With today’s hectic lives – busy work schedules, school commitments, relatives living all over the globe – holidays can really strengthen family relationships, from Generation X to Generation Z.
Words: Francesca Lee-Rogers
Family life is increasingly busy – and it’s little wonder that with the ever-growing pressures of modern-day life, precious time together can often be put on the backburner. Parents find themselves under the burdens of long working hours and lengthy commutes, which are just some of the factors contributing to the feeling that they don’t spend enough time with their children. The facts speak for themselves: the average family only spends one hour a day of undistracted time together.
What’s more, this issue is often further accentuated with extended family who might feel as though they’re missing out too, with even fewer chances to gain quality time with their children and grandchildren. A holiday away is the perfect antidote to reconnect – uninterrupted – with loved ones from all generations.
This idea of multi-generational travel – which tends to involve three generations going away – has become a key trend over the last year, with the frequency of bookings rising to one in three trips. And this increase in demand isn’t down to grandparents being invited along to be auxiliary babysitters; it’s about creating wholesome experiences together and can involve aunts, uncles and cousins, too.
No longer are families just jetting off to a five-star hotel in the Caribbean to sit on a beach; now these excursions involve private chefs to relieve pressure from mealtimes and curated cultural tours with art historians to transform ordinary museum trips.
As a result, the question for families embarking on a new ‘multi-gen’ holiday is much less about the ‘where’ and ‘how’, and far more about the ‘why’ and ‘with whom’. In new surroundings and in the right space, routines and schedules can be left behind and normal hierarchies between generations can be removed. Parents can stand on an equal playing field with their children, whether that’s laughing over their favourite fashion faux pas in a visit to the Salvatore Ferragamo Museum or forging new skills together with private Mediterranean cooking courses.
Often it has little to do with the destination but more the personalisation of activities. Carrier believes in the power of a trip to really make a family and so works closely with partners to ensure complete customisation to everyone’s needs, removing the stress of organising and providing the detail required for such an important holiday.
One such resort is the family-owned Blue Waters Resort & Spa in Antigua. Owned by the Randalls since 1984, father Ron and sons Gary and Tony run the establishment with the full understanding of what makes family experiences here so memorable and special. Many employees have worked at the resort for decades and welcome guests, most of whom have been returning for just as long, with a friendly smile.
This warm familiarity along with its 17-acre tropical garden, luxury villas and water sports make this an ideal place for guests of all ages to reconnect. And no more so in the calming and relaxing environment of the elegant spa. Mothers, grandmothers, daughters and cousins can book in some deserved wellness time with the trained therapists. Mini bathrobes and non-toxic varnishes can encourage little ones to join in on the action, while older members of the group and teenagers can bond over swapping beauty tips and styles in a fun and laid-back environment.
For a unique home-from-home experience, Porto Zante Villas & Spa in Greece is ideal for private villa living. This world-class secluded resort comprises a handful of luxury villas studded across a private beachfront, providing ample space to be together with all the amenities of an exclusive five-star resort. Mealtimes here encourage great conversation with inventive dishes made from the freshest local produce, caught daily from the ocean and gathered from the gardens of the island.
Surrounded by the beauty of the natural world, sharing an adventure by speed boat to Ancient Olympia or Turtle Island to spot the endangered sea turtles are moments that will last a lifetime. A leisurely cruise to explore a famous shipwreck or the characterful Ionian Islands enables generations to learn from each other about the value of pure, untouched nature and the thrill of uncovering its secrets. After the day’s adventures there’s nothing more rewarding than an APIVITA treatment from your private therapist; the essential oils and creams are made from the purest ingredients from organically-grown plants in Greece, so your closeness to nature remains.
Meanwhile, the Columbia Beach Resort in Cyprus is an expansive hotel that has impressive accommodation for guests to choose from. Overlooking Pissouri Bay on the south-west of the island, multi-gen guests can indulge in the unparalleled luxury and expansive views of the Eagles Nest Suites. The different bed combinations and room styles mean that everyone, no matter what age, can be provided with the right space and privacy to suit their needs but be brought together in one place.
Take away the distractions of a typical domestic dining scene while you’re here, and let the family recount their experiences of the day’s adventures over executive chef Ioannis Giakoumidis’ seafood dishes designed for sharing. With exotic cocktails and a backdrop of the sea from your private balcony to boot, different generations can play card games and tell stories under candlelight. And there are plenty of chances to continue these intimate moments together with cookery demonstrations and even lessons in Greek.
If it’s time to book your trip, don’t start with the destination, start with why you are going. Is it about sharing adventure or is it about relaxation and just spending rare moments of quiet together? Whatever the needs and goals of each person in your family, Carrier ensures everything is booked in advance. Every small detail is well taken care of before you’ve even thought about it, from an additional transfer just for all the luggage to your private in-villa chef already preparing some of your favourite family meals. And special occasions are our speciality so if your holiday is to celebrate a birthday or anniversary we can create surprises and experiences that bring generations closer together than ever before.