Getting away with the extended family has never been more popular, but planning a trip for a range of ages from babies and teens to grandparents can be a tricky one to negotiate. Luckily, much like our previous post on planning a holiday with friends, we’ve got some great tips here to keep everyone happy!
Case 1 – Planning
1) Choose the right time and destination –
Family spread around the world? If you live apart and use a holiday as an excuse to meet up, try to find somewhere that’s roughly in the middle. If you’re flying to each other, you have a couple of things to think about: cost and ease. It’s more expensive for a family of four to fly long haul, and much cheaper to fly out two grandparents. But elderly grandparents may not be able to travel as far, and so it may be easier for the rest of the family to come to them. Just choose what works for your family and sort the destination (and the dates) out as soon as possible. You’re dealing with multiple ages and stages of life so you’ll have to consider annual leave, school holidays and social engagements.
2) Find the right accommodation for you –
Each family is different, so think about your own family’s dynamic when booking a place to stay. One big house or villa may work out cheaper per head, but if you need your space to have a good time, then a hotel with separate rooms will give you more privacy. If members of your family have totally different budgets and aren’t willing to compromise, look for two separate hotels that are close together. Simply search for hotels in the destination you want and then click on the map search tool in top left-hand corner.
3) Be up front about money –
Money can be a tricky issue, even among family. Trips like these are often framed as gifts, with one family footing the bill for everyone. It’s important to be clear upfront what’s included, so find out if you’ll need spending money for drinks, food or activities. It can feel awkward to ask when someone is already being so generous, but trust us, it’ll be even more awkward not to. Just frame your questions politely and explain that you’ll need to budget for the trip.
Case 2 – On the ground
1) Be sensitive around childcare –
Bringing the kids? With plenty of family around, you’ll have lots of extra hands to help with childcare. But don’t just assume that you have a free babysitter every evening. While multi-age holidays are the perfect opportunity for grandparents to bond with their grandkids, remember it’s their holiday too. Instead, book a hotel with a kids’ club or babysitting service, so everyone gets a break.
2) Set up a shared photo album –
An iPhone album, WhatsApp thread or file-sharing cloud will all to the job. You may need to explain to the less digitally savvy family members how they work, but it’ll be worth it. There’s nothing worse than posing for every group photo multiple times, while family members hand the helpful stranger five different cameras. Smiles soon turn into grimaces. If you can all share photos, one snap will do the job, the smiles stay genuine and you won’t miss a memory!