Three or even four generations on a scenic adventure, exploring coastlines, the bush or the open roads is a daydream for many. Multi-generational family trips first emerged as a major travel trend nine years ago when boomers began bringing their families along on their post-retirement holidays. This style of holidaying fell out of fashion in the following years but post pandemic, multi-generational holidays are once again on the rise.
Eager to spend time with family, reconnecting and making special memories, people are increasingly planning trips the whole family can enjoy. Far being a fad, multi-generational trips are set to be one of the biggest travel trends of 2023, reflecting the changing demands of travellers wanting cost-effective holidays that are rich in meaningful moments.
In the UK, a new study has found that 89% of people are considering booking a getaway with at least three generations of their family, with 70% expressing a desire to create lasting memories while on holiday. South Africans are equally keen to holiday with grandparents and grandkids in tow, with a survey by Picodi Analysis Team on our travelling habits and preferences showing that 61% of South Africans prefer to holiday with family.
Whether your family this summer plans to visit exotic far flung parts of the world or explore Mzansi’s treasure trove of splendid destinations, like the Kruger National Park or Garden Route, be inspired by these tips from Sarah Watson, Guest Relations Manager at Kruger Gate Hotel, in planning a trip everyone will enjoy,
Begin planning well ahead of time
We all know the saying, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.” That could not be truer when it comes to organising a getaway with a group of people ranging in different stages of life, says Watson. School holiday calendars, work leave days, ideal weather for your activities and factoring other important events during the year are all aspects to consider when going about creating an itinerary that is feasible. You may choose to use the services of a professional travel agent to make this process easier or designate the role to the most organised of your family members. Either way it’s best to plan at least six months ahead of the trip.
Decide on an ideal trip
A rejuvenating, intimate spa getaway is best suited for a couple and an action-packed holiday might be appropriate for a family with younger children. However, this is an adventure unlike any other – one where you have to factor in how the trip will appeal to all ages and needs.
“In a multi-generational trip, a family could have young children or perhaps a grandparent with limited mobility, and of course you want everyone to enjoy themselves to the fullest. Opt for trips that you know will excite everyone. A safari holiday, for example, will appeal to the adults who want to unwind in nature, and the children will benefit from learning about South Africa’s world-famous wildlife. Safaris are also popular multi-generational trip destinations as many hope to see endangered animals in the bush,” explains Watson. “Make sure that the lodge you choose to stay at caters to the whole family’s needs, and that everyone will feel comfortable and welcome there.”
Activities for everyone
Consider what kind of activities will be appropriate and fun for everyone in the family. Tweens might not love wine farm tours, and perhaps granny won’t be enthusiastic about roller coaster rides so take into consideration that the trip’s activities will have to be age-appropriate and suited to your family dynamic. Some families are avid foodies and their holiday might revolve around which restaurants to book, whereas others could be history buffs who want cultural activities surrounding museums or guided tours.
Separate or alone time is okay
“You don’t need to spend every minute of the holiday together,” advises Watson. “Sometimes a moment to ourselves is essential – a holiday is a holiday after all! Taking some time out to read your book, having a relaxing Kruger Gate Hotel spa treatment in the wild or indulging in an afternoon nap is part of the holiday experience. Perhaps everyone could agree to a designated time for the group to do something for themselves each day,” Watson suggests.
Collect memories not screen time
It’s no secret that many of us spend a lot of time on our devices or cell phones. In fact, a report by Electronics Hub studied how much time people across 45 countries globally spent glued to electronic devices and South Africans took the number one spot for spending the most time glued to our screens. We are spending roughly 58.2% of our days in front of a device screen, according to the report findings. Time spent with our families and on a holiday is precious; engage with each other more than with a screen.
“When I interact with guests on multi-generational trips it often comes up how special it is to have everyone together, and how long the family has been wanting to go on such a trip. This is a time to unplug and embrace each moment, and make memories to last a lifetime,” says Watson.
Road trip transportation
Families that love setting off on the open road are spoilt for choice with the scenic options our country has. The enchanting Panorama Route, which meanders through the Mpumalanga highlands, or the north-eastern section of the Great Escarpment of the Drakensberg, is known for its scenic beauty. Relish these regions’ panoramic views, rugged cliffs and lush vegetation on an adventurous family road trip.
However, if the whole family is joining the ride make sure to check the comfort of the seats if you’re booking a rental car. Take into account space for luggage and items like baby car seats, and that there’s enough leg room as you could spend hours in the car on your road trip.