Surviving a holiday with extended family

family holiday

Our recent holiday to Florida we travelled with my parents who are in their seventies.  A multi-generational trip can be quite tricky!  It’s important to be as organised so you avoid potential clashes.  Apparently, six percent end up catching an early flight home when the extended family holiday turns sour.  Luckily, we didn’t get to that stage, so we must have all been doing something right.  We are smiling in this picture after all!

Be Prepared

What you need to do is make the whole process as stress-free as you can.  My parents had a real struggle finding suitable travel insurance because of their age and existing medical conditions.  It was quite worrying getting everything organised in time.  The roles are now reversed on a holiday like this.  I was now in charge of booking everything and chasing everyone to make sure all the relevant documentation is completed!  I wish I had pointed them in the direction a company like Medical Travel Insurance who had custom cover for pre-existing medical conditions.

With 1000 different medical conditions listed they can meet the needs of even the most frequent visitors to the doctors (for example my mum!).  If I had started with them it might have sped up the process and I could have relaxed knowing my parents had adequate cover in place!  I got a bit tense at one point because I was worried they might get ill, as the holiday was booked already but they were slow to sort out their insurance.

Outline Expectations

It’s worth going over each other’s plans for the trip.  Will you have a similar pace to each other?  Does the agenda satisfy the needs of everyone on the holiday? I was worried a theme park holiday might be a bit of a stretch for my parents.  With it being my boys first visit I wanted to cram in as much as possible.  With the heat, crowds and distances you end up walking it can get a bit much.  So, get everyone to pack comfortable shoes…

Think about space

If you usually like your personal space its not a good idea to think about making compromises whilst your away on holiday together.  If you can afford separate accommodation its worth splashing the cash for the sake of family harmony!  The hotel we booked seemed so much smaller when we all arrived and hubbie and I were sleeping in the living room.  I should have booked a villa, as even just being away with the boys extra bedrooms help get them off to sleep with less of a battle.


My parents get up exceptionally early to be ready for a day out, whereas we prefer to sleep in as long as we can.  If you have different routines make sure you book that all important separate accommodation (or at the very least make sure everyone has their own room!).  Otherwise you can end up feeling exhausted from busy schedules combined with not enough sleep.  Also try and add in some downtime when no-one needs to rush off anywhere!  A lie-in works wonders for everyone.

holiday family

The most important thing is to try and have fun!  For me the odd niggles were worth it just to spend quality time together.  The boys have more wonderful memories with their grandparents.

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