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Port Douglas Family Holiday

Holidaying with multiple generations of family is growing increasing popular among young families.  Sharon Burnell from Sanctuary Villas Port Douglas gives us some tips on travelling with the tribe.

I remember years ago, when our now teens were babies, inviting my Mum to holiday with us, on the Gold Coast. Yes – I’m guilty…. we wanted free babysitting and the odd night out and not to be held hostage in our motel room when one of the babies was asleep! The thought of a ‘holiday home’ wasn’t even a ‘thing’ then …. all our holidays were in cheap and cheerful resorts with bad carpet.

Roll on 2019! Oh, how our lifestyles have changed! We have so many three generation families booking a holiday home for their entire tribe, I don’t even blink an eye anymore.  It’s almost the ‘norm’ for our bigger holiday homes that sleep 10 guests.

Often it is for a 70th or 80th birthday, other times it is simply a precious family holiday. Here are some thoughtful tips when choosing your holiday home and travelling with three generations.


No. 1 tip - Communicate before the trip

This tip is so important it gets its own heading!! Prepare yourself for the differences that may occur. The parents with young kids may think they have brought free nannies not the Nana. Grandparents may despair of parenting styles or kids’ lazy habits, kids may get frazzled that the grownups always want to go on tours and they just want to swim in the pool.  Some relatives will think that you need to do everything together eg. Every single meal together, others want daily time out just to themselves or their kids. BUT if you can sort out your expectations BEFORE agreeing on a holiday together you just may have the most wonderful time with memories to last a life time.


The other 11 tips for 3 Gen Vacay’s

  1. Choose one of you to do the booking and liaise with the holiday home owner or agent
  2. Book your flights early so that you can fly up together
  3. Organise hire car/s or an airport shuttle bus to your holiday home
  4. Choose a house with space – everyone needs their daily chill out time and relaxing lounge areas
  5. You need a big kitchen – imagine meal times if there are 10 or more of you!
  6. Choose a house where most bedrooms have ensuites
  7. Choose a house with bedroom ‘wings’ or separate pavilions, so the baby doesn’t wake everyone at 5am.
  8. Choose tours that can accommodate you all (young and old)
  9. Let everyone know from the start that you are going to do tours just by yourself, immediate family included :)
  10. Stay where you can walk to the beach or a café or shops is ideal
  11. Find a nearby playground that you can walk to if you have little ones 

7 bonus tips when choosing a holiday home

  1. House with a private pool, this is where the kids will live and adults can relax supervising from their sunlounge (that they didn’t have to get up at 6am to reserve!)
  2. Does your holiday home provide baby gear, pool toys, toy basket etc?
  3. TV’s in bedrooms – not everyone wants to watch ‘The Bachelor’ or ‘The Furchester Hotel’
  4. Insect screening in bedrooms - welcome to the tropics!
  5. Garage for the hire car/s
  6. Stay close to a ‘town shuttle’ bus stop (great for the teens and nights out!)
  7. What about a Travel Diary that the young kids can complete each day with grandparents?  -this could be a beautiful keepsake.


New Travel Trend

The USA has a trend developing called “Gramping”. Apparently, the grandparents take the grandkids on holiday hence skipping a generation! At first, I wasn’t sure about this as I would be the generation missing out on the holiday, while my kids went off with the grandparents, but then… I thought of myself and the hubby having a Staycation … could this new trend be a win win?! But that is another story… Enjoy!