Grand­par­ents take charge of hol­i­days

The Weekend Australian - Travel - - Front Page - SU­SAN KURO­SAWA

THE­travel site vir­tu­ has come up with a list of top 10 multi-gen­er­a­tional des­ti­na­tions. While most of the con­tent seems both ran­dom and ob­vi­ous, the idea is valid. As baby boomers hit re­tire­ment age and gen­er­a­tion X par­ents (the so-called ‘‘sand­wich gen­er­a­tion’’) strug­gle for life-work bal­ance, it makes sense for grand­par­ents to take their grand­kids trav­el­ling, or for all three gen­er­a­tions to jet off, give mum and dad a break each day, and re­assem­ble in the evening.

Then there’s house-party tourism, whereby all gen­er­a­tions get to­gether in a rented villa or hol­i­day home and share the cook­ing, clean­ing and babysit­ting, which is most con­vivial. Vir­tu­ makes the point that smaller and em­i­nently walk­a­ble Euro­pean cities are ideal for fam­i­lies (Barcelona is one ex­am­ple), while ac­tiv­i­ties such as sa­faris in south­ern and east Africa work at all lev­els. Cruises, too, are ideal, with lots to do and plenty of lat­i­tude to get away from each other.

Pre­ferred Ho­tels re­ports that 40 per cent of US leisure trav­ellers (that is, al­most 21 mil­lion) took a multi­gen­er­a­tional trip last year. The num­ber is in­creas­ing and spe­cial­ist agen­cies are emerg­ing to plan be­spoke itin­er­ar­ies, of­ten around an­niver­saries and big birth­days.

Fam­i­lies are more spread out than at any point in his­tory and get-to­geth­ers are pre­cious. MyA­sia-based elder son is such a road war­rior that we were both in Sin­ga­pore last week­end but didn’t re­alise this co­in­ci­dence un­til days later. He hasn’t pro­duced chil­dren but when he does, this gung-ho Granny will be packed and ready.

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