Why is everyone is taking multi-generational holidays?

In the first of two articles, Mark Frary, Editor of 101 Family Holidays tells us why 3G is in. This week, Mark looks at renting villas and cottages in the UK for the ultimate family holiday.

No, I’m not talking about the mobile phone technology but three-generation holidays, where children, parents and grandparents all go away together.

Saga Travel Insurance recently surveyed 10,000 over-50s and found that almost half (47%) had been on holiday with their children, grandchildren or parents in the last five years.

While the main reason for taking a holiday was to spend more time together as a family, 23% of those who had taken a 3G holiday were celebrating a special occasion – weddings, anniversaries, a landmark birthday for example.

Family holiday company Mark Warner has also noticed a steep rise in 3G holidays.

Apart from allowing distant families to enjoy quality time together, 3G holidays can also give parents a break from the day-to-day routine of looking after the kids. A week sharing childcare duties can give Mum and Dad time to recharge their batteries as well as giving grandparents the chance to get to know their grandchildren better.


Shared holidays can help reduce holiday costs, particularly if you self-cater and share a villa. However, it is worth remembering that self-catering holidays can be as hard work as staying at home for the ones doing the shopping, cooking and cleaning! You can lessen the burden if you go for a villa with at least one restaurant and a supermarket within an easy walk.

If you have young toddlers or grandparents who have difficulty walking, choose a villa where you do not have to negotiate flights of steps. It is also worth opting for a fenced pool if you have little ones.

Other things to look for are villas with plenty of outdoor space for mealtimes and en suite or multiple bathrooms so people’s differing routines don’t get on each other’s nerves.

Menorca is a firm family favourite with wonderful beaches, hiking and heritage. Villa Select has an excellent selection of villas sleeping from six to ten people, all with a private pool. Santo Tomas is located on a glorious sandy beach with restaurants and shops a short walk away; it sleeps up to nine.

Vintage Travel has a wide choice of villas with private pools in Mallorca, from beach houses to sprawling rural hideaways. Sa Marina for example, is a charming rustic villa within walking distance of two sandy coves and it’s a short drive from Cala d’Or’s family-friendly bars and restaurants.

Make like the Durrells in Corfu with CV Villas, who have the pick of family properties - Yialiskari House for example sleeps up to ten in a great spot near Kalami, on Lawrence Durrell’s favourite part of the north east coast.

If you want to avoid the airport scrum and take the ferry, head to the South of France, northern Spain or even Tuscany (although all are easy to reach from UK airports too).


Avoid airports and ferries altogether and rent a large cottage in one of Britain’s beauty spots.

Sykes Cottages have properties accommodating up to eighteen people, including some beautiful converted barns and country houses. The Lake District is a popular destination, thanks to the stunning scenery, walking and boating, sedate cycling or mountain biking.

Somerset and Dorset are lovely spots for a break with the extended family, offering a mix of countryside and seaside, cathedral cities and county towns.

Classic Cottages are particularly strong in Cornwall with some wonderful waterfront, rural and village locations. Holidaycottages.co.uk also has thousands of properties to rent, including these working farms, which are ideal for families with younger children.

If your extended family is bigger than average, there are plenty of huge houses, manors and castles on offer from The Big Domain. Some sleep more than 50 and many properties have a catering service available.

August 2018