The hottest trend in holidays? Taking the whole family with you

We're all going on a holiday together. We discover why multigenerational trips are on the rise


It used to be that you couldn't wait for your first taste of freedom. Getting away from mum and dad and going on tour with Habonim, or spending the summer working on a Kibbutz was the ultimate dream. But now it appears we just can't get enough of taking a break with our parents: because trips with three generations of family - grandparents, parents and kids - are currently one of the hottest travel trends.

Adrian Burley, of Luxury Family Hotels, has seen bookings of "3G" holidays up by a third this year in its eight UK country-house style hotels. He thinks today's scattered families are one of the reasons for this increase .

"Many families now live geographically far apart from each other so are looking for ways be able to spend quality time together," he says. "Not only for special occasions, like anniversaries or birthdays, but also for general get togethers. Grandparents downsizing from large homes still want to be able to host their children and grandchildren."

Liddy Pleasants, owner of tailor-made family travel specialist Stubborn Mule, has also seen a noticeable rise with nearly a third in families holidaying en masse over the last year. She believes the reasons for this are clear.

"They almost always fall into one of two categories,' she explains. 'Grandparents are celebrating a big birthday and want to take the whole family away for a last hurrah.

How to have a happy holiday

While the thought of holidaying as one big happy family may sound idyllic, there's always the potential to get on each other's nerves - so it's wise to sort out some ground rules.
Set boundaries
The key to stopping silly squabbles is talking over anything non-negotiable in advance, so everyone knows, for instance, when the kids go to bed.
It's everyone's holiday
No-one wants to feel like they're being taken for granted, so manage expectations before you go, whether that's who'll be driving or who'll be getting up early with the kids. If you do decide to go self-catering you'll need to plan a shopping, cooking and cleaning rota so the chores are shared out.
If mum and dad want to go out for a romantic meal while grandma and grandpa babysit, give them the opportunity to do their own thing too.
Plan your days
When it comes to the itinerary, it may be best to have one person in charge to avoid it getting too complicated. Try to be flexible and don't pack too much into one day as little ones - and older ones - may get tired.
Split up
Just because you're on holiday as a clan doesn't mean you have to do everything together all the time. It's fine to give each other some time out. There's nothing worse than someone feeling resentful for being forced to do an activity or sulking that they couldn't do something they wanted to.
Talk about money
No-one wants to be arguing about finances when you're trying to relax. Prevent any misunderstandings over money by being clear from the offset about who is paying for flights, accommodation, meals, drinks and activities.
Spread out
When it comes to choosing where to stay, pick somewhere with plenty of space, with extra bedrooms and bathrooms, or even neighbouring accommodation, so you won't feel on top of each other. A place with a wide range of facilities that take into account everyone's ages, is ideal.

"Or mums and dads are taking the kids away and then inviting the grandparents to join them. It helps cut costs and spreads the load of childcare. The parents can go out for the odd meal without the kids, and do some more active things without having to worry about what to do with the children. The grandparents can help look after them and it gives them a chance to bond with their grandchildren, making lots of lovely memories."

How to do it

Cruises can be a brilliant option for multigenerational holidays. As they visit several destinations they can cater to lots of different interests. But with so many ships to choose from, it can be tricky to know which are best suited for extended families.

Try an impartial cruise reviews website like Cruise Critic ( which gives you the lowdown from other families.

For example, a seven-night cruise of Spain, France and Portugal departing Southampton August 25, on Royal Caribbean's Navigator of the Seas starts from £5,235 for an Oceanview family stateroom, based on four adults and two children sharing,

Another alternative is renting a large family villa. Oliver's Travels ( has a wide selection of luxury hand-picked properties in the UK, Europe and Caribbean.

The L'Oustal Des Fleurs, in Languedoc, France, has a games room, tennis courts, nearby lake, children's play area and child-safe pool, plus the option of a maid service, babysitting and a cook. It sleeps eight people and prices start from £2,516.90 per week.

If you're after a hassle-free holiday with minimal organising required, a package at a family-friendly resort is ideal.

Thomson ( offers seven nights all-inclusive at Thomson's 4T Family Life Kerkyra Golf in Corfu from £434 per adult and £327 per child. Price is based on four adults and two children sharing and includes transfers and flights departing London Luton May 5.

If you don't fancy travelling abroad, there are plenty of UK holiday parks to choose from with activities for all ages.

A midweek break in March, staying in a 4 bedroom Woodland Lodge at Center Parcs Sherwood Forest ( starts from £419*, based on eight people sharing (based on arrival dates of March 6, 13 and 20).

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