Multi-Generation Holidays

Top tips for holidaying together this summer

According to the over 50’s travel review and advice site, Silver Travel Advisor (, more families than ever before are choosing to holiday together for reasons that include finance, child-care, bonding and spending quality time together.

Silver Travel Advisor’s MD Debbie Marshall said “Holiday prices are usually cheaper per head when several people book at the same time, whether it’s a group package holiday to a hotel, or several generations of the same family sharing a villa. Car hire, food and accommodation can all be divided between the adults in the group bringing down the overall holiday cost.

But it’s not just about money, with so many of the adult population now out at work, parents see less of their children then previous generations did. Holidays provide the opportunity for bonding and for spending time together in a relaxed and informal atmosphere. That doesn’t just apply to the kids. The older generations can also have the chance to get to know each other better, away from the usual surroundings”.

But the site also warns that holidays can be a hot-bed for petty arguments and irritations that can last right up until the New Year and recommends some ground rules for Multi-Generation holidays.

Here are Silver Traveller’s Top Tips for family holiday harmony this summer:-
  • Plan money. This can be tricky, if meals are out are on the agenda, who will pay? Maybe everyone takes turns to pay for a meal, or maybe 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 grandparents are happy to take charge for a couple of evenings, let everyone know in advance. Or if they want 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, fantastic, if not, be sure you keep the door shut and ask everyone to knock, should that be what you prefer. A small reward can work wonders.
  • Be honest about bathrooms. Consider setting a bathroom routine, bath at 6pm before dinner perhaps, and let 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 in the group. Some Cif and a cloth may encourage a cleaner experience for all.
  • Time is important too, getting a whole family out of the door at once can be fraught with tension, try to 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. Packing a day full of activities may only suit some members of the group whilst others may be content to do very little.
  • Clarify what 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.
  • Be clear too with regard to bedtimes, 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. And yes, it’s true, 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 when possible.
  • Tolerate differences, 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.
Silver Travel Advisor

Silver Travel Advisor, is the voice of the mature traveller. It is the only travel review and advice site specifically for the over 50’s and features thousands of reviews of days out, destinations, hotels and holidays in the UK and worldwide. The site offers a forum for mature travellers to exchange travel and holiday experiences and to find out about holiday destinations and different types of travel. Membership is free and includes regular e-newsletters, exclusive offers and competitions and travel and holiday advice from Silver Travel Advisor’s travel professionals.

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