‘The big one’, ‘the blowout’ or the ‘one to remember’… If there’s one holiday type that never goes out of favour, it’s the (usually) once-in-a-lifetime multigenerational holiday the WHOLE family can enjoy.
In fact, holidays with grandparents are on the rise, and for a whole variety of reasons. But essentially it does boil down to the simple fact of spending time together away from pesky everyday life with all its demands and duties, free from distractions of all kinds. That is absolute gold.
Our brand of tailor-made family travel is perfect for multigenerational holidays as we can create something to suit every family. Having a driver–guide can suit many families, for instance, as it offers in-built flexibility – for example, if some of the party don’t want to take part in an activity, or want a break before others in the group do (we’re looking at you, teenagers and young children, just as much as grandparents!).
Here’s our quick guide to the ‘whats, whys, and wheres’ of holidaying with grandparents – exciting, accessible multigenerational adventures to Carpe the Diem out of!
The more the merrier: Why go on a multigenerational holiday?
There are lots of reasons for big holidays with grandparents, but always at the bottom of it all is the sheer joy of being together and the chance for family bonding across the generations.
Often the motivation is a big celebration or anniversary, such as a 70th or 80th birthday, where grandparents take the lead but create a trip everyone will enjoy. Or sometimes it’s the parents, focussing on a shared extended family adventure – again perhaps for a significant occasion such as a 50th birthday celebration, inviting the grandparents while they are still young enough to enjoy it or perhaps for one last ‘family fling’ before the eldest teens fly the nest.
Our adventures can be tailored to suit the energy levels and mobility of older family members, making sure nobody feels left out or held back. Knowing that the parents and kids are occupied can also leave the grandparents free to enjoy a quiet afternoon G&T in peace – on a tea plantation terrace, perhaps.
Meanwhile, if you have younger kids, there’s nothing better than an extra pair of hands (or two) to add flex to the holiday, whether that’s having ‘free’ babysitting for an evening out or knowing the kids are in safe hands while you do something more adventurous than perhaps Gran or Grandad would like, such as zip-lining, mountain climbing or glacier walking. Having said that, in our experience, many grandparents do want to join in, and it just needs a little extra thought – perhaps hiring a private guide, so they can go at their own pace and let the kids tear ahead.
The most popular holidays with grandparents
1. African safari
As the quintessential, big-ticket, once-in-a-lifetime adventure, an African safari ticks all the boxes when it comes to entertaining every member of the family. Top destinations are Tanzania, Kenya, and South Africa, all of which have been offering world-class safaris for decades, as well as a host of other exciting activities to suit all ages. Being wowed by a herd of elephants or a pride of lions on a game drive doesn’t have an age limit and is a fun and memorable bonding experience the whole family can enjoy.
What’s more, because our safari itineraries don’t just include the game drives but all kinds of other activities (cycling, swimming, learning to shoot a bow and arrow…), there are ample opportunities for different family members to do their own thing. Check out our top 10 family activities in Tanzania, our 10 things to do with the family in Kenya, and our best family experiences in South Africa.
2. Holidaying with grandparents in Oman
An increasingly popular destination with maximum ‘exotic’ in less than eight hours from the UK, Oman truly does have something for every generation. Charming, well-developed, welcoming, and with fabulous (and luxurious!) accommodation, it offers everyone the opportunity to enjoy spectacular mountains and desert scenery and even to go looking for turtles. Take a look at our Oman with Kids Top 10 overview for what you could be doing and choose from our Highlights of Oman sample itinerary or our Oman Short Break!
3. Multigenerational holidays in Costa Rica
Jungle zip-wiring in the Arenal Volcano National Park is just one of the things that might appeal to everyone from kids to ‘still got it’ Gramps, although those who don’t fancy that can see the same sights – smoking volcanoes, hot springs, crater lakes, and waterfalls cascading into natural pools – from a sky gondola or while hiking one of the mountain trails.
This hugely biodiverse but tiny Central American republic is a breathtaking natural playground, whether your taste runs to the pulse-racing (white-water rafting) or the relatively sedate (canopy walks or relaxing in hot springs ). Costa Rica’s wildlife is a thrill for all ages too – where else can you see sloths, vividly coloured frogs, jaguars, pumas, anteaters, tapirs, and crocodiles? The guides are superb and the road distances are small, whether you choose private transfers or self-drive. Take a peek at our Costa Rica itineraries, or be inspired by our Costa Rica with Kids blog.
4. Holidays with grandparents in ‘Indochina’
For those grandparents who have grown up with exotic tales of ‘Indochina’, or whose children (us!) want to share their enthusiasm for backpacking days with their parents, but in far more comfort, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, and Vietnam work brilliantly well for multigenerational families. Be wowed by karst scenery on a junk boat in Halong Bay! Take the train over the Bridge of the River Kwai! Wander along the banks of the Mekong! Explore Angkor Wat! Wherever you and your family want to go, allow us to tailor an itinerary to suit every member of the family.
5. A multigeneration holiday in India
Vast and beguiling, India needs to be consumed in manageable bites – which is why our sample itineraries focus on the Golden Triangle/Rajasthan area of the northwest, and then the family-friendly lush and green southern state of Kerala. On our Wonders of Rajasthan trip, all ages will be intoxicated by the ancient forts and shimmering lake palaces, and by the chance to spot Bengal tigers and other amazing wildlife in Ranthambore National Park. In contrast, our Kerala Family Holiday mixes it up with beautiful beaches and backwater boat rides.
The locals in India are more than friendly and most speak very good English. Many of the hotels have a colonial or even palatial charm and often have swimming pools for cooling off after taking in all those glorious sights. The travel if not always the most comfortable is exciting, especially the Jeep rides and the rickshaw and tuk-tuk journeys. Check out our India with Kids post and see customer photos of their trips to India with us.
6. Holiday with grandparents in Jordan
From ancient Arab, Roman and Byzantine sites in the north and around Amman to the mind-blowing rock-cut Nabatean capital Petra (still far from fully excavated), the atmospheric desert camps of Wadi Rum, and the chance to float in the super-saline Dead Sea and then to snorkel or scuba-dive in the Red Sea… Jordan really is a whole world unto itself and a place that will change you all.
This is a place where you can ride horses, donkeys, and camels and immerse yourselves in both history and vast landscapes. But the hotels, lodges, and even the desert camps are lovely and very comfortable. The food is delicious, with plenty of child-friendly dishes including falafel and hummus, and the flights from the UK and the internal distances are reasonably short. To sum up, Jordan gives you a lot of adventure for your buck! See our Jordan itineraries, Jordan with Kids top 10 activities, and our customer photos of Jordan, for more.
Find out more about multigenerational holidays with grandparents and extended family
Whilst we’ve cherry-picked the most likely candidates when it comes to multi-generational holidays, it’s by no means an exhaustive list. See our toddler-friendly holidays, and if you have both older and younger family members, check out our holidays with teenagers. You might also like to see our family summer holidays overview.
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 at 01728 752751, or use our website contact form.