Planning a multi-generational trip? Here's what to look for in a hotel
If there's one trend that's fundamentally shaping travel in 2022, it has to be multigenerational travel. The multigenerational travel trend has been steadily growing for the past few years and saw a sharp acceleration during the pandemic.
People are looking to disconnect from the digital world to reconnect with those that are close to them. Accumulating luxury goods is no longer at the top of the wish list. Instead, people want to spend quality time with family members across the generational divide.
While bringing the entire family together offers unforgettable memories, it’s important to get the planning right. Organising a multi-generational trip is very different to ‘regular’ holidays. Your group will have a mix of generations including toddlers, teens and seniors who all deserve to have a great holiday.
Getting the accommodation for the trip right is a great first step to organising the perfect get-away. Debbie-Lee offers her advice on the right questions to ask from your hotel:
Is the location fit for purpose?
Where you’re going matters just as much as where you’re staying, especially when it comes to building a diverse itinerary that ticks all of the boxes for each and every family member.
For example, the Helderberg is a firm favourite for multi-generational travel parties.
While parents and grandparents are indulging in wine tastings and savouring the view, the children can enjoy a grape juice tasting at many of the farms and explore the vineyards. There are also bustling markets to visit, lots of wide-open spaces for leisurely walks or hikes, and family-friendly restaurants galore.
An added bonus is that Somerset West is close to the airport, and it’s just a hop, skip and jump to the Cape Town CBD. Location is such an important factor, and with the Winelands of Stellenbosch, Franschhoek and Paarl right on our doorstep along with easy day trips up the coast, location is a massive selling point for us.
Does the hotel offer child-friendly facilities?
Every parent knows the challenge of keeping the kids busy while at the same time trying to relax. As such, it’s vital to search for a hotel that offers child-friendly facilities, such as a swimming pool, a playground or a sizeable garden where the littles can run free. Of course, it’s also a bonus if there are babysitting services.
Can everyone get around with ease?
Safety needs to be a top priority when travelling with kids and older relatives in tow. Is the hotel or property fenced? Are there stairs that could pose a danger to a crawling baby or to grandpa who relies on a cane or a walker to get around? Is the hotel wheelchair-friendly?
How many people can be accommodated?
Of course, the hotel needs to be large enough to accommodate the entire family. Another important question to ask is whether it is possible to have adjoining rooms or suites for family units with small children.
Is it possible to get work done while away?
Along with multi-generational travel, another travel trend to emerge in recent years – and also heavily influenced by the pandemic – is that of workcations. In many cases, these two travel trends go hand-in-hand.
If a member of the family needs to continue working while they’re away, the hotel in question will need to provide the facilities and necessities to allow for this. According to Debbie-Lee:
Crucial aspects for a successful multigenerational workcation include high-speed Wi-Fi throughout the hotel, a comfortable desk and chair set up in the travellers’ room and access to a quiet and convenient space for online meetings, far away from the chatter and excitement of the rest of the travel party.
Obviously, booking a getaway for a larger group of people can be a costly affair. This is why it pays to keep an eye out for hotels that offer group or age-related perks for both children and older guests. For example, some hotels and guesthouses allow children under a certain age to stay for free, while others offer a pensioners’ discount for guests over the age of 65.
These value-adds can shave a significant amount off the cost of a holiday. At Erinvale Estate Hotel and Spa, we’re passionate about bringing families together for a real spoil and a memorable stay. Here, children under the age of 12 stay for free when sharing a room with a minimum of one adult.
Is there something on the ‘menu’ for everyone?
Planning a multigenerational holiday is hinged on filling the itinerary with activities and adventures that everyone can enjoy or, at the very least, making certain that there’s an equal mix of activities based on each family member’s likes and interests.
The Heart of the Helderberg promises plenty of adventures for everyone to enjoy. Think “Artjamming” or playing padel at Lourensford Wine Estate, letting the kids burn off some energy at the play area at Vergelegen Estate Stables Restaurant, or taking some time to enjoy a unique olive oil tasting alongside an Italian platter to share at Morgenster Wine and Olive Estate – it is a gorgeous way to spend an afternoon in the Winelands. Families are urged to visit heartofthehelderberg.co.za for more ideas when crafting their itineraries.
Are you covered in the event of an accident or health scare?
Kids tend to run wild at the best of times, and even more so due to the added excitement when on holiday. Nobody wants to think about a mishap more serious than a grazed knee, but the reality is that accidents do happen. Along with this, Debbie-Lee insists that multigenerational travel parties also remain mindful regarding grandparents’ and/or great grandparents’ health issues and the potential for falls while away.
Knowing that there’s easy access to medical assistance can provide travel parties with greater peace of mind, helping them to relax and unwind during their holiday. At Erinvale, we can offer general first aid – with reputable doctors and medical assistance just a phone call away. If guests need it, help is available 24/7.
By taking all the aforementioned into consideration, there’s no doubt that there’ll be a successful, wholesome trip for the entire family to look forward to.
About the author
Debbie-Lee Cockrell, General Manager, Erinvale Estate Hotel & Spa.