The annual family vacation is a time that we all look forward to, but deciding where to go and planning it can be a real challenge! With large families that have a diverse range of likes and members of various age groups, planning a holiday that offers something for everyone can be really tricky.
Here are some tried and tested tips for taking on multi-generational travel!
It goes without saying that a hiking and camping holiday is not a good idea if you have a toddler in tow. If you’ve got a young one with you, let’s be honest here, they are going to cramp your style a little bit. One way to work around this is to research a hotel that offers excellent babysitting and child care services – with so many online reviews available these days, you’re bound to feel more comfortable if you can read about the experiences of previous visitors who can vouch for the service. Youngsters can take up so much of their parent’s time and energy that older kids can often start to feel left out and overlooked – and a family holiday is a wonderful time to reconnect with them and with each other too. Choosing accommodation where the little one will be looked after is the best way to avoid feeling guilty and get the break you all need!
It’s often impossible to find one destination that’s going to offer absolutely every activity that each family member desires, well, at least without an extremely lavish budget that is! If the kids have their heart set on Disneyland and your teen is so very not into the idea at all – compromise by getting accommodation within an easy drive from Disneyland but without being on its doorstep. A place where there are activities the older kids and mom and dad will enjoy too.
Finding a place that your teenager will love is often the biggest challenge parents face, but you might have a secret weapon right under your nose! Set your teen the challenge of researching and comparing destinations with all the tech savvy tools they have at their disposal and you might be surprised at just how good their suggestions are. Picking accommodation that includes wi-fi is almost certainly also a prerequisite when travelling with a young adult! Avoid tantrums and sulking by letting them hang out alone when they want to – don’t force them to take part in every activity if they aren’t keen on it. Give them their space and let them join in when it suits them or a particular activity appeals to them.
The biggest buzz kill on any family holiday is realizing you’ve spent your whole budget on accommodation, and that you now have to be careful about deciding which activities you can and can’t afford to take part in. While it’s easy to get suckered into booking nice rooms at lavish hotels and resorts, in reality all you really need is a place to crash at night – especially if you’ve chosen a killer destination with lots to do during the day. Go for the cheapest accommodation you can, so that you have more cash on hand for activities and treats as you go along. These are the things that create the memories you really cherish.
While mom is often the one who ends up doing most of the holiday planning, it’s important not to forget that she needs a break too. If you start your planning around a resort that just so happens to have a spa on the premises however, you're off to an excellent start! And luckily, many locations that offer pampering facilities also have a host of other activities to offer the rest of the family too. Take beautiful Thanda Island for example, where mom can enjoy massages, facials and body treatments in the privacy of her own suite or even right on the beach, while dad and the kids hit the jet skis, snorkeling, scuba diving and other island adventures on offer!
While planning a holiday and making exciting itineraries is a great way to get enthusiasm up for the holiday during the planning phase, remember it’s not set in stone. You're likely to be tired from the journey when you first arrive, so don’t feel bad about taking things easy for the first day or so to orient and get to know your new home from home. By trying to cram too many activities into a day, it’s all too easy to end up with overtired kids that end up not enjoying themselves. Remember, it’s meant to be a holiday after all!
Things you must do in South Africa