Tips for going on holidays with your extended family


There’s nothing quite like spending quality time with the family. Cancel out chores, errands and the commitments of everyday life and holidays provide a perfect setting for making memories. As expected, almost all Kiwi adults believe multi-generational trips are a fantastic way to bring the whole family together. A recent survey from travel company Expedia confirms this sentiment, revealing that 40% of Kiwis reported going on a trip with more than one generation in 2017. For those with kids the figure rose to 45%. No doubt about it, holidaying with loved ones is a firm favourite among family-oriented New Zealanders.

Expedia’s Kelly Cull says, “A multi-generation escape with parents, kids, siblings and grandparents has a positive impact on all family members as they explore, learn and laugh together. What’s more, children get to enjoy the company of other relatives while parents can catch some brief moments alone.”

Of course, catering to different ages, interests and stages of life means planning a getaway isn’t quite as easy as it might sound. The good news is, we’ve got the scoop on how to pull off a multi-generational getaway that the entire “travelling tribe” will love.


cruise 1Set sail on a cruise

Over the past few years cruises have emerged as hot ticket for multi-generation family holidays. Basically, they wrap all the benefits of a resort into one sleek, perfectly oiled package. One of the biggest draws is the price point, with cruises often offering exceptional value for money. Boutique ships are a fantastic option for special occasions, while bigger lines like Royal Caribbean and Disney are guaranteed to keep the grandkids entertained. If you’re looking for a little down time book with a line that offers kid’s clubs and organised activities. With so many incredible cruises departing from New Zealand you don’t have to look far to find a getaway that the whole family will love.


Meet halfway

For families living in different cities of countries, holidays represent a rare chance to reconnect. Planning a holiday in a halfway point not only slashes travel time but is also a fantastic excuse to visit a new destination and mark the occasion with a memorable holiday. Asia is an exotic and rewarding destination that’s quickly earning a place on the multi-generation family holiday circuit.


beachFinding middle ground

The key to planning a flawless extended family holiday is to be mindful and consider everyone’s preferences. For example, one couple may be happy to let you take the reins when it comes to planning, while another may prefer a little more control. Similarly, there will usually be different budgets to consider so be sure to consult people individually and factor this into your planning process. In over 40% of cases studied by Expedia, older members of the extended family offer to pay or chip in for holidays. While it’s definitely not expected, it can be a great way to ensure that everyone gets to enjoy the holiday without having to stress over finances.


Slow down the pace

While three days here and two days there is a fantastic way to keep things exciting and experience a handful of destinations, holidays with your extended family could call for a more laid-back approach, especially if there are kids involved. Generally, the best way to keep things relaxed and stress free is to bunk down in one destination. Parents will appreciate the slower pace, especially if grandparents lend a helping hand when it comes to child-minding. In fact, a huge 70% of parents confessed they found multi-generational holidays more relaxing when they received additional help looking after the kids. If you’re a grandparent, offering to watch the kids for the evening while the parents enjoy a romantic “date night” is a fantastic way to lower stress levels and bond with your little ones.  


zebrasThink outside the box

Yes, a beach getaway at an all-inclusive resort can be an absolute treat. But if you’re craving something a little different don’t shy away from thinking outside the box. For wildlife lovers with cash to splash there’s no looking past an African safari. With a host of outdoor activities to choose from, summer resorts can be a top pick for adventurous families. Dude ranch getaways are also emerging as a popular option for multi-generation vacations in the US. If you’re on a budget, family campgrounds can be a great place to make memories. Pack fairy lights, spacious tents, multi-burner stoves and fold out beds for a “glamping” experience. Or make reservations at a national park for an off-the-grid getaway. 


Informal rosters

It may seem a little rigid but if you’re renting a self-contained apartment an informal roster can go a long way. Often, family style meals can be cheaper and more efficient than each family preparing their own different dishes. Remember, you’re planning a holiday not a boot camp, so don’t forget to keep things fun and flexible.


Keep your cool

No family is perfect, and it’s completely normal to experience tension with certain members of your extended family. Before you pack your bags why not spend some time reading up on coping techniques. Deep breaths and a shift in your attitude can often go a long way.  


Do you have experience planning holidays with the extended family? Maybe you’ve got a few tips up your sleeve, or a stellar destination idea? We’d love to hear from you so go ahead and share in the comments below.