Gone are the days of the family holiday consisting of Mum, Dad and the children heading away.
In what are becoming known as ‘Skip Generation’ Holidays, grandparents are taking grandchildren on holiday abroad and around the UK during the school holidays or even October half term.
Are you one of the 20% from Saga’s readership who say they have taken their grandchildren on holiday, or one of the 11% who is considering it (according to the International Travel and Health Insurance Journal)? Either way, skip generation holidays are a growing trend as our concepts of family and travel continue to evolve.
Here we have suggested some helpful ideas and locations for you to make memories with your young family during the school holidays.
Holidays with grandchildren in the UK
Savour the Scottish Highlands
Known for kilts, castles and stories of the legendary Loch Ness Monster, Scotland is the perfect place to ignite the imagination and craft new bedtime stories.
Family holiday in Scotland ideas:
• If you live towards the south coast, take a flight to Edinburgh directly – getting there is an adventure in itself, especially if your grandchildren have not been on an aeroplane before!
• Spend a day walking around the Royal Palace, Edinburgh Castle and the various museums of Edinburgh.
• Hike around the dramatic Scottish highlands – visit the Great Glen if you want to catch a glimpse of Nessie.
• On a chilly evening around a log fire encourage your grandchildren to try something new. Try a traditional haggis dish, with thick gravy, roast tatties and a spoonful of swede. A sip of Scottish whisky is optional – but it’ll put hairs on their chest!
Family holidays in Cornwall and the West Country
With 630 miles of coastline and home to two National Parks, plus the odd mythical creature, staying in a holiday cottage within Devon and Cornwall is more than just a bucket and spade holiday.
What’s going on in October half term in Cornwall?
• Cycle along the River Teigh from Dartmoor to Teignmouth, or walk along the many coastal footpaths and woodland trails, while looking out for wildlife and rare birds.
• When the winds pick up, find a wide-open space on Bodmin Moor to fly a kite.
• Enjoy tea and scones in a seaside town. Debate which way round the cream and jam should go.
• During a rainy day, use driftwood combed from the beach to paint and create something unique. When the rain clears see what other items have been washed up.
Holiday with grandchildren in Europe
Escape to a family holiday resort like Disneyland Paris
Said to be where dreams come true; let your grandchildren experience the magic of Disneyland Paris via the Eurostar or plane. As you’d imagine, it’s a lot larger and more immersive than our theme parks at home, so if you’d like to keep everyone entertained this is the holiday for you. Book your rides in advance by using a Disneyland Paris ultimate fast pass and see the availability of rides that can be viewed on the Disney app.
For a family of four, Disneyland Paris holidays can include:
• Breakfast or dinner with your grandchildren’s favourite character
• Disneyland Paris in October holds a Halloween Festival from 28th September – 3rd November
• A visit to the Disneyland Paris store
• Disneyland Paris shows
• A walk around the zoo
What are Disneyland Paris’ best rides?
• Rock and roll coaster
• Big Thunder Mountain, which has super special effects
• Jedi training academy for the young
• The mini-cruise ‘It’s a Small World’
• Peter Pan’s Flight, a ship which takes you up into the skies
For the more adventurous, a Family Ski Holiday in France or elsewhere in Europe
If you want to take to the slopes or relax in a hot tub while admiring a majestic mountain range, full board or half board family ski holidays can offer a lot, for both you and your grandchildren.
Recommended family ski holidays include:
• Snowboarding in the sun
• Ski schools for children that offer special ski lessons
• Young ones from the age of two can try sledging.
•The chance to swim in an indoor heated pool before going to a family-friendly restaurant.
• Build the biggest snowman that can only be dreamed about at home.
What are the best family ski holiday destinations?
• The gentle slopes of Rauris in Austria are perfect for first-time skiers.
• Ardent, France if you are looking for a family suite and hot tub.
• The tiny country of Andorra has the best of two favourite destinations on its doorstep, between France and Spain in the Pyrenees mountains.
Remember to take an GHIC card for reduced-cost or sometimes free, medical treatment. This is a must while you stay in a European Economic Area (EEA) country or Switzerland.
For other destinations to visit this autumn read our previous blog entitled: Our top ten European destinations to visit this autumn.
Taking grandchildren on holiday without parents may be a new experience for some. What will make a good family holiday will be up to you. Although family holidays with a little twist of difference are sure to be remembered for years to come.
Free Spirit Travel Insurance
Each Free Spirit Travel Insurance policy covers Grandparents and Grandchildren. This is because Free Spirit can cover travelling companions when they’re added to a policy – whether they have a pre-existing medical condition or not – regardless of age.
For the young and old alike who can’t be away from their gadgets for too long, remember your gadget insurance in the unlikely event of any damages and losses during your trip.