multi-generational family on a beach

For as long as I can remember and even before my boys were born I have had many family holidays with the grandparents in tow. I find travelling with grandparents great for family bonding time. Although, normally it is just my parents that come along with us. Are you thinking of a holiday with the grandparents too? Then why not read my top tips for a smoother multigenerational holiday and why I love them so much.

How To Travel With Grandparents In Tow On A Family Holiday

Villa holiday with grandparents

Make Sure Everyone Has Their Own Space

My first tip is no matter what type of accommodation is that you book, make sure each set of grandparents has their own room and/or living room if possible. This means they can relax and get away when things get too much for them (it is their holiday too). Especially useful I find in the afternoons when everyone is looking for some downtime.

families at Cringletie House Hotel

Set Some Ground Rules

Make sure everyone knows (including the kids) what the rules are. For instance, if the grandparents have their own bedroom then inform the kids to stay out (unless the grandparents don’t mind). If you don’t want the kids to have certain things then make sure everyone knows (especially if you have children who are gluten and/or dairy free). This stops any arguments starting while away. Another useful tip would be if staying in the same accommodation to sort out what chores will be done by who. Maybe one night one couple will cook dinner while another cleans up etc. It all helps and will stop one couple doing everything.

Date Nights

I have never done this but if you are expecting the grandparents to watch the kids one night (or more) while you go out, then you MUST ask them before the holiday (or right at the start). You don’t want to make them feel like babysitters while away on their own holiday. Don’t just assume they will want to babysit.

Duinrell Theme Park

Think About Days Out For Grandparents Too!

I always try and have a mix of kid-friendly days out (zoo etc) and then something others may enjoy like a castle or a museum. The night before I will then try and arrange timings so you are not stressing out in the morning trying to get kids and grandparents ready on time (because let’s face it, the grandparents can be just as bad as the kids!). Remember the grandparents are there to have a holiday and relax too, so some days they may just want to stay behind and do their own thing.

Purse and Euros

Talk About Money

I find discussing who is paying for what on the day also very handy. I normally pay for all our own meals and days out, but if we stop for ice cream or cake then someone will pay one day and then the next person will pay the following day. You may not agree and pay for all your own things and keep money out of it, which is totally fine too!

Driving on Motorway in France

Two Cars If Possible

While on a multigenerational holiday I find having two cars very handy. This means they have their own space while travelling (not everyone wants to be stuck in a car with kids!). It also is great if they wish to go out for the day by themselves to do something they want to do.

What tips would you have for travel with grandparents in tow? Have you ever enjoyed the holidays with grandparents coming along too? Lets me know in the comments below.

Check out Dorests Greenwood Grange for a multi-generational trip away.

How To Travel With Grandparents In Tow On A Family Holiday | Top Tips For A Multi-generational Family Holiday

First Published March 2017
Linking up with #fearlessfamtrav

About Author

I have always had an interest in travel and now I have My two boys I want them to see more than just the UK. I hope to give advice and tips to other parents who are anxious about travelling with their children.

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  1. It can get tricky when planning for everyone but you’ve shared some really excellent tips so that everyone has a good time! Do you travel with the grandparents often?

    1. Thank you for your comment. Yes it can certainly be tricky to keep everyone happy. Yes, we can travel several times a year with my parents. We all love spending the quality time together 🙂

  2. We travel quite frequently with grandparents – going to next week! Agree on all of the points – thanks for linking to #fearlessfamtrav

    1. It’s very rare for us not to travel with my parents. As we all work together we don’t get the quality family time together even though we see each every day. So getting away for some downtime really is a nice way to spend a holiday 🙂 Have fun on your next holiday with the grandparents in tow 😀

  3. Some great tips and I know from experience it can be tricky travelling with the grand parents and sometimes feels like you have just gained two more kids (see the tip on chores above). I would echo that you need to agree everything before you book and focus in on what expectations everyone has from the holiday – what do they expect to do, how active do they want it to be, how much quiet time do people expect etc.


    1. Yes sometimes it does feel like you have gained extra children! It can be difficult to keep everyone happy but our tips work for us so thought we would share…especially if it helps others! 🙂

  4. Last year we traveled for six months with our baby. My parents visited us three times for a week. We’re currently planning our next long term trip and they will go along with us for real now. Can totally relate to your tips. Definitely about the rules and the money.
    About the babysitting, however, my parents will babysit a few hours per week so my husband and I can work (we both work location independent). So we do assume they’ll babysit 😉
    Have fun on your next big family holiday!

    1. Ah yes, its good your parents can help watch your children when you and your husband need to get some work done. Its great that you can earn a living while travelling!

  5. It’s lovely that your family all enjoy travelling together.
    But every family and child is different. For us our son was always happy to nod off to sleep in the pram, that didn’t matter if it was in the middle of a busy night market.
    Of course we had the holiday when he was 3 that I had to take him to time out every meal, but having my Dad their wouldn’t have helped – I think would have just put me more on edge as he can’t stand the tantrums.
    Enjoy your family trips I think it’s wonderful that your parents get to enjoy this time with their grandchildren.


    1. Oh yes of course every child is different. My parents can’t stand the boys having tantrums either. However, if they want to go on a big family holiday then its something they have to deal with! haha! Thank you for your comment, hopefully we will have many more family holidays with them.

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