Quite a lot of my friends and relatives have been travelling with extended family members recently. Some of them have had a brilliant time, while others have hated the experience.
Travelling with extended family
With that in mind, I have decided to collate a list of hints and tips to help you have a good holiday.
Keep Kids Entertained
Even if you don’t have children yourself, chances are, there’s at least one little cherub within your party. If that’s the case, make sure your destination has suitable entertainment for them. A villa in the middle of nowhere may be great for a group of adults wanting to unwind, but a child is likely to get bored there very quickly. Bored children tend to become grumpy or mischievous children very quickly. Hotels with kids clubs are usually a great idea.
Make sure the accommodation is accessible for all of your party. If Granny Joan cant manage stairs, you’d best make sure your accommodation is stair free. Personally, I wouldn’t rely on a lift – If it’s out of order, your holiday will be ruined. Ground floor hotel accommodation or a private, accessible villa would be my recommendations. Many hotels now have stairlifts too, but check your room is covered by it. If anyone needs carry on assistance on the plane, make sure you let the airline and travel agent know.
Make sure everyone in your party gets insurance as soon as you book. If you don’t buy it through your tour operator, make sure someone sorts out travel insurance for each older relative travelling with you. If you don’t have insurance , something goes wrong, you’ll be in big trouble. Imagine if you lose your job 6 weeks before you travel and cant afford to go – you won’t be covered for a refund. Make sure your policy includes unforeseen events.
As lovely as it is, travelling with extended family, sometimes you may want some space. Personally, I would recommend separate rooms or apartments wherever possible. A 3 bedroom apartment may save you a bit of money, but if there’s going to be 6 adults sharing one bathroom, it’s likely to become annoying very quickly.
If there are young children who are likely to need to go to bed before the rest of the party, maybe set up a schedule? If there’s 2 sets of parents with young kids, take it in turns so each couple gets a “child free” night. Don’t expect elderly relatives to take charge of little ones though – not unless they offer of course! Sometimes one of the perks of travelling with extended family is the extra hands available to help out with little ones…
If you’re one of those families who all buy rounds but someone insists on the most expensive drink available, maybe a kitty is a good idea? Work out what you’ll be drinking and then how much it’ll be and put that amount in the kitty. Say, if your drink is going to be $10 a go, but your sister’s on water and hers is only $2, you put $50 in and she puts $10 in. That way, you’re all only paying for your own drinks and nobody gets annoyed about posh aunt Violet insisting on the best bubbly on the menu, while you want half a shandy.
Spend Time Apart
If you’re travelling with your extended family, don’t be afraid to split up and go off and do things alone. Older relatives may not want to go to the water park, and equally, the kids may not want to explore the historical old town. Mix and match what you’re going to do.
Keep Kids Safe
Make sure the kids in your party aren’t left unsupervised around the pool or beach. No matter how confident they are in the water, accidents happen – even if there is a lifeguard on duty. Make sure you apply plenty of sun cream – even if they don’t usually burn. Make kids aware that cars travel on the other side of the road (if applicable) so they need to take extra care when crossing roads.
Are any of your party vegetarian? Is anybody Gluten Intolerant or allergic to peanuts? Make sure your chosen hotel can cater for everybody’s needs. If not…. a villa with a decent kitchen and a supermarket close by would be a good idea.
Keep In Touch
Set up a group WhatsApp or messenger chat so you can keep in touch with everyone from one place. This is especially useful if you’re in separate rooms and meeting for dinner or such like. Or if you’re off doing different things and meeting up later on.
I hope these tips have proven useful. Have you been travelling with extended family? I’d love to know how it went, and if you have any tips to share. Feel free to check out the rest of my Travel category here!