax, and enjoy each other’s company, which is what your vacation should be all about in the first place.