Multi Generational Holidays – The Pros And Cons You Need To Know

We love going on multi generational holidays and from experience know that villa’s work extremely well as you have enough of your own space to not annoy each other. Jo who runs Bookings For You – specialists in luxury Italian holiday villas, has written this guest post for us on the rise of multi generational holidays, the pros and cons you need to know. 

There is no denying the rise of the multi-generational holiday. A few years ago, one in six trips were multi-generational stays. Now it is 1 in 3. A 2017 survey by British company, Saga, found that nearly 50% of over 50s had been on a multi-generational holiday in the last five years with self catering villas the most popular choice for their accommodation.  In fact only 1 in 8 of this age group had never holidayed with family. And this trend looks set to continue. 

For starters, in an increasingly busy world, with time an increasingly precious commodity, these holidays offer the perfect opportunity for families to actually catch up and spend time together. Families are busier than ever. Parents are working, children are at school and the evening and weekends are taken up with a host of clubs, sports and play dates with friends. But this means that many families struggle with really getting to spend some time together and just enjoy each other’s company for a while. Away from the stresses of everyday life – work, school and the unending list of after school clubs and activities – a holiday gives the chance for family just to sit and be…. an opportunity just to relax in each other’s company. 

Moreover, with families increasingly scattered geographically, a holiday provides a good opportunity to actually meet up and be together. 

This is coupled with one final crucial factor: the fact that the modern generation of grandparents are, frankly, much more adventurous with a lot more energy than in previous years. Put quite simply, just like us, this older generation also have bucket lists that they want to keep ticking off. 

Here are what we think are the main benefits….

On tap babysitting: Don’t be fooled in thinking that parents are only inviting the grandparents simply to provide a babysitting service.  Research carried out by Viking Cruises, actually showed that almost a fifth of over 65s are actually travelling regularly with their adult children and adult grandchildren.  But for those with little ones, there can be no denying that having Granny and Grandad present does allow parents to have an extra pair of hands to help and the opportunity for some free babysitting!

Quality time together: Both young and old alike benefit from spending time with one another. You’ll build lasting memories and have some quality bonding. In a world where families increasing live at a distance to one another, holidays offer a chance to bring everyone together in the same place. Even if you’re a family that normally tend to bicker and quarrel, you can easily find that, once you are away from the normal stresses and strains of everyday life, you can find out why you love each other so much again!

Saving on costs: The 2017 Saga survey found that, of those that did travel with family, over half (56%) had opted for self catering accommodation over hotels. A villa rental can be a great option for families over a hotel. Find a big enough villa to accommodate you all and costs will be split across a larger group, making it cheaper per head.

It’s a great way to celebrate: Many choose a multi-generational holiday as an opportunity to celebrate a special event, whether that’s an important wedding anniversary, birthday or something else. Why have just a party lasting a few hours when you can extend the celebrations over a week or more?!!

Enjoying shared interests: A few years ago, the older generation may have felt that they had little in common with their younger grandchildren (and vice versa) but this has changed.  No longer are travel experiences simply the domain for the young instagram generation. Far from it. With their youthful outlook on life, the grandparents will enjoy the adventure, culture, food and travel just as much as the younger family members.

Keeping you young: According to a survey by Forbes, 18% of the over 65s segment regularly travel with their families and a massive 64% believe it is precisely this family time that is keeping them young.  


To be honest, we don’t think there are any cons but, we do think you need to go into a multi-generational holiday with your eyes open and there are things you should consider carefully before deciding where to go. So here are our top tips for ensuring a successful multi-generational holiday for your family in 2019:

  1. Pick a destination that will appeal to all the family. Make sure that there are plenty of activities to occupy the children whether they’re teens or toddlers. But at the same time, you need to ensure that you have found somewhere with the right balance of activities, relaxation and culture for the older family members to enjoy.
  2. Consider whether the grandparents would prefer to have their own space whilst still spending time with you. If you have little ones that tend to wake up at the crack of dawn, but Granny and Grandad prefer to lie in each day, then a property with a separate annex can work brilliantly.
  3. Agree on who is paying for what. A good idea is to have a kitty to draw on when eating out together or for activities you all participate in during the day.
  4. Have the flexibility to spend your time apart. Just because you are holidaying together doesn’t mean you suddenly have to live in each other’s pockets. You can still enjoy separate excursions during the day, meeting up in the evening to discuss what you have been up to. On this point, make sure you hire a couple of smaller cars rather than one large car in order to allow you to have this flexibility.
  5. Opt for a villa rental over hotel accommodation. It will provide a much better environment to spend time together as a family, creating a real home from home feel.

Here at Bookings For You, we can certainly help with the accommodation choices if you, like the majority out there, are looking for a self catering villa holiday for your multi-generational trip. Here are a few of our favourite options:

Villa Colmegna: This 4 bedroom villa in the Italian Lakes is fully equipped for even the youngest family members with plenty of games, travel cot and highchair as well as the peace of mind of a covered pool. Older family members will love the beautiful views, peaceful setting and comfortable bedrooms.

Villa Francese: This 4 bedroom villa in Puglia has the bonus of a separate annex, giving grandparents the chance to spend quality time with family whilst having some privacy.

Villa Barbanera: This luxury villa in Umbria is perfect for families and can be joined together with this adjacent villa in Umbria to provide additional space for larger family groups. Within walking distance of plenty of restaurants, it’s also a great option for families wanting the luxury of a home from home without the pressure to do the cooking!

Do get in touch with the team at Bookings For You if we can help find that perfect villa in Italy for your next multi-generational trip to Italy.

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