The constraints and separations of the last couple of years have emphasised the value of spending time with family, from the smallest child to the oldest grandparent. Gathering for Sunday lunch and festive celebrations is fun, but sometimes it’s refreshing to do something different. Especially when it comes with added sun and sand!
Multigenerational travel is on the rise, and there’s no better way to come together than with a family villa holiday. It gives everyone the chance to bond over shared experiences while exploring new destinations and making life-long memories. Yet if you’ve never travelled with a large family group before, you might be a bit daunted by the prospect. After all, Grandpa Joe’s penchant for military museums doesn’t go hand-in-hand with little Oliver’s quest for cannonball perfection at the pool.
So, just how do you please everyone and ensure holiday harmony for all?
1. Plan well ahead
Organising private villa holidays in advance is key. Whether you’re heading to the turquoise waters of the Turkish coast or fancy walking in the footsteps of gods on idyllic Greek Islands, a little planning goes a long way. There are fewer properties for large groups than there are for couples, which means the most spacious spots get snapped up quickly. You can avoid being left with slim pickings by booking well ahead. A year is a good lead-in time.
It’s also important to discuss the holiday early so that everyone knows what to expect. This ensures that all participants have an input and that the responsibility for planning the trip doesn’t rest on the shoulders of one person. If Auntie Eileen has her heart set on going parasailing during the stay, this is when she can lay her cards on the table!
2. Book a villa with plenty of space
If you’re planning a family holiday abroad, the chances are that you all get along well and enjoy each other’s company. However, everyone needs their own space. Having somewhere you can retreat after exploring hill towns near your Tuscany villa or beach hopping on the Costa del Sol is key to keeping things sweet.
Many of our private family villas have plenty of indoor and outdoor space as well as multiple bedrooms, allowing everyone to find a little sanctuary when required. It’s also important to make sure there are several bathrooms – this will avoid crossed legs in the mornings while the teenagers take up residence in front of the mirror.
3. Organise family-friendly activities
To get the family bonding, try to arrange activities that bring everyone together. This could be a beach picnic, a boat trip or even a hot air balloon ride. Happy kids mean happy adults, so always consider the enjoyment of your youngest travellers when planning excursions. Think about the mobility of the grandparents too. It’s likely that legs both young and old won’t thank you for rugged volcano hikes in Lanzarote, no matter how worthy the views!
Booking villas with private pools in places like Spain or Cyprus are a good bet. They give you entertainment right on your doorstep and mean you don’t have to spend all day out and about. Another top tip is to take a pack of cards or other travel-sized family games that can be played at the villa. There’s nothing like a raucous game of Snap to bring everyone together.
4. Have the money conversation
It’s never easy to talk about money, but when a family villa holiday is involved, this is a conversation you must have. Don’t leave it until you’re standing in the restaurant, eyeing up a particularly fine-looking charcuterie platter, before deciding who is going to pay for what. By having an informal agreement in place beforehand, those potentially awkward moments will be banished.
There’s a lot to consider when it comes to holiday expenses, but that doesn’t mean it has to be complicated. You just need to discuss if you’ll be splitting the bills equally, or whether certain family members wish to cover specific costs. Just leave room for a little spontaneity, for when Uncle George can’t resist treating you all to ice creams!
It can help to set a budget so that expectations are determined at an early stage. Some people may wish to splurge whilst others might want to keep a tighter rein on the purse strings. Having an open conversation about spending will pave the way for amicable villa holidays in the Algarve, Crete and everywhere in between.
5. Try not to overload your itinerary
The secret to successful multigenerational family holidays is balance. It’s tempting to cram in as many activities as possible, to make the most of your time away. Yet remember to factor in some chill time too. It can be exhausting always being out and about, and that’s when tempers start to fray.
Try to plan plenty of relaxation periods at the property – villas with private pools are ideal for this! The kids will love being able to just play, and it’ll give everyone the chance to recharge, ready for the next adventure.
6. Don’t do everything together
Family may be at the heart of this trip, but that doesn’t mean you have to spend every minute in each other’s pockets. Making sure that people have room to breathe is essential for everyone’s sanity on group holidays.
Keep portions of each day free so that individuals can do their own thing. If Grandma Patricia wants to poke around archaeological sites while the kids plunge down waterpark flumes – or indeed vice versa – that’s okay. You can all recount your day’s adventures over a family dinner when everyone is back home at the villa.
It’s time to make that family villa holiday happen
There’s never been a better time to switch off from everyday life and escape to the sun with the whole family in tow. A multigenerational vacation gives you the chance to reconnect with those who matter the most, by sharing experiences and spending time away from the distractions of home. Having the beach on your doorstep is just a bonus.
Hotels and resorts are all well and good, but private villa holidays step things up a notch by delivering both comfort and independence. By staying in a villa, you’ll be calling all the shots. Well, you, plus Grandpa Joe and little Oliver.