Finding the perfect balance between everyone’s needs is the secret to successful family travel with multiple generations. Here, we give you our top tips and guidelines for planning a happy vacation for the extended family.
Have you heard of 3G travel? No, it’s not some hi-tech virtual travel experience. In fact, 3G stands for three-generation travel, which together with private home stays, is the top travel trend for 2023. Our Art House Collection has incredible, safe and fun homes in South Africa’s most desirable locations whatever your family’s requirements, but our focus doesn’t stop at the accommodation. We believe in curating a superb, entertaining and educational experience through which your entire family can create lifelong memories to treasure. Get ready to travel the world with your babies, toddlers, or teens, as well as with grandparents and your extended family.
First, choose your destination
With so many bucket-list places to visit, it can be hard to choose where to go, so sit down as a family and discuss the type of vacation you want. Is it a beach holiday or an urban adventure? Perhaps your teens want high-adrenaline outdoor action, or it’s time to immerse them in culture, fine art and fabulous food—with a dollop of shopping for good measure? Once you’ve done this homework, choosing a destination is so much easier, and ensures that everyone’s interests will be satisfied.
Go for the winning flexibility of private home vacations
The blossoming boom in multigeneration travel is followed closely by a demand for private home vacations, with families staying longer in one house for the whole family. Longer stays allow you to immerse yourself in your destination, exploring more meaningfully and consciously than before. At a private home you are in control of your own environment and time. You choose when, where and what you do! Experiences—whether cultural, adventurous or educational—are the top priority. While everyone still wants the thrill of seeing fabulous sights, the luxury of time allows you to enjoy the benefits of traveling slowly, living like locals, and savoring the spirit of the place.
Slow travel is also brilliantly suited to traveling with multiple generations: kids of all ages and grandparents prefer schedules that aren’t packed from sunrise to sunset. And this is where the benefits of an Art House Collection vacation are crystal clear. Not only are they in the very best locations in the world, but these immaculate self-contained homes are also perfectly designed for extended family holidays. There is plenty of space to spread out, with communal areas where you can spend family time together. Another important bonus of private home vacations over hotels is that parents have a wonderful space in which to relax during naptime and once the little ones are asleep for the night. (And, unlike a hotel stay, your own private home gives you the benefit of privacy, which reduces the risk of Covid-19 transmission and provides peace of mind.) But whatever your destination, choosing the right home is key to a successful vacation.
Select the right home for your personal needs
Swimming pools are a win with children of all ages as well as the adults, but there is more to look out for when choosing a home. If your family includes toddlers and young children, select a home with an indoor or outdoor play area. For older children and teens, a games room (with, for example, table tennis or a pool table) and a home cinema are a hit. Tweens and teens love the flexibility of being able to hang out in the fabulous entertainment areas and games rooms, lounge beside the pool, and then retreat to their personal spaces when they need some downtime. Equally, grandparents appreciate the opportunity to withdraw to their private suite if family life gets a little too boisterous.
Increasingly, our guests tell us that they are digital nomads, combining leisure time with the occasional need to work online. A home with a private office space really lends itself to 3G travel: the rest of the family can live it up without distracting the one who is ‘at work’.
Design your own fresh and healthy menus
The capacity to self-cater is another real benefit of a private home over a hotel. Babies, toddlers and very young children usually prefer familiar fare prepared in a familiar way, and they frequently have eating schedules that don’t chime with dining hours in a hotel. And we all know that teens are eating machines who like nothing better than free access to a well-stocked refrigerator! A superbly equipped kitchen—and the option of having your own chef–takes all the stress out of meal prep and kids’ mealtimes. A solid advantage of staying in our homes is that you can select your own menu of fresh, healthy, lovingly prepared meals catered to suit your family’s specific dietary requirements and menu preferences. Plus, our experienced chefs are great with families, and we find that our younger guests love spending many happy hours helping them in the kitchen, learning new baking skills and making their own pizzas.
Opt for brilliant activities that are fun and educational
Travel is in itself an alternative education, and it’s a wonderful way to broaden your children’s minds and expose them to new cultures, ideas and experiences. These multisensory learning opportunities have been shown to have lifelong benefits for kids. At Art House Collection, we have access to world-class specialized tutors and instructors. Want to learn to play the piano or a foreign language, or finetune your tennis and golf skills while on vacation? We will provide the very best private teachers.
And if the entire family simply wants to relax, we strongly recommend planning a loose schedule of fun activities and outings that keep everyone entertained. It is a great idea to let your kids and teens choose between several activities instead of giving them no direction whatsoever. Our expert team has all the insider’s secrets to curate the best and most authentic family-friendly experiences tailored to your precise needs. Immersive experiences range from guided nature walks and cycling trips to snorkeling and scuba diving, or even tandem paragliding, family cooking sessions, interesting walking tours, or art or yoga classes. These bespoke experiences will reshape how everyone in your family views and connects with the world.
Choose Art House Collection for trusted travel support
Sometimes wrangling the whole family while you’re on vacation can leave you feeling that they are having more fun than you. It is essential to plan ahead to minimize travel stress and to carve out some me-time in your vacation itinerary, and our Art House Collection in-house team has tried-and-trusted strategies to assist you here.
Speak to us if you’d like us to provide airport assistance, arrange age-appropriate car seats, set up bespoke kids’ menus to suit your tastes, provide competent and fun au pairs and babysitters, pre-book age-appropriate activities and kids’ workshops, or arrange guided nature walks with your kids, tennis lessons, family farm visits, family cycling trips, art-history lessons that the kids will actually enjoy, and so much more! If you can think of it, we can probably set it in place for you.
Our last bit of advice? Don’t plan a packed itinerary. Leave time to be surprised by the joys of your destination, and for everyone to just relax and bond.