Ideas for Multigenerational Vacations for Everyone to Enjoy
Our guide to where to go and what to do when holidaying with the whole family (yes, even your Great-aunt Mabel)
As our schedules become ever-busier (we get it, you can stop saying you’re 'so busy' now), savvy families are even making their holidaying more efficient. Enter multigenerational vacations: where the entire extended family takes a trip together to make the most of their shared downtime.
As travel trends go, we think this is one of the more inspired of them (unlike the oxymoronic ‘hipster cruise’: it's a no from Plum Guide). But our experts are well aware that not every kind of trip will keep everyone happy. So where best to choose for the entire family? We have Florentine food breaks for families who prefer their bonding to be done around the dinner table, and then there’s kid-friendly Copenhagen for those with little ones in tow. Plus, there are trips to suit both beach and culture-loving families too. Read on for our definitive list of multigenerational vacations.
Dine well in Florence
Ah, Italy: a place where families stick together (especially around the dinner table). If that sounds like your clan, consider Florence. Explore Tuscan cuisine in abundance at Mercato Centrale Firenze and cosy trattorias like Del Fagioli. Tell the world that your family does vacations better than their family with social media snaps from a pasta-making course (delete the ones that show any sour-faced rivalry over the width of your pappardelle). And since Florence is such a compact, easy-to-navigate city, you’ll have plenty to explore within walking distance in between feeds.
The British capital provides plenty of opportunities for multigenerational holiday fun. Let the kids marvel, slack-jawed at London’s iconic sights (you know the ones, red buses, hackney carriages, beefeaters, Buckingham Palace). Tick off Trafalgar Square, the River Thames, Parliament and the London Eye from the top of a double-decker. And if it all gets too much, retreat to one of the city’s many beautiful green spaces: the gardens in Regent’s Park should do the trick. Follow that with a trip to London Zoo: the animals here run the gamut from sloths and penguins to lions and other African safari big-hitters. If you’re up for the walk, take the route up the Regent’s Canal to Coal Drops Yard in the now unrecognisably gentrified King’s Cross. Here you’ll find shopping and restaurants in revamped Victorian industrial buildings (we recommend Barrafina and Dishoom).
Discover art and architecture in Copenhagen
Those who can’t live without good design, we hear you. (What’s the point, otherwise?) Handily, Copenhagen is a city where conceptual design and family time intersect. Take KU.BE, for example: it’s a community space where a library, yoga spaces and Zen rooms meet slides and climbing walls. And then there’s Copenhagen Contemporary, where kids are encouraged to climb over the large-scale installations – as are you. In fact, at many of the city’s art galleries, you’ll find child-friendly workshops for them to play in, while you muse over the exhibitions (and come up with intelligent things to say about them later). In true Scandi style, everyone is welcome at Copenhagen’s best cultural institutions, no matter their age and there are plenty of things to do with kids.
Dial up the fun in Los Angeles
As multigenerational vacations go, theme parks aren’t for everyone. But if you’re the kind of fun-loving extended family who appreciate an adrenaline rush, then Los Angeles has you covered with its plethora of amusement parks. There’s Disneyland (AKA the 'happiest place on Earth') and Universal Studios, for those who want to take Jurassic Park, Harry Potter and Simpsons-watching to the next level. Add SeaWorld and LegoLand into the mix and… well, that’ll probably do. Take it to the Dolby Theater (of Oscars fame) or the Hollywood Walk of Fame for a touch of the red carpet – and then, if it all gets too much, decamp to the beach.
Soak up the sun in Tel Aviv
For a lower-key multigenerational vacation that revolves around sun, sand and sea – but with enough other things to keep you all from getting bored – Tel Aviv makes a strong case. Fill yourself with falafel and shawarma in the souks before competing over who’s the best at haggling over holiday gifts (though admittedly, it’ll be a small gift list if you’re all on a trip together). Up the culture levels at Habima Square, home to institutions such as the Culture Palace, Habima Theatre and Helena Rubinstein Pavilion for Contemporary Art. Here you’ll find buskers and a submerged flower garden where classical music is played round the clock. It’s all part of the Unesco-protected White City, a prime example of the Bauhaus architecture brought to the city by German Jews. Later, wander the maze-like Old City of Jaffa – and end up at the port for a seafood dinner. And tomorrow? Back to the beach, of course.