Multi-generational holidays: how to make it work so everyone is happy
Getting the family together on one holiday is an amazing opportunity to share new experiences, make memories and strengthen family bonds. But logistics can be challenging and keeping everyone happy can be harder than you think. The good news? The trick to pulling off a spectacular multigenerational holiday comes down to good planning.
Take into account different needs
First, consider any special accommodations or requirements your family might need: it could be a room with no stairs for Aunt May who just had hip surgery, gluten-free meal options for your brother, or a quiet spot for your daughter’s baby to nap each afternoon.
Set a travel budget
Try to set a rough budget for the trip that suits every family member’s financial situation. Airfares and accommodation can be expensive, so make sure to agree to the costs before booking. Alternatively, if there is a specific family member paying for the trip, make sure you work within their budget. It can also be worthwhile to set clear expectations around who is responsible for expenses, including meals, eating out and extras like transfers, etc.
Lock in a date for your family trip
Once you have everyone’s specific needs and a budget, lock in a date as soon as possible. This is important as everyone has different work and social commitments, community responsibilities and school term dates.
Narrow the choices of travel style and destination
Once you have everyone’s specific needs and a date locked in, pick a destination or style of travel like cruising or camping, and stick with it. By providing the family with less choice, you’ll end up with fewer decisions (and opinions) on where to go, what to do, and how much to spend. For a little extra help, see our tips on what to look for in a caravan, and our top camping spots around Australia.
Go with the flow
Rather than go full Griswold in the National Lampoon's Vacation films, recognise that loading the schedule with plans might not be the best option: you might be more interested in a massage than a long boat trip to a waterfall, the kids might not want to miss kid’s club to sit around at a private wine tasting, and no one is happy with Uncle Greg if (once again) he sleeps in and misses the 9am cruise. Instead, try to settle on one or two fun activities the family can try together, and if others fall into place that everyone agrees on, let that be an added bonus.
Decide who is taking care of the kids on holiday
Holidays are awesome but be sure to get everyone on the same page with regards to who is looking after the children. You might love spending time with your grandkids, but you also don’t want to bear the brunt of all the care – you’re there to holiday too! Look into a destination where there are childcare options, or if your family intends to bring a nanny, that there is enough room to cater for them.
Space is your friend
It might be more cost effective to hire a huge, self-contained house big enough for the family, but being able to take a break away from each other can bring everyone back together more meaningfully. Options like separate rooms at the same resort, or a cruise can give everyone more space and privacy.
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