How to survive going on holiday with your parents AND kids

Holiday with your parents - grandad and kids in the sea

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As budgets tighten, it might be that you choose to go on holiday with your parents AND your kids. And you won’t be alone. A recent survey found that 58% of holidaymakers aged 35 to 44 (many who will have children) are teaming up with their parents or in-laws to head out on a break this year.

Whilst there are many advantages of multigenerational holidays (also called ‘gramping’, apparently), it can also be stressful. Spending so much time together, conflicting interests and differences in the optimum holiday pace between the generations can all cause tensions. So, how do you survive? Dadsnet has put together a list of tips to see you though a holiday with your parents and kids this summer.


Holiday with your parents - three generations on a sofa

Benefits of going on holiday with your parents and children

One of the key benefits for this type of holiday is that you get some quality family time. A break away from the chaos of daily life at home. But many tired parents of small children might prize the availability of free holiday childcare as a major bonus too.

Pricewise, it can also make sense. You are liable to get a better deal for larger parties when you split the cost between you. And an extra pari of eyes to look out for the kids on the beach is always handy, particularly if you get engrossed in a particularly good book.

Tips to survive a holiday with your parents and children

Planning is key

The hard work starts before you get away. If it is to be an enjoyable break for all, everyone needs some kind of input on the destination. Look into possibilities and discuss them with your parents. They might have some red lines for the type of holiday they want to go on, so don’t just book and then invite them along.

Look for somewhere that has at least one or two activities that each family member will enjoy. Whether it is in the UK, Europe or further afield, when everyone agrees on the destination, that’s a big hurdle successfully negotiated.


Think about the length of the holiday

You will spend a lot of time with each other whilst you are away, so be realistic about how long is too long for the holiday. You might have a beautiful, harmonious relationship with your parents and a fortnight would be a breeze. But, for others, a bank holiday weekend is the limit.

Consider what works best for your family dynamic.


You don’t have to do everything together

Having said that, planning to do things separately is sensible. Not only does it give you a break from each other, but it makes the most of the time you have. Your parents might not want to spend all day at the Super Splash Theme Park, but your kids would love it.

So, plan one day when you take the kids to that attraction and your parents can head off to look at some Roman ruins or whatever they like doing. The best thing is that you can then reconvene at dinner time and discuss what you got up to during the day.

It might be an idea to rent two vehicles rather than squeezing everyone into a people carrier for these occasions. It means no one is stuck doing something they hate because of logistics.


There will be times on holiday with your parents and kids when you all go out to the same place, and this is where you will have to compromise on activities.

For example, visiting a city means going all together and visiting the main sights. But, some might fancy heading to the shopping districts whilst others want to explore the museums. Make time for everyone’s preferences.


Work out who pays for what

Are you going to split all the holiday expenses equally or will you take the supermarket shops and your parents pay for the restaurant bills, for example? Work this out in advance so everyone knows where they stand.

You don’t want to fall out over money whilst you are meant to be on an enjoyable break. And knowing what you need to pay for helps you budget whilst you are aware.


Holiday with your parents - grandad and kids in the sea


Divide tasks

When you go on holiday with your parents and your children, there are a host of tasks that still need doing. Babysitting, cooking, cleaning, shopping. Work out a plan for who will do what and when.

You can’t expect the grandparents to stay in with the kids every evening, but it is certainly worth booking them in and maybe offering to do something for them in return.


Be flexible

There is no point creating a strict schedule that sees you dashing from destination to destination. With three generations, the pacing is all over the place and you will need to factor in more rest steps for the older travellers and toilet and snack stops for the kids. Flexibility is key to ensure there is less stress. You might not see everything you wanted to, but it will be a more relaxed experience for everyone.


Do you have any tips for going on holiday with your parents and kids? Leave them in the Comments



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