Friday 20 June 2014

Holidaying across the generations

In my last post 'Here comes Summer...' I wrote about my attempts to get organised for the long summer break that lies ahead.

This time round, I'm homing in on the actual 'holiday' part of our six weeks off. It's going to be a holiday with a difference because it's not just us.  Having dipped our toe in the water with an extended family 'mini break' earlier this year, my mum has agreed to join us for our time away.

Since this situation is new to us - and since summer holidays are sacred for all of us - we've thought this through pretty carefully.  And I've listened intently to the advice of others who've already trodden this path.

Here's how we're hoping to achieve a successful summer together:

Start small - We're not all going to Hawaii for three weeks.  Instead we're driving a few hours down the road to the East Neuk of Fife.  And we're staying for a week.  Even if we did have the budget for a long-haul trip of a lifetime, I think our first shot at holidaying together should be reasonably short in duration with manageable travel times.

Happy husbands - She's my mum but she's Mr Average's mum-in-law.  And we all know that there's a difference.  I've checked, double-checked and checked again that he's happy with this arrangement. We also have a safety net in the form of a second week off afterwards for just the four of us. Because it's his holiday too and I know he really needs it. 

Consider costs - If he (or she) who pays the piper calls the tune, others may be resentful at having their holiday plans dictated to them.  Instead, divvy up the costs in a way that seems fair and no-one will feel beholden to anyone else.

Sensible space - The budget may not have stretched to Hawaii but we've made sure that it's stretched to renting a decent-sized property. This means that we won't all be living on top of one another.  I have high hopes that, even with children in tow, the adults will be able to recharge our batteries a little thanks to the comfortable space that we've organised.

Time apart - I'm lucky. My mum is one independent lady.  She excels at sussing out bus timetables, local markets and golf courses.  Because although she loves us all, she may not want to spend an entire day rock-pooling with the grandkids. And we get that, we really do.  (Between you and me, I think Mr Average may be slightly jealous.  Particularly when it comes to the golf courses.)

Not-so-great expectations - The children will whine. And be bad-mannered. My mum will be shocked. I will be stressed. It will all go horribly wrong.  STOP!!!! We've already had this conversation. The children will whine and be bad-mannered. My mum knows this.  She'll understand. And she won't blame me.  (I hope!)

Exit route - This is going to sound utterly pessimistic. I try to think of it as pragmatic instead. If the worst really does come to the worst - if it pours down rain every day and everyone argues constantly - we're relatively close to home.  We accept defeat, pack up and head north.  I desperately hope that this doesn't happen.  But I think there's a comfort in knowing that we have an exit route if need be.

Now we couldn't do that if we'd gone to Hawaii....

How do you handle holidaying across the generations? Any tips or hints? Leave a comment and let me know.

Enjoyed this article? Why not like Average and Proud on facebook or follow me on Twitter?


  1. Some really sensible points here - great post, I hope your holiday is fantastic! Thanks for linking up #PoCoLo

    1. Thanks so much for commenting Kate - and for hosting this week :-)

  2. Even a short trip with my husband's family to somewhere near is stressful for me. I walk a lot and loves walking and they are not walkers and they love to drive cars. When we do walk they pant. So I tend to always check of them & not enjoy the trip. This plan tip of yours is good! I love the idea that if you need to go home you can. #PoCoLo

    1. Hi there - lovely of you to stop by again! It must be so tough when you don't have many interests in common with extended family - you have my sympathies.