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The Multi-Generational Israel Experience

There is no greater joy than family gatherings. Multi-generations get together on major holidays on a regular basis. Picnics on Independence Day, Turkey Dinner on Thanksgiving, Seder meal on Passover, Christmas Feast on December 25, are all designed for familial harmony. Yet the ultimate family experience is to travel together to a significant destination. Experiencing the Holy Land with parents, grandparents and children is unsurpassed, if done right. Below are some tips to make the family journey of a lifetime:

What’s On Your Agenda?

Why do you want your family to spend time together in Israel? Is it to enjoy the rich culture and religious traditions that the country has to offer? Is it to provide a unique and joyful opportunity for the entire family to experience the land of creation? Are you seeking to better understand the complex socio-political situation in the region? Is it important to have conversations that may arise between young adults and their parents seeking to understand the dynamics of healing Ancestral Trauma as it relates to the creation of the modern state of Israel? Are you interested in the family spending their days celebrating Israel - enjoying food, art, music and dance and connecting to nature?

Are you seeking to share your family dynamic with your parents/children? Is it to get to know your parents/grandkids/grandparents better? Is it to re-experience traveling with your parents like when you were a kid? By being clear with yourself on what you expect from a multi-generational family trip, you can address the type of experience you’d like and make sure that meshes with the rest of what your family expects.

Seek Everyone's Input

Once you have a value clarification of your desired trip, invite everyone in the family for their input. What are their motivations and expectations?

Pick a point person

Designate one person to serve as the lead travel planner. This family member should track deadlines, send communications, make bookings, and settle up the costs — or at least carefully delegate those specific tasks to others willing and able to help. Consider hiring a travel agent to assist the point person.

Money matters

The "who is paying for what" question needs to be addressed candidly. Different households have different priorities and different budgets. To avoid uncomfortable situations that can spoil a vacation, talk about budget early and often in the planning process.

Set clear boundaries

One of the reasons many parents with young children appreciate multi-generational travel is that it often comes with built-in babysitters. But chances are good that grandparents or other extended family members aren’t traveling to the Holy Land to care for someone else’s little ones, even if they love the kids dearly. If you are likely to be the babysitter, let your family members know exactly how much you are willing to pitch in to help with the kids. Likewise, if you are the recipient of babysitting help, don’t just take advantage; consider doing something extra special for family members who help.

Togetherness Has its Limits

There will be different travel interests and paces. While it’s fun to do some activities together during the day, too much togetherness can sometimes create conflict. Leave some free time for individuals or smaller family groups to pursue their own interests or just have downtime.


There are two basic considerations concerning accommodations. Should you stay in one city, such as Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Haifa, and take day trips to explore the country; or should you pack up and stay in a different region every few days. If you decide on a central location, do you book multiple hotel rooms or an apartment/villa with multiple bed rooms booked on VRBO or Airbnb

Consider mobility and other limitations

Are there any members of the family with mobility limitations? Even active grandparents (or young toddlers) might have mobility concerns like not being able to navigate too many stairs in a multi-level condominium daily. Israel is very sensitive to these issues. Check out our post on ”Have Chair will Travel” so that you can include all family members.

Schedule the trip well in advance

The more people involved, the more lead time is required. Planning a year or more in advance is quite reasonable.

Acknowledgment and appreciation to Leslie Harvey of The Points Guy.

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