Planning a holiday with your entire family can be incredibly rewarding but difficult. Taking just your family away can be difficult enough but it can become even more difficult when you decide to also invite grandparents and in-laws. Your children might adore having their cousins to play with but things can become a little more difficult when trying to get everything planned out. Here are some top tips to make planning your multi-generational family holiday that little bit easier.
Could a Hotel Be Right?
When you have a big group, one of the most difficult decisions you will have to make will be whether you want to stay in a hotel or opt for self-catering accommodation. There are many advantages and disadvantages to both.
With a hotel, you have everything you need right there. If you are staying at a resort, chances are there will be a kid’s club you can send the children to so the adults can have some relaxation time alone. You can also choose to stay somewhere all-inclusive. This means that you won’t have to worry about food or drink and everyone will be able to help themselves as they want to.
However, you may feel like you do not have enough privacy when staying at a hotel. If any of your children want to share a room with their cousins, they may not like having to stay in a hotel room with their cousins. You may also encounter problems if someone does not want to eat the hotel’s food or go on one of the planned activity days. Sometimes, a little more flexibility is needed.
Is Self-Catering Better?
If a hotel is not right for this trip, a better option for your family might be a self-catering villa. It is even possible to find several self-catering villas grouped together in a shared compound with their own pool. This might be the best option if you want every family going to have their own space but still have a communal area for you to all come together during the day.
Having access to multiple rooms also allows your children to decide who they want to share a room with. If they have a particularly close bond with one of their cousins, you can easily let them stay in a room together.
You might think that staying somewhere like this could be quite expensive but it can come to be quite affordable. With three or more sets of paying adults, you might be able to split the cost of a fairly upmarket villa. This could give you a tad more luxury than you could maybe afford if it was just your immediate family going on holiday.
The obvious drawback with a private villa is the fact that you will all need to pay for your own food. Decide early on what you want to do for meals. If everyone is going to pitch in to help make food, you should put together a kitty for the money and then organise a rota to make sure that the workload is properly taken care of. It might be a boring task for when you are supposed to be on holiday but it is extremely important and the sooner it can be addressed, the better.
Getting to the Airport
Not a lot of people think about how they are going to get to the airport during a big family holiday but it can be incredibly important, especially if you are going to be travelling together through somewhere busy like Heathrow. Some people would just prefer to book an airport transfer but that might not be ideal depending on where you are starting from. If you have a long journey on either side of the flights, or you are all meeting at the airport from different places, it might be better for you to look at Heathrow airport parking services. Even in this busy place, parking at Heathrow airport can be a doddle if you know how to plan it correctly.
By pre-booking your Terminal 5 parking, all you need to do is arrive on the day and drive directly to your designated parking space. No matter how much luggage you have or how many people are with you, you can just park up and then head off into the airport. Consider using these services if you are searching for the perfect way of minimising the stress of the airport from the second you arrive there; no matter how many people you happen to be travelling with.
When you are on holiday with a big group, it is important that you plan a lot of activities to stop everyone from becoming bored. However, with such a big group it can be difficult to decide what to do.
On any days where you want to organise an excursion, try to arrange three options. Two groups will go away and each do a different activity. Anyone who doesn’t want to take part can just stay at the villa or hotel instead. This is an easy way to ensure that everyone will have the chance to do something fun. There is also always going to be someone who would rather stay behind in the sun and this allows them the option to do so.
This holiday will be about spending time together as a family but enforcing this rigorously is going to result in frustrations and the potential for arguments. You need to work out precisely the right balance between spending time together and time apart to best be able to capitalise on this.
Remember to Relax
Trying to pull together this gargantuan effort can be extremely difficult. Whilst you might feel overwhelmed at times, it won’t be long before you are on holiday. If you feel like you are being left with the majority of the planning, reach out to some of the other people coming with you on the holiday. It is your vacation too so you need to make sure that you have plenty of opportunities to take advantage of the time to relax.
If you are particularly close with one of the other families going on this trip, make sure you ask them to give you a helping hand. This is incredibly important even if it will be your partner’s family instead of yours. You cannot be expected to organise everything for the holiday. If you want to arrange the flights, ask someone else to organise the accommodation, and someone else to look into car rental or some other service you might need while you are there. It might be easier than you think to get everything properly arranged.
Once everything has been arranged, you can settle back and prepare for your holiday properly. Remember why you are going on holiday; it certainly won’t be to run around and check up on everyone else. No matter how you want to do it, make sure that you take a little extra time to chill out and enjoy yourself. You have worked hard to pull this holiday together and you certainly deserve the chance to relax.
Contact your relatives and start organising your first big family holiday together now. It might be the best holiday you ever have!