Holidays & Travel

How to have a stress-free multi-generational holiday

These expert tips will help keep the whole clan happy, says Sarah Marshall.

It’s important everyone gets something out of the holiday
Happy preteen girl with grandparents on hiking trip on summer holiday, walking It’s important everyone gets something out of the holiday (Alamy Stock Photo)

Holidays have always been a time to bond with loved ones, so its no surprise the popularity of multi-generational breaks is one the rise.

Across the board – from the budget to luxury markets – operators are reporting a boom. Villa rental specialists Simpson Travel say their bookings for this type of trip have doubled in the past decade, while luxury outfit Cazenove + Loyd recently launched a dedicated family-focused customer magazine in response to growing demand.

With an increasing number of larger properties now catering to bigger groups, it’s much easier to organise a getaway – but planning the perfect multi-generational trip does require a bit of organisation.

We asked the experts to share some valuable tips…

Plan carefully together

“Even the best laid plans can mean some level of compromise when you have multi-generations,” warns Carl Hobson, managing director for Cazenove + Loyd. “The greater the age difference, the greater the compromise on what to do to keep everyone happy.

“Invest in longer conversations at the planning stage; the more collaboration in discussing and developing the detail of a trip, the more likelihood there is in getting it exactly right for every member of the multi-gen group,” Hobson adds.

Give everyone their space

All ages can enjoy time at the beach
All ages can enjoy time at the beach (Alamy/PA) All ages can enjoy time at the beach (Alamy Stock Photo)

“The amount of space required is important to consider, ensuring individual family members have their own space and privacy,” says Lisa Goldring, marketing consultant from Mahlatini Luxury Travel. “Make sure there’s space for the kids to play and for parents and grandparents to relax.”

She also warns of the pitfalls in opting for day beds to cut down accommodation costs, as everyone needs their own room. “It’s the main regret we hear from mulit-gen groups looking to get costs down, and has only hampered the overall experience of a large investment trip.”

Choose a diverse range of activities

“Try to find something that everyone would like to do together, such as a padel tennis session or maybe just some games on the beach,” advises Andy Furlong, marketing director for Mark Warner. “And there’s nothing better than quality time at the end of the day for everyone to come together over a meal.

Holidays should be about making memories
Holidays should be about making memories (Alamy/PA) Holidays should be about making memories (Alamy Stock Photo)

“Remember that holidays should be fun. Make sure you are not too prescriptive and get the right balance for all the family, be they sports lovers or sun-bed seekers.”

But be flexible with your itinerary

“Less is more in terms of number of stops and locations,” says Melissa Nicholas, product director at Experience Travel Group. “Keep the transfers to a minimum and logistics simple, so nobody gets overwhelmed, and you can focus instead on relaxing and making memories. Avoid packing in too many sightseeing activities without breaking them up with time for relaxing, so everyone can conserve energy and enjoy themselves.”

Consider different needs

“The most important thing when booking a multi-generational holiday is to take everyone’s needs into account – especially where you have children of different ages,” says Ed Pyke, operations director from Simpson Travel. “An infinity pool might be perfect for Insta-obsessed teens, but might be nerve-racking if you’ve got a busy toddler!”