You might have noticed that more families than ever before are choosing to holiday together.
It could be due to money, child-care or simply because they want to spend some quality time together. Whatever the reason, multi-generation holidays can be a hot-bed for petty arguments and irritations, so it’s important that you establish some ground rules before jetting off.
Here are Silver Traveller’s Top Tips for family holiday harmony this summer:-
Plan money. This can be tricky, if meals out are on the agenda, who will pay? Maybe everyone takes turns to pay for a meal, or you could consider putting a kitty system in place where the money is pooled so that no-one feels put upon. A quick conversation before you depart can prevent any misunderstandings later.
Work out babysitting. Ask if grandparents are happy to take charge for a couple of evenings or if they would like to take the kids out for the day. This will allow you, the parents, to organise some quality ‘you’ time.
Communication about bedrooms is vital. Some people like total privacy in their bedrooms, so it’s important to know how the grandparents feel about this. Not everyone wants to be woken up at 5am by a toddler diving under your duvet. If lie-ins are requested be sure you keep the door shut and make sure the children know to knock before entering.
Be honest about bathrooms. Consider setting a bathroom routine, bath at 6pm before dinner perhaps, and let family know. If everyone is sharing one or two bathrooms, it could be useful to have a 10 minute shower rule, especially if teenagers are in the group.
Time is important too. Getting a whole family out of the door at once can be fraught with tension! Try to give an hour and a half warning, with 30 minute reminders. Remember, not everyone goes at the same pace, grandparents can need a lot longer to get ready and are not necessarily used to deadlines. Packing a day full of activities may only suit some members of the group whilst others may be content to do very little.
Clarify what treats are acceptable. Grandparents tend to like to treat their grandchildren but if you have strict sugar rules, make sure everyone is aware of them
Tolerate differences. It will not be the same as life is at home, but that’s the fun of a holiday! Eating at unusual times, doing different things and being surrounded by your family, are all to be enjoyed.