It’s been one of the fastest growing trends in the tourism industry and, given the many benefits of a multigenerational holiday (i.e. holidays for extended families) from saving costs to celebrating a big bash like a 70th birthday or having babysitters you both love and trust in tow, it’s not hard to see why.

As more and more of us live further away from our loved ones than we ever did before, living busy, time-poor lives, having the opportunity to spend quality time together in a relaxed, fun holiday environment is the perfect recipe for creating holiday memories that will last a life-time – memories for the entire family, not just grandparents or grandkids but sisters, uncles and every combination in between.

Holidays with grandparents in Sri Lanka

With its range of places to stay, Sri Lanka is ideal for holidays with grandparents and extended family

Now, we know that a long-haul adventure holiday is by its very nature more expensive than your usual ‘fly and flop’ or European villa holiday, which is why the multigenerational holiday is a much rarer occurrence than in other sections of the travel market.

Nevertheless, here at Stubborn Mule, we’ve identified three main motivators, or scenarios, which inspire a 3G holiday and, let’s not be coy here, it mainly comes down to who’s paying.

1. The Parents Pay

With both parents often working full time and day-to-day life a non-stop flurry of deadlines and activities, from getting everyone out of the door on time to returning them from swimming / rugby / repeat ad infinitum, ‘downtime’ (not just exhausted sofa sleeping) is worth its weight in gold.

You may not be able to afford this every holiday but most Stubborn Mule families recognise that kids grow up fast, time with their own parents becomes ever more precious and wouldn’t it be great to have a holiday where everyone can spend time together?

Then there’s the babysitting.

If you are paying, then it’s generally acknowledged that mutually-agreeable free childcare comes part and parcel of this kind of multigenerational holiday. We’ve yet to meet a grandparent who doesn’t relish the chance of spending (at least some of the) time with their grandkids solo, perhaps chilling by the pool whilst the folks get to do something a little more adventurous. We know of one family whose grandparents and kids spent a week on Zanzibar whilst the active parents climbed Kilimanjaro, with everybody being more than happy at that arrangement.

Holidays with grandparents? It’s a win-win.

Cambodia with grandparents

Stubborn Mule’s MD, Liddy Pleasants, with her mum and daughter in Cambodia

2. The Grandparents Pay

Eight times out of ten, this scenario comes about as part of a greater celebration, such as a 70th birthday rather than a sudden urge to avoid inheritance tax (although that happens, quite understandably, too).

This landmark birthday comes at a time when their children usually have their own kids and simply can’t afford to foot the bill for ‘and granny and grandpa came too’. It also comes at a time when most 70-year olds are still mostly active and healthy, so it’s very much in the spirit of enjoying an extra special birthday together whilst the opportunity is there.

We’ve found that the most popular types of multigenerational holiday in this category is the African safari, where the family can sit for half the day on a game drive and spend the afternoon relaxing by the pool. And, as a ‘bucket list’ type of holiday, it doesn’t get more exciting that spotting the Big 5 for yourself in the wild – an activity the entire family can enjoy.

Another popular choice is Sri Lanka, where there are boutique hotels and private villas small enough that a whole family (sleeping 12) can take over to enjoy the 70th birthday itself.

On safari - holidays with grandparents

An African safari holiday with grandparents is a popular multigenerational option

3. The Big Bash

Slightly different to the 70th birthday celebration mentioned above, the rise and rise of the extra special celebration, be that an anniversary, birthday or similar, but more and more of us are choosing a mid-haul destination for a 3-night multigenerational celebration.

Take, for example, Oman, whose upmarket tourist accommodation is the perfect marriage for a private party, such as a big private camp you can hire for the night and spend the other two relaxing and recovering on a nearby beach.

Marrakech, too, lends itself to this extra special short-break holiday, too. We know of a fabulous place in the gentle foothills of the Atlas Mountains complete with private pool, camel rides into the hills but close enough to Marrakech so that you’re not wasting precious time on overland travel.

Family holidays with grandparents in Asia

From Asia and Africa to the Arabian Peninsula and Latin America, there are fabulous options for multi-generational holidays

Find out more about holidays with grandparents and extended family

For even more ideas on the best holidays with grandparents and extended family members of all ages, do get in touch with us. We’d love to help. You can ring during office hours on 01728 752751, use our website contact form or email us directly on [email protected].