Holidays with all the family

Holidays with all the family

Multi-generational holidays are a good way for families to build up their memories and many are now moving away from the ubiquitous Disneyland trip to more adventurous trek.

More than 12.5 million people in Britain have been on a ‘3G’ holiday, a trip consisting of at least three generations, in the last year.

Eighty per cent of travellers felt having multiple generations together had a positive impact on the holiday, according to new research. Spending quality time with the family was the main reason for going away together especially as more families live further apart from each other

About a third said the holiday was more enjoyable than a conventional holiday, while about a fifth said it was more relaxing as a result of having multiple generations in the mix. Some took a family holiday to celebrate a birthday, wedding or other family event.

Cost-cutting benefits and shared childcare duties were also among the reasons for going on a multi-generational break. Also other countries such as in Spain welcome children out late and cater for them, with restaurants that lie on bouncy castles or play areas for children.

Splitting the cost of accommodation or having another family member pay for the holiday were also motivating factors

The main cost of a quarter of multi-generational trips last year was covered by the eldest generation, while nearly a fifth of the cost was either paid by the middle generation or split between some of the family members.

There are plenty of organisations that organise family adventure holidays from safaris to water sports, culture trips to tropical beaches. Don’t restrict yourselves if you can all agree.

Cruise holidays can work well for different generations. Value for money and cruises of shorter duration are attracting younger holidaymakers, including generations of families and children. This way you can combine various options.

The variety of distractions on board – from rock climbing and zip-lining to amateur dramatics and cookery schools – means even the most discerning of families is catered for. And trips ashore give the chance to soak up other cultures. Most larger cruise lines run clubs for children of all ages.

Top tips for multi-generational holidays with grandchildren

Here are some of our top tips to ensure a stress-free holiday for all generations!

Plan your money.  This needs discussing: if meals out are on the agenda, who will pay and how much will be spent.   Maybe everyone takes turns to pay for a meal, or maybe you go for a kitty system, all adults put in £15 for example, children under 12 £7.50, so that no-one feels put upon.  Or perhaps the grocery bill is shared this way. A quick conversation before you depart can prevent any misunderstandings later.

Work out babysitting, if you are happy to take charge for a couple of evenings, let everyone know in advance.  If you are definitely keen to have the youngsters for whole days, do say so, then their parents can organise a special day out for themselves.  And perhaps you’d like to take off for a day alone, so plan this too.

Cooking can be great fun on holiday with new ingredients to try, again perhaps organise being catering chief on alternate days, with teenagers helping.

Communication about bedrooms is vital. Some people like total privacy in their bedrooms, let everyone know how you feel.  If you love a toddler diving under your duvet at 5am, fine if not, be sure you keep the door shut and ask everyone to knock, if that is your preference.

Sort out a bathroom rota. Maybe you have a set bathroom routine, bath at 6pm before dinner perhaps, let your family know.  And if everyone is sharing one or two bathrooms, it could be useful to have a 10 minute shower rule, especially if teenagers are with you.

Time is important too, getting a whole family out of the door at once can be fraught with tension; perhaps we give an hour and a half warning, with 30 minute reminders.  And not everyone goes at the same pace. Grandparents can need a lot longer to get ready and are not necessarily used to deadlines.

Treats are acceptable, it’s worth checking that your grandson really is allowed as much cola as he likes, and that his mummy actually does let him spend all his pocket money on sweets. Do not try to undermine strict parenting rules just because you are on holiday.

Bed times, although holiday times are generally more relaxed, knowing what is normal or expected if you are babysitting means everyone has a better time the next day.  Most youngsters go to bed far later than we ever did.  They probably get up later too. Ask what family rules there are, if any, and then stick to them – roughly!

Be flexible it will not be the same as life is at home, but that’s the fun of a holiday. Eating at unusual times, doing different things and being surrounded by your family, are all to be enjoyed.