Embarking on a multi-generational family holiday is a truly exciting prospect that promises great experiences and memories for everyone involved.
However, it’s also something that needs thoughtful planning, so that the diverse interests and preferences within the family can be catered to. And being the one in charge of doing that, isn’t always the most gratifying job. So, to make things a bit easier, we tailored a condensed guide, that might make the prospect of tackling this adventure more manageable and clearer.
Look for Inclusive Destinations and Accommodations
First things first. Start by selecting a destination that from the get-go offers diverse activities appealing to different age groups. Look especially for accommodations that balance communal spaces for bonding with private areas for downtime. This ensures that everyone has a comfortable and enjoyable stay, with the possibility of putting the children to bed or withdrawing themselves, if they need some time alone to recharge.
Consider destinations like beach resorts with special family activity holidays or water sports, mountain retreats with hiking trails – or cultural cities with historical sites. Ask everyone participating what they would like to see out of this holiday. You will most likely not be able to cater to everyone’s wishes, but the goal is to create an environment that accommodates the most varying needs of every family member.
Diversify Activities and Stay Flexible
Craft an itinerary that includes a broad bunch of different activities to suit various interests. Schedule relaxing days, cultural excursions, and adventurous undertakings. For example, you could plan a relaxation by the pool, a guided city tour, or an adventurous zip-lining experience.
But again, you shouldn’t aim to make everyone happy at the same time. Instead, embrace flexibility in the schedule and allow family members to opt-out or choose alternatives based on their preferences. Just because you are taking the holiday together, doesn’t mean that you must stay together for the entirety of the duration, to make it a success. This diversity ensures that each family member can participate in the activities they find enjoyable – fostering a positive and inclusive holiday experience. Just be conscious to plan things so everyone can look forward to something.
Proactively address potential challenges to minimise stress during the actual trip. For example, consider the mobility and accessibility needs of older family members, and choose activities that are inclusive in being more easily navigable. Contingencies such as jet lag, health concerns, or different sleep schedules also need to be addressed. Additionally, be mindful of diverse dietary preferences and restrictions, when selecting dining options, if applicable. Perfection is the enemy of good – so don’t aim to make it something nearly impossible. Instead, make it a place and a time, where everyone gets together for various things to enjoy – but not being forced to participate. And: Bring along cameras to capture special moments. Creating a shared photo album or scrapbook as a keepsake can be a fantastic gift afterwards.