When Boomers Travel With Millennials: Lessons Learned

Usually when we travel, it’s just Mike and I.  It’s a pretty easy gig–1 suitcase, 1 backpack, a fanny pack , 2 meals,  drinks at 4 and itinerary planned.  I worry about him, he worries about me, simple as that.
But like I said in my last post, “Retirement is for the FEARLESS, not the fearful” and that means stepping out of your comfort zone.  So we decided to shake things up a bit.  We took these 21 year olds with us to London last week, my nephew Corey and my daughter Gabriella.  There was never a dull moment, and I think we laughed for 7 days solid.

But let’s face it, boomers and millennials don’t usually have the same interests.   We knew that and altered our ‘routine’.  We didn’t plan it out like we usually do.  We decided on a more ‘organic’ route.  Here’s a few things we learned about traveling with millennials.

1.  Museum or Zoo?

Now let’s be honest, I don’t think a zoo would be on our travel plans.  But, what you think would be fun and what they think would be fun many times aren’t the same.  The National Gallery would have been our number one pick. But the zoo turned out to be a great time for all of us.  Bottom line, have an open mind, and an open itinerary.

2.  Their Batteries Don’t Run Out


Here’s what I discovered, they run on food and not sleep.  They go to bed late, and if you let them–get up late.  We go to bed early and get up early.  So plan your days accordingly.  Compromises have to be made.  Mike and I would go back to the hotel and they would go back out–usually to eat.  We were usually off to start our day by 10 am.  That worked for us.

3.  They Are Eating Machines


I think Mike and I gained 10 pounds each.  I have never eaten so much in my life—I take that back, when I was 21 years old, I could eat like that.  Just be prepared, it’s 3 meals and snacks all day, everyday.

4.  It’s All About Having Fun


We love history, castles, museums, culture–all that tourist stuff.   But sometimes you get so hung up on it–you forget that having fun is also an important part of travel.  These guys were all about the fun and we were fine with that.   There are many ways to see a country.

5.  Let Things Happen Organically

Lucky for us these are great kids.  So after the day at the zoo, they were happy to do something we wanted to do.  Four hours of  walking around The Tower of London is like a disco party for Mike and I.   The millennial twins–not so much.  We realized that at hour two.  We quickly changed gears spent a couple hours at The Tower of London, walked over the bridge and then off to the pub for yet another meal.   All great things to do in London.  Everyone was happy.

In the end, it turned out to be a great trip.  It was nice for Mike and I, to slow down, relax, and just enjoy the city.  I think the key to ‘generational traveling’ (did I just make up a saying?) is that you have to compromise.

There are no hard and fast rules except to enjoy yourself.  And of course celebrate the fact that your young adults still enjoy your company !!


Mike and Donna have been slowly and blissfully exploring the world since 2017. Slow Travel has changed their lives forever. They will never go back to that fast-paced travel lifestyle again. Not only do they practice slow travel but also slow living. Leave a comment! They would love to hear from you….


  1. Anonymous
    August 2, 2017 / 2:02 am

    It’s sounds like a great trip. Just keep in mind that after they turn 21 it’s harder to plan family vacations. 😔 Love the blog.

    • August 2, 2017 / 2:39 pm

      Thank you Anonymous! (My last anonymous was my sister in law) Hopefully I am not telling you something you don’t know …..Yes– so true. Lucky for me I have a very close knit family. This is actually my baby– I have 2 older kids that are married and live close by and visit often. Our nest never really empties–we have to travel to get away!!! Hahahahaha. Thanks for reading.

  2. August 9, 2017 / 5:20 am

    Great post 👍 We would love to travel with our adult children. But not sure they want to travel with us 😂 Love how you were flexible, made compromises, and everyone happy. Sounds like you all had a ball 😎

    • August 9, 2017 / 1:22 pm

      Thanks so much! Yes, we are lucky our children still like us– hahahahaha

  3. August 12, 2017 / 2:28 am

    One of our best trips was a multi-generational Alaska cruise. We were 10 family members ranging in age from our 13 year old younger son to my 90 year old grandmother-in-law, Nona. Everyone did age appropriate excursions during the day and we’d meet up for dinner. For some reason, I was in charge. Getting everyone to Anchorage and onto the ship was like herding cats, but once we were on board, I figured it was like a giant play pen, so no one could get into too much trouble. When Nona wasn’t at the dinner table on time, we knew to dispatch someone to fetch her from the blackjack table in the casino.

    • August 12, 2017 / 2:32 am

      Giant playpen! Hahahaha! Well at least you knew you would never lose Nona. My nephew is a hoot– there is never a dull moment with him. We love that he only has one volume (hint: it’s not his inside voice) . Take care and thanks for commenting!

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