A multi-what now? Multi-generational family travel! They’re all the rage don’t you know? Or so it seems…
So what this basically entails is a holiday that is taken by families together from more than two generations – it usually involves grandparents, their kids (parents) and the grandchildren and is usually referred to in the industry as 3G groups.
But what’s getting the grandparents swapping their cream teas for flights?
Well, with time, disposable income and health on side, this way of travelling internationally is now a consideration for families who seek affordable togetherness in faraway places.
Let’s look at the pros
- Travelling around the world with parents, siblings, kids, grandchildren and extended family members can be a rare opportunity to catch up on ‘lost’ quality time back home.
- We all lead such busy lifestyles with barely any time to ourselves, let alone our families. So when we feel the need to ‘escape it all’, what better way than to do it with the people we love?
- We get to ‘kill two birds with one stone’ as it were and spend some quality time with our nearest and dearest.
- Shared experiences that have a variety of generations in the mix while trying new activities can be more enjoyable and relaxing than a conventional break.
- Your kids will get to laugh at the grandparents trying a zip-wire while the grandparents delight in experiencing new destinations, attractions and activities with the grandchildren.
- Splitting costs between more people usually makes a holiday much more affordable; alternatively, sponsorship (often from the grandparents) remains a big draw.
- Then there’s the issue of childcare. When VIP and I go on holiday with the kids, we’re ALWAYS with the kids. But sometimes it’s nice to have the option of being able to hit a local shopping mall without a whining child in tow. You know, just to browse at leisure and not feel hurried.
And the cons?
- If you’ve ever taken a group holiday, then you’ll know that it’s harder to keep everyone happy with what is planned.
- It takes a bit of compromise at the time and – a word of advice – have a quick chat about expectations and what people want from a holiday BEFORE you go, so there are no misunderstandings.
Before we took a multi-generational trip to Disney, we had a chat about what we wanted to do and where we wanted to go. I’m glad we did otherwise I would never have known that certain rides made grandma feel sick.
I had assumed they did and if I hadn’t had that conversation with them, I would never have known. So make sure you find out what people like to do.
Also take into consideration that while you might sometimes struggle to keep up with your kids and their energy levels, your parents might struggle even more. Life might need to move at a slower pace for them, so take that into account. If truth be told, it was me struggling to keep up with my parents on our Disney trip!
Multi-generational family travel can be a great idea – as long as you’re all singing from the same hymn sheet.
And to sing from the same hymn sheet means you have to communicate – before you take the trip.
If you find out the ideal holiday for the grandparents is a trip to learn about the history of a destination – and you know your kids are only happy when they’re visiting a beach on a daily basis, then not everyone is going to get the most enjoyment from the trip.
You will have to compromise; but on some days others will too. It’s about creating amazing family memories to cherish for a long time – and giving and receiving to make sure everyone gets to do a bit of what they enjoy.