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The Diner, Butlins, Minehead

Mark Warner

large enough to fit them all,” says Sheryl Wilkinson, Gold Medal car hire product manager. “But for multi-generation family travel, we always recommend hiring two smaller vehicles, so the family aren’t tied together for the whole holiday. Grandparents can go off and explore on day trips or in the evenings and, if the children get tired, part of the group can leave early while the other stays out later. This often makes for a happier holiday with less stress!” It doesn’t all have to be about fly-and-flop. Premier Holidays has noticed a trend for experiential three-generational holidays, from safari at the likes of South Africa’s Shamwari Game Reserve to elephant trekking in Thailand and Borneo’s orangutan sanctuaries.

When it comes to a

more adventurous holiday, family-specific touring programmes such as Trafalgar’s Family Experiences can do the legwork, with transport and organisation taken care of. Be careful, though, that there isn’t too much action. Tim Winkworth, brand and product manager for The Family Adventure Company, says: “Extended families tend to look for holidays with quality accommodation, not too much travelling and an itinerary that has something to suit everyone. They prefer trips that are centre-based rather than moving around, so grandparents can dip in and out of activities.” He reports growth in this market

for trips to Italy and Costa Rica where, last year, a grandmother took her entire family on holiday for her 70th birthday. Players in the market as

diverse as Caribbean all-inclusive operator Beaches and European villa specialists Interhome both highlight that there is more than one type of multi-generational holiday. In addition to three generations simply choosing to holiday together, there’s an increase in multi-generational family reunions, often with the grandparents as the focal point for an anniversary or birthday. For these, groups tend to be even larger and can involve booking a trip the family considers to be once-in- a-lifetime, rather than a

repeat of their usual choice. Beaches has ‘sixth room

free’ offers, plus a ‘family reunion’ group package with added benefits including private check-in, a family picnic on the beach, dedicated family activities, a private family dinner, a family photo shoot with a complimentary photo for each room, and a farewell cake. Interhome suggests one of its very large villas, with at least six bedrooms and four bathrooms, large kitchen and dining areas, and enclosed garden.

l HOLIDAY IDEAS With either very young children or much older parents, flights may be more trouble than they’re worth, so why put the family through it when the UK has so much to offer? Hoseasons suggests sending them to Swandown Lodges in Dorset, where the chic, two-storey lodges sleep up to eight people and there’s an outdoor hot tub, patio and barbecue for family time. A three-night weekend break for a family of six starts at £365.

Swandown Lodges, Dorset

Or suggest grandparents relive their holiday heydays with a visit to the new chalet village at Butlins Minehead. They’ll be impressed by how the iconic chalets have been re-imagined for the 21st century in consultation with experts from Mumsnet, with arts and crafts materials for rainy days and sports equipment for fairer weather. For nostalgic retirees, there’s the new 1950s-style diner with live rock and roll performances. When it comes to a classic Spanish villa holiday, Interhome recommends its holiday house just over half a mile from the beach in St Antoni de Calonge on the Costa Brava. Sleeping eight, it has a large kitchen, living room and swimming pool. Prices start from £16 per person per night. Thomson offers the Villa Casa do Rui in Albufeira, Portugal, 15 minutes from the beach. The whitewashed villa is traditional in style, with three bedrooms, a large kitchen, separate dining room, and a private pool with sun terrace. A seven-night holiday with flights departing from Stansted on October 18 starts at £3,546 for four adults and two children. For short-haul value, Cosmos

Holidays earmarks the Vogue Hotel, a five-star in Torba, Bodrum. Kids are catered for with an on- site aqua park, children’s pools both indoors and outdoors with a pirate ship, kids’ and teens’ clubs, fairground rides, indoor and outdoor play areas, and a kids’ cinema. Parents can take advantage of baby-sitting services and have a go at all sorts of

7 May 2015 — • 45

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