Vacationing with grandma and grandpa is all the rage

family travel cattle drive
A dude ranch is one good place to take a multi-generational trip.

Thanks to generous grandparents, multi-generational family getaways have become a major trend in travel.

Nearly half of all vacations taken by both grandparents and parents include other family members, according to a recent survey by Preferred Hotel Group. And 91% of millennials said they try to take an annual multi-generational trip.

"In many cases, grandparents are footing the bill," said Lindsey Ueberroth, president and CEO of the luxury hotel chain. "Boomers are healthier and wealthier and want to spend more time with their grandchildren and they know this will make that happen."

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But it's not just about tagging along on grandma's vacation since millennial-aged travelers play a major role in planning the trips. "Families are hitting the beaches, spending more time outdoors and really pushing themselves to bond together," said Tim Larison, co-founder of Family Travel Gurus.

An extended family escape can create life-long memories, but if they aren't planned and executed properly, they can turn into a total nightmare. Here are the rules experts recommend following:

Set a point person. Too many cooks in the vacation-planning kitchen is a recipe for indecision.

"Make one person the point person, especially if you are working with an agent," said Larison.

Having one person in charge of making reservations limits confusion, but that doesn't hand over the itinerary planning reins completely.

Solicit ideas for activities and consider giving each person a day to plan to help keep everyone happy.

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"Also, if grandma is paying, make sure you know what she wants out of the trip if you want this to become a tradition," said K-K Afre, a manager for Expedia CruiseShipCenters.

Pick the right destination. When trying to decide the best place to get away, look at the oldest and youngest travelers.

"Evaluate everyone who is going and their walking ability; strollers and wheelchair needs should play a role in choosing a destination that will accommodate everyone," said Afre.

Finding out whether people want a relaxing beach trip versus a more activity-filled getaway will help narrow down the destination contenders.

Talk about money... a lot. If the cost of the trip is being split among the family members, set the budget before making any reservations.

"It might be uncomfortable, but make sure you know how much each family or individual is willing to pay. Make sure to include costs like food, tips and costs for excursions," said Laura Motta, director of publishing at ShermansTravel.

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There are many ways to accommodate different budgets on the same vacation like having different levels of hotel rooms available, sharing rental cars and not making every meal a mandatory together time.

Plan a couple of big events. Vacationers shouldn't expect to spend the entire time together, but experts recommend scheduling at least one big excursion.

"An activity like a private guided tour, boat trip or dolphin swim -- those are the things that are going to leave a lasting memory," said Afre.

Give each other space. When booking the lodging, sharing a wall might not be the best idea.

"We recommend unless you are traveling with small children that you have a little space between rooms," said Afre. "Maybe on the same floor, but two to three doors down. A little space is always a good idea."

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