Grandparents take charge of holidays
THEtravel site virtualtourist.com 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. Virtualtourist.com 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.