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Planning an inclusive family holiday with the grandparents

The bond between grandparents, parents and grandchildren is a vitally special one and should be cherished. Although it takes a bit more planning and effort, a family holiday adventure that can incorporate all three generations may result in fantastic memories for everyone.


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Planning an inclusive family holiday with the grandparents

The bond between grandparents, parents and grandchildren is a vitally special one and should be cherished. Although it takes a bit more planning and effort, a family holiday adventure that can incorporate all three generations may result in fantastic memories for everyone.

When planning your holiday, however, be mindful. Throughout their daily lives, some elderly people are faced with mobility and accessibility issues. Maybe they require home-based mobility solutions such as bath supports, have questions about which stairlifts are available in their holiday home, or need scooters and other technological aids. If grandparents live with these aids, there are still plenty of companies and resources ready to help you see that mobility is not an issue whilst on holiday.

Here are some tips in planning and enjoying an extended family holiday:

Travel and Amenities

Where you are going and what services or amenities are needed is probably the first order in planning your multi-generational holiday. Based on your budget, try to select accommodation that affords you as much space as possible. Especially if travellers are used to privacy, the number of bathrooms, private bedrooms and amount of communal space will be important. Many hotels offer family layouts, or think about larger cottage holidays.

In some cases, older travellers may need special assistance to make sure the holiday goes off without a hitch. Disabled Access Holidays is a UK company dedicated to offering the best support for your multi-generational holiday plans. Started through their own personal needs for support whilst travelling, the owners of the company are dedicated to providing the best in mobility and support solutions whilst travelling.

"We are focused on delivering a customer service tailored to the individual needs of our clients,” said the company owners. “From organising mobility equipment, guaranteed accessible room booking, arranging adapted taxi transfers, to booking flights with airport assistance, our aim is to take the stress out of organising a holiday for disabled people."

The Cornish Seaside

One destination idea is The Rosevine in Cornwall. Located on the Roseland Peninsula just east of Falmouth, what makes this holiday destination so special is the flexibility. The experience there is designed for families to enjoy themselves. Travellers can visit The Rosevine as a pampered guest, choose a self-catering option, or a bit of both. It is walking distance to the beach, but located in a quaint Cornish seaside village with plenty of shops, restaurants and pubs for those not wanting to play in the sand. Their accessibility information can be found here.

Communication is key

Failing to talk about holiday responsibilities is the easiest way to spoil the entire time. Childcare often becomes a big point of contention. Grandparents often want to spend quality time with the grandkids, but not at the expense of their overall holiday experience. Being brought along only to be babysitters will leave a sour taste in their mouths.

If planning a stay in a holiday cottage, be sure to discuss who will be doing which chores. Will you eat out or is self-catering the best option? Who is going to cook, and how often? If your holiday is in the UK, you may want to bring the family together ahead of time to discuss meals, menus and special dietary needs. It may be advisable to plan a shop prior to travelling as well.

Finally, make sure you talk about finances before the trip. There must be communication and compromise because different generations are focused on achieving different goals whilst on holiday. Some older generations may feel obliged to pay or lead a holiday. Some may want an all-inclusive experience, or an experience that requires a bit of work.

“In the past, often you’d go to a big resort and…the grandparents would watch the kids play in the water,” said Melissa Biggs Bradley, founder and CEO of upscale travel company Indagare in an interview with The Wall Street Journal. “In the last couple of years we’ve seen almost 90% of multigenerational trips have an emphasis on, ‘I’m going to be the global guide for my grandchild.’ ”

The quintessential English adventure

There is nothing more English than enjoying time with the family in “Robin Hood Country”. At the friendly and accommodating Center Parcs Sherwood Forest, there are plenty of options for all members of the family. There are sporting and leisure activities as well as indoor activities to avoid the potential of wet weather. The site offers a number of self-catering options for larger families, and a supermarket on site, and they have adapted lodges for those with mobility difficulties.

Holiday expectations

Grandparents have raised their kids. And if you are all enjoying a family holiday together, they must have done a few things right. Multi-generational holidays require effort and a fair amount of respects to be paid. Agree to children's bedtimes and consequences to poor behaviour ahead of time. A mutual agreement to talk through any problems before they blow up out of proportion is always helpful. There is nothing worse than suffering in silence for a week due to a misunderstanding.

When planning – and executing an extended family holiday – be mindful of everyone’s abilities. If older members struggle walking for long periods of time, a four-hour long nature hike may not be a sensible choice. Does the cottage you are staying in need extra support devices like a stairlift or disabled toilet? Be sure to explore alternatives that will help everyone feel part of the experience.

The NHS has created a handy guide to help older travellers prepare for holidays and trips. One of the main pieces of advice is that if you have questions or concerns about travelling with family, make an appointment to discuss the trip with your GP in what experts call a “Pre-Travel Assessment”. According to the NHS, the meeting with your GP may reveal the need for special advice on the mode of travel, choice of destinations and route, determine adequate medication needs, and determine if alternate names are used overseas.

Enjoy the Cotswolds

Located in the idyllic Cotswolds in Worcestershire, The Elms is perfect for a multi-generational adventure. The location is a mixture of luxury and family-friendly cheer. It caters for children and offers a number of activities to keep them entertained. And being located in some of the prettiest English countryside, there is plenty for everyone to enjoy. You can find out more about their accessibility information here.


Main Image Credit: moodboard, Kevin Dooley, Simone A. BertinottiSharron, Kumweni  

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