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 recent years but post pandemic, multi-generational holidays are once again on the rise.
A multi-generational trip is a family holiday consisting of three or four generations where people spend time reconnecting and making special memories together.
According to Sarah Watson, guest relations manager at Kruger Gate Hotel, 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.
With the holiday season coming up very soon, here are some expert tips from Watson on how to plan a trip that everyone will enjoy and remember.
Begin planning well ahead of time
If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail. According to Watson, you need to consider everyone’s schedule when it comes to organising a getaway with a group of people ranging in different stages of life.
“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,” said Watson.
Decide on an ideal trip
Watson said that a rejuvenating, intimate spa getaway is best suited for a couple while an action-packed holiday might be appropriate for a family with younger children.
“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,” said Watson.
She highlighted that 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.
“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,” she said.
Activities for everyone
Watson also noted that you should 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,” said Watson.
Separate or alone time is okay
According to Watson, you don’t need to spend every minute of the holiday together and sometimes a moment to ourselves is essential.
“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,” suggested Watson.
Collect memories not screen time
It’s no secret that many of us spend a lot of time on our devices or cellphones. We are spending roughly 58.2% of our days in front of a device screen, according to an Electronics Hub report.
Watson said that time spent with our families and on a holiday is precious, so 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,” said Watson.
Road trip transportation
And finally, Watson said that 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,” said Watson.
She advised that if the whole family is joining the ride, then make sure to check the comfort of the seats if you’re booking a rental car and take into account space for luggage and items like baby car seats.
And she added to ensure that there’s enough leg room as you could spend hours in the car.