Multi-generational holidays are a big travel trend at the moment, with several generations travelling together. Some destinations, such as Hawaii, and holiday styles, such as cruising, are popular for multigenerational travel, whether this be due to location, travel time, convenience, or price – it all varies.
But no matter where it is, enjoying a holiday with your family in one location and without normal daily chores sounds great. However, the reality may be a little different and these holidays can have their pros and cons. Therefore, we have put together 8 tips for a successful multigenerational holiday that everyone will enjoy.
Start planning early
Aligning everyone’s holiday times with school and work can be tricky. So early planning is advised. This also helps align everyone regarding destination, accommodation and booking transport in advance – which can save money. If this is a holiday with many people and bookings required, consider using a travel agent to coordinate it all.
Meet everyone’s needs
One of the most important ways to make a multi-generational holiday a success is by listening to each other’s needs and wants right from the beginning. Allow for peoples likes and dislikes. For example, if family members have a fear of flying or a fear of heights, cannot swim, have tight financial restrictions or even specific eating requirements, these need to be considered when planning. Knowing everyone’s basic needs can make a multi-generational holiday run a lot smoother.
Be careful not to book too many activities. Adults may like to relax and kids need to spend unstructured free time playing on the beach, pool, park or even at the hotel room. Some suggest to schedule one day of leisure for every three days of activities. This will differ for everyone and possibly depend what the activities are. A big day of activities may need to be followed up by a day of downtime. That way everyone gets a chance to recharge and get the necessary downtime needed to make it an enjoyable holiday.
Take time out
Make sure your holiday plans include giving everyone a break from each other. Having time out from each other can mean not eating every meal together, sometimes organising separate activities, or if you share car hire, allocate different times for use. You also don’t have to travel to the holiday together, taking separate flights or transport is totally acceptable and sometimes easier than coordinating large group bookings.
Some families segment the day with a group activity in the morning, free time in the afternoon and then a group dinner.
Activities for everyone
Don’t expect everyone to want to do the same things and do it together every day.
For some an ideal holiday may be sightseeing with a tour guide in an airconditioned vehicle, others may be more adventurous and like hiking outdoors! Not all activities are appropriate for all ages, nor do they interest everyone. Some may want more downtime than others and may enjoy family time poolside or watching kids take surfing lessons, rather than joining in.
Creating a balance of fun, culture, history, adventure and relaxation is the key. Just make sure everyone is included and gets to see and do the things they want while also making memories together.
If one part of the family, such as parents/grandparents, are paying for the holiday, then maybe other family members can pick up costs in other areas like dinners, food, transport, or another way to say thank you.
When everyone is sharing the costs its best to discuss finances in advance. Knowing how things will be handled in advance will avoid any issues. Regardless of whether everyone contributes to a kitty or if bills are split, it’s a good idea to go into the holiday knowing the expectations. Remember to say thank you when someone else pays for you.
It’s important, that while allowing for everyone’s needs, to also be flexible. These holidays often work better when everyone is happy to compromise a little bit. Every person isn’t going to be pleased all the time, so having flexibility can help a lot. For example, if one decision is make-or-break for one person, but everyone else isn’t bothered, then just go with it.
Remember to relax
If you are the holiday organiser or the one paying for everyone, remember to relax and have fun too. Try and be in the moment and cherish all of the family moments, good and not so good! Take photos, savour the moments and, who knows, maybe you’ll love it so much you’ll want to plan another! For some other tips on how to relax on holidays click here.
Other must do’s for multigenerational holidays
- Remember to ask someone to take a photo of you all together.
- If sharing accommodation, allow for everyone and book accordingly, more space may be needed for some families due to different ages, i.e. young kids wake up every early so a separate space for those families will help others sleep in.
- Allow for those with medical or mobility needs and remember to keep medications handy (not in their checked luggage), reserve airport wheelchairs in advance, and make sure accommodation offers elevators or ramps and showers with grab bars if necessary.
- If you’re thinking of renting a car, consider two regular-sized cars instead of a minivan, for more flexibility during the holiday.
- Work as a team and get the most capable group members to help the much younger and older ones, with things like luggage.
- Although cooking together can save on eating out costs, this can make it less of a holiday. Make sure to share chores such as cooking and balance them eating in with eating out for a break.
- If you do plan to cook, look into grocery delivery before arriving, so that food is already there for you.
- Grandparents could offer their services as childminders at least one evening of the holiday.
- Maybe pack some games, so in downtime the adults and kids can play together, such as cards or board games.