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Multi-generational travel on the rise

Parents travelling with their adult children is a key travel trend for 2019.

Multi-generational travel has become a significant travel trend in 2018 and demand for overseas family getaways is set to escalate into 2019. More parents are finding it pleasurable and easy to travel abroad with their adult children. All-ages travel for grown-ups is an excellent way for families to bond.

Who knows, your family may turn out to be your best travel partners. Even if not, you’ll have plenty of fun stories to share around the dinner table in the years to come.

Teresa Richardson, Managing Director of The Travel Corporation in South Africa, which includes guided holiday brands Trafalgar and CostSaver, tells us why we should try it for ourselves.

It’s practical

Travelling with your parents or when parents travel with their adult kids can be an efficient, practical use of everyone’s time and money,” says Richardson.

Families often have weddings, anniversaries or other special occasions happening somewhere else in the world. Adding on a few extra days after or before a big event gives families the chance to enjoy the destination and a holiday together,” she says.

For adult children especially, who could be strapped for time and even funds, combining a holiday with family time is also most efficient.

According to the Pew Research Center, in 2016, 15 percent of 25 to 35-year-old Millennials still lived with their parents, suggesting they would likely still be travelling with them, too.

I love travelling with my family as it is quality time which you don’t get to experience with everyday life going on,” says 30-year-old Laura Bartie, who lives in Johannesburg, apart from her parents and brother who are together in Durban.

Bartie says the entire family enjoys a beach holiday and skiing. Together, they have travelled to Austria, Thailand, France, Zanzibar and the Maldives.

Another obvious benefit… is that they like to pay for things,” Bartie concedes.

However, for parents, a group holiday is a chance to spend more quality time with their grown children, perhaps even their beloved grandchildren.

Quality time together

With more and more family members living hurried lives or in different parts of the world, shared holidays are a chance to step away from virtual chat interfaces and spend quality time, in the flesh, together.

On family trips, we can relax, enjoy each other’s company and create lasting memories. It really means a lot to me travelling with them because I don’t often get to spend that much time with [my family], with us not living in the same city,” Bartie adds.

The places we choose as a family are usually all-inclusive resorts, as we are happy to be in one location. With friends, I feel it’s more about seeing and doing as much as we can in a space of time. With my family, we want to spend time together and relax. It’s a different travel experience.

Get to know each other all over again

A shared holiday lets travellers get to know a new destination and see their family members in a new light.

When travellers are plucked out of their routines, very often they appreciate a different culture but also the unique – and sometimes downright quirky – traits of the people closest to them,” Richardson agrees.

Who knew your mom would be so good at hurling? (Referring to the 3000-year-old national sport of Ireland, of course) or that Dad could order a Soupe à l’Oignon Gratinée (onion soup) in France with his very basic French?

Shared memories

Create shared family memories sailing on a Greek caique boat (a type of fishing boat) off the coast of Mykonos, wandering the halls of Trinity College in Dublin or sharing a gondola in Venice.

What was great about our family tour in Europe with Trafalgar, was that the group consisted of people of all ages,” says Chené Roux, who travelled to Switzerland, Italy and France with her parents and brother.

Nobody felt [left] out or uncomfortable, and we had enough free time to do our own thing… I found that so enriching. It was so beautiful to connect with people from all over, at different stages in their lives.

What is ideal about our CostSaver trips especially is that you can build your own holiday,” says Richardson. “For parents and adult kids travelling together, with each family member having different interests, they can choose what they each want to do, creating experiences that suit them personally and then come together to share some amazing experiences as a family.

Then there are our Trafalgar family trips, especially designed for multi-generational travel. The new Irish family trip which includes visits to Game of Thrones sets, medieval archery and legends of giants and leprechauns, is one that the whole family will love (‘big’ kids included).

Even the memories that may not appear to be so great at first – such as your brother forgetting his passport in the hotel safe, mum dawdling in the markets or the whole family laughing at your attempts to parla italiano in Rome – you can travel assured that these moments and tales will be remembered for the next 20 years.

Tips for parents and adult children planning to travel together

  1. Go with an open mind

Set off with an open mind and a bucket load of patience. You might be in a new and exotic setting, but they’re still your family. Have realistic expectations and understand that some things might not go as you planned.

  1. Prioritise alone time and personal space

Choose a destination, accommodation and itinerary that provides everyone with some ‘me time’ and space.

A guided holiday offers different activities for different interests, which is another way to please each family member.

  1. The right type of holiday

River cruises are another favourite type of holiday for groups and families. The advantages are that you only have to unpack once while seeing multiple destinations, and a cruise is as relaxing as it could get.

Island resorts often have all-inclusive accommodation and meal packages. This is ideal, as everyone can truly relax on their beach getaway and not need to worry about creeping costs.

A guided holiday in the UK and Europe, such as with Costsaver, is a favourite with South African families. There is something to please everyone, from history and culture to nature and food.

Central and South America is a great option for the adventurous or nature-loving family. Seeing Argentina, Chile or Brazil as a family would be unforgettable. Costa Rica offers a wonderful eco-holiday that is perfect for all generations from the littlies to the young adults and everyone in between.

By Jenna Berndt

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