How to enjoy a multi-generation holiday

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Posted on: 25 July 2012 by Laura Wilkins

A recent survey by charity Age UK shows an increase in multi-generational holidays this year, with over half of British adults having been, or planning to go away with two or more generations of their family. With an opportunity for grandparents, children, aunts and uncles to gather together on neutral territory, multi-generational holidays offer a fantastic chance to enjoy time as a family in a relaxed way.

A recent survey by charity Age UK shows an increase in multi-generational holidays this year, with over half of British adults having been, or planning to go away with two or more generations of their family. With an opportunity for grandparents, children, aunts and uncles to gather together on neutral territory, multi-generational holidays offer a fantastic chance to enjoy time as a family in a relaxed way.

However, creating a laid back, happy family holiday for a wide range of people and ages doesn’t come without its challenges. Not only are you likely to face different opinions of what activities to take part in while away, but you’ll also need to cater for a variety of routines and financial expectations. Here is some key advice and top tips to ensure that your multi-generational holiday is fun, relaxed and enjoyable for the whole family.

Plan a holiday the whole family will enjoy

The secret to a successful extended family holiday is making sure you take the whole family’s preferences into consideration, as everyone’s idea of the ideal getaway can be different. Whether they prefer relaxing by the pool, taking part in activities or exploring the new surroundings, it’s likely that each member of the family will have an idea of how they would like to enjoy their time away. It takes careful planning to ensure you book a holiday that suits you all.

Often, a great way to solve this dilemma is to book a resort-style holiday that has options for all the family in one place. Keri Doble from family activity holiday specialist Mark Warner is aware of a rising popularity with extended family holidays: “Our resorts prove popular with multi-generational families because each member can take time to enjoy their ideal holiday activities; whether that’s relaxing by the pool, taking in a leisurely tennis session, joining kids’ clubs or learning to windsurf. Giving everyone the opportunity and the time each day to enjoy their preferred activities means that you can all appreciate your ideal holiday together as a family.”

Be completely honest before you go

Communication before you reach your destination can be vital in ensuring a happy holiday and it’s important to be upfront about your family’s expectations. Be honest and find a middle ground before you leave.  If you want time to yourself, check the expectations of the grandparents, as they may not want to take on extra babysitting duties. Instead, make sure you stay somewhere with a kids club or childcare facilities to keep the little ones entertained while you relax.

Would you rather the children not have too much ice cream and cola? Then set those rules straight with the whole family before you leave. Likewise, highlight any routines you may have that could affect the whole group, such as specific bedtimes, meals and bathtimes.

Most importantly of all, ensure you agree on how you will share costs and payments to avoid any frustrations when you’re all away. Or better yet, book an all-inclusive trip so that food and transport costs are accounted for in advance.

Stay patient and enjoy a slower pace

When you’re travelling with a family, particularly young children and older family members, it’s likely that every movement will take a little more time, so be patient with each other and enjoy a slower pace.

If you are aware of any sore points or behaviour triggers between you and any other members of your family or group, plan on a way to deal with them ahead of time to avoid any frustrations when you are away. Compromise is an important factor in any family holiday, so be aware that you may all need to make small sacrifices to keep the peace.

This is a wonderful opportunity to spend relaxing time together enjoying each other’s company. However, also be aware that you will all still need your own space, so be understanding if any figures wish to spend some time away from the group.

If you’re planning a multi-generational getaway, Mark Warner offers a range of all-inclusive, family-friendly holidays with activities for the whole family. See www.markwarner.co.uk for more information.

 

 

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