2023: Time to take a trip with your whole extended family
Our wanderlust has changed since the pandemic. We are more willing to travel now than ever before. In the coming year, we will be spending more time on experiences with our families, outside the big cities.
After a long period during which families have not been able to be together properly, the focus is now on spending time with each other - often while experiencing something unique together. According to travel agency Black Tomato, the family holidays that are being booked now are all about adventurous trips to be taken with the entire multi-generational family. We want cultural experiences and environmentally friendly expeditions. Families are interested in fresh air and outdoor activities, rather than city breaks.
Booking multi-generational vacations well in advance
The trend also shows that families like to book major, adventurous holiday trips well in advance. It's important to have something to look forward to. A survey conducted by American Express shows that 80% of respondents are most looking forward to travelling with their family, and that they want to travel with their extended family more than before. The parents surveyed say that the pandemic has changed the way they think about planning vacations with their children.
Marriott International also agrees that much has changed since the pandemic.
"Coming out of the pandemic we've seen a reprioritization of values, and spending time with loved ones is at the top of the list. The traditional family vacation has expanded to become multi-generational and include extended family, as our guests want to reconnect and re-engage. Across our hotels we're seeing demand for experiences that are educational and entertaining for all ages as families look to make new memories together," says Chris Gabaldon, Senior Vice President, Luxury Brands at Marriott International.
Prefer a dream holiday to a new car
In the same survey, parents say that they would rather spend money on a big holiday than on buying a new car. The key trends are adventure and action-packed trips, where the whole extended family is travelling together.
There are a variety of activities to embark on with the whole family. A clear indication is that cultural experiences are high on people's wish lists. In addition, they want to do things that have a positive impact on the local community.
A simple and good tip on how to achieve this is to make use of local services. Eat at small local eateries rather than big chain restaurants, go shopping in niche shops, and get to know the history of the place you travel to. Visit local museums, use tour guides, and always check which cultural events are held during the period you are considering travelling. Another great way to experience a destination is to explore the local nature. Hiking or biking in the mountains lets you both get a little exercise in and learn more about the country's landscape and history.
From grandchildren to grandparents
In order for the whole family to enjoy themselves as much as possible, there are a few things to consider before booking your big holiday.
The destination is key. It is important to take into account everyone who will be on the trip. Some think it is perfectly fine for the destination to be decided by just a few family members, while others expect to have their say. Many people set out from different locations, and this affects both the budget and length of the trip. It is very important to clarify a budget that is suitable for everyone who is going to travel, as well as to take the health situation of the travellers into account. Grandparents may not be able to bear a 12-hour journey.
Accommodation must be carefully assessed. Of course, the choice depends on how many people travel, but after you have decided where you want to go on holiday, you must consider whether the whole family will be staying together or separately. Hotels are nice for those who want a little more privacy. It is also a very popular option to rent a house that can accommodate everyone.
Do involve the children in your plans. Before departure, you can go over the plans and what activities you have planned for the family to enjoy on the trip. That way, the children are engaged and prepared, and can ask any questions they may have.
Don't plan too much
Agree on everyone's expectations for the trip. One should not take it for granted that grandparents will babysit. Make sure to ask about this before departure, so that no one feels compelled to assume a responsibility they have not agreed to take. It's also not the case that everyone loves the same things. If your husband hates shopping, or your mother-in-law gets stressed out by crowded restaurants, ensure that these are activities in which they need not take part.
Plan varied activities, but don't cram the schedule. You can't please everyone all the time, and it's important to do a little bit of everything so that everyone feels their voice is being heard. There's also nothing wrong with doing things separately. The grandparents may not wish to spend a whole day in the city, or to hike up the mountain, but the children love it, so the nuclear family can go on those excursions on their own. Remember to not have too much planned. Set aside some time for doing nothing at all — one needs time to simply relax, too, after all.
And remember: one can always expect there to be some emotional friction whenever a family is travelling together.