Should we stay or should we go: Planning a multi-generational holiday

Shaun Lamont, Managing Director of First Group Hotels and Resorts
Shaun Lamont, Managing Director of First Group Hotels and Resorts
 

Are you resisting the idea of a family holiday with your kids and their grandparents? Hard lockdowns over the last year have seen extended family gatherings being few and far between, and as a result more and more families are considering going away together to make up for lost time. But some have yet to take the plunge.

Shaun Lamont, Managing Director of First Group Hotels and Resorts says that some parents find it tough to plan a trip with small children, let alone the added stress of travelling with their ageing parents too. He adds that whilst the idea may sound too overwhelming, it’s well worth investigating and implementing. “Your folks will not be here forever and there is no better time to make magical, lasting memories with them. Plus, time with their grandparents is possibly one of the greatest gifts you can give your children! And, you will have additional pairs of hands to help.”

Shaun offers some tips on how to ensure that your multi-generational holiday is stress-free and fabulous:

Choose the right destination: A resort is always a popular choice, and for good reason! It caters for the young and the not-so-young. It also caters for the active (think long, leisurely walks, lawn bowls and challenging hikes), and the not-so-active (think Bingo or lazing around the pool). Childcare is also available at most resorts which is an extra (and priceless) bonus.

Choose the right type of accommodation: Depending on the ages of your children, self-catering may well be more convenient, as it offers more flexibility and space. If you worried that your kids may drive your parents up the wall, you may want to consider a blended accommodation option, whereby your parents book into the main hotel, and you and the kids opt for self-catering at the same resort.

Choose the right mode of transport: Rather than squashing into one smaller car, consider taking two vehicles (if this is a viable option), or hire one larger vehicle (one bigger car will use less fuel than two cars, and you’ll save on toll fees, where applicable). It’s also a lot more fun to travel together, and what’s a road trip if you’re not travelling in the same car?

Plan for plenty of bathroom breaks: Decide ahead of time where the designated “stretch-your-legs” stops are going to be. Be mindful that while some travellers may be able to go for hours without stopping, grandparents and smaller children will probably need to stop more often. Plan in advance as to when and where these breaks will happen, to avoid any anxiety before the holiday has even begun.

Plan meals: Most elderly people don’t like surprises and uncertainty. Having a set routine and plan for meals let’s your parents predict and plan their day, which makes them feel safe and stable (same goes for smaller children). So, if you’re going the self-catering route, find out what equipment is provided, and then plan meals accordingly. Also, don’t be afraid to do a cooking roster. Let your parents share the load – they’ll love to help!

Book everything in advance: While “winging it” may work for some things, trying to last-minute-dot-com a multi-generational holiday is likely to cause unnecessary stress. Instead, rather plan everything ahead of time. This includes the booking of restaurants and activities.

“Don’t regret the trips you didn’t take with your parents. All you’ll have left once they’re gone are the magical, lasting memories – so make them count and book that trip with them today!” Shaun concludes.

Visit www.firstgroup-sa.co.za for loads of holiday options for the whole family (grandparents included).