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Family vacations are getting even bigger as research has shown that a huge seven in 10 parents are choosing multigenerational getaways over traditional trips with just their children. A poll by Virgin Holidays surveyed 1,000 parents and 1,000 grandparents and found that 70 percent have taken a vacation with their extended family, and of those, 52 percent have taken this trip away with their full clan abroad.
So if this is something you are thinking about or planning to do, then you might need a few tips. If a multigenerational vacation is your idea of hell, but you think it’s good for the grandparents and grandchildren, then you need to prepare yourself and reduce your expectations. There’s plenty of tips on how to be prepared for your Italy villa holiday or what to pack for a trip to France, but it’s easy to forget that you need to prepare yourself mentally for some holidays too. People are away from their normal routine, from their own beds, you’re eating at different times and probably different foods too, but you need to be able to have a laugh about things and here are a few more tips for how to have a harmonious vacation:
- Agree who’s paying for what from the early planning stages as this will avoid any awkward moments during the holiday.
- Choose a place that offers something for everyone. All-inclusive resorts work really well, and self-catering is good for lots of people who want to do different things.
- If you choose to rent a villa, get one with all the mod cons, especially a dishwasher, just for ease and comfort.
- Rather than hiring one large car, get more than one smaller one; this way, you’re not on top of each other all the time, and people have the option to go to different places if they want to.
- Think about bringing friends into the equation, especially for the benefit of the younger generation. It will keep the relatives on better behavior and will also prevent anyone from feeling they are gatecrashing their parents’ vacation.
- Talk to your partner because he or she may not share your enthusiasm about spending two weeks with all of your nearest and dearest, and the undercurrent of resentment could spoil it for everyone. So make sure you’re both on the same page and that you have considered how they may be feeling.
- Don’t sweat the small stuff. Not every comment or instruction from a relative is worth fighting over.
You may also like these 7 places to take a Multigenerational vacation.
On a positive note, though, a family group trip is a great way to spend time together, on neutral territory, where the distractions of travel and exploration take center stage – perhaps leaving traditional family feuds on the sidelines. Going away together offers everyone an opportunity to step off the treadmill and spend quality time together. However, a successful vacation with the extended family requires space, activities, comfort, and some sort of consensus on childcare.
Self-catering vacations are the most popular for these types of holidays, and this is the best budget option. Pooling money together also means that you might be able to afford a much fancier property that you wouldn’t be able to get if it was just your family going on vacation. Hotels also offer a great option for vacations with extended families and make it easy to spend time together as well as providing you with your own space, and you don’t need to be on top of each other. Many hotels have kids’ clubs, golf courses, and spas for the grown-ups so that everyone can have a really good day, they can do what they want and then meet at a restaurant for dinner, and the best thing is you can all collectively avoid the washing up.
If that doesn’t sound right for you, then another option would be an adventure or activity vacation because there’s plenty to occupy everyone and focus on. You’ll also find that you learn a lot from each other and a lot about each other too.
The main benefit of a multigenerational trip is that everyone gets to spend quality time together. A third of parents like the extra help to mind the kids and three in 10 think it’s a more cost-effective way to travel, splitting the cost across parents and grandparents. Just make sure you do have your own space and that everyone knows what they’re letting themselves in for. As long as you’re prepared and realistic, you’ll be fine.