10 holidays to pitch to your family on Christmas Day (and how to get granny to pay)

Brexit’s legacy, the Rwanda policy, Premier League penalties, the kids’ table manners – all topics that will ignite quicker than a brandy-doused Christmas pud should you introduce them to the festive dinner table. Far better to stick to safer territory with a nice chat about the family holidays that you can take together this year.

Enthusiasm for multi-generation holidays rocketed post-Covid and now the trend is fast becoming the norm. “We’re seeing even more growth on the horizon,” says Jacqueline Dobson, president of Barrhead Travel. “Already, we’ve noticed around a 27 per cent increase in multi-generational and multi-family bookings for travel in 2024 compared with 2023. Villas and cruises are among the most popular types of trips for these groups, but bucket-list experiences such as holidays to Orlando are also in high demand.”

Tour operators and accommodation providers have launched an array of corresponding packages and offers, from cruising company Uniworld’s “Generation” trips to Black Tomato’s “See You In The Moment” experiences, designed to help larger groups celebrate special get-togethers.

One group in particular seems motivated to make these bookings and, often, pay for the trips, too: the grandparents. “Previously, multi-gen holidays were more typically led by parents who wanted their children to spend quality time with the grandparents (not to mention take advantage of childcare on tap), so to see bookings and enquiries come in from the grandparents is quite a step-change,” says Rebecca Lowe of Original Travel.

Tempted to give your own multi-gen holiday a try? We’ve come up with the 10 best trips for every kind of family. Find one that works for you and suggest it to the rest of the gang over the turkey and pigs in blankets. Just a few words of caution: if you’re going to suggest that somebody else pays, it might be best to wait until after the postprandial snooze.

Disney for everyone

California, US

Theresa and Alan Wilson of Bon Voyage are grandparents themselves and love the original Disneyland in Anaheim, California. “It’s an entry-level theme-park experience,” says Theresa. “The two parks are easy to navigate, with multiple on-site hotel options, and the set-up is particularly good for younger kids.” Once older guests have had enough of the rides, it’s a 50-minute drive to Santa Monica for beach time, as well as the chance to explore the plane-packed Museum of Flying or cook cinnamon rolls and macarons at The Gourmandise School.

How to do it: Bon Voyage (0800 316 3012; bon-voyage.co.uk) has an eight-day holiday with time in both destinations from £2,200pp, including flights, breakfast and car hire. Disney ticket packages are also available on request

General views of the Walt Disney 'Partners' statue at Disneyland

The original Disneyland in Anaheim is easier to navigate than Orlando and is good for small children – GC Images

Two villas, one holiday

Puglia, Italy

Personal space can be a problem if you’re sharing a house with extended family. Book a place with a separate annexe, so you can all retreat for some much-needed me time. New for 2024, Simpson Travel’s five-bedroom Trullo Ashi is lost in the olive groves of Puglia (where the pasta, sandy coves and trulli towns should have universal appeal). Its main villa has a saltwater pool for kids to splash in and a pizza oven for family meals – but the real selling point is the one-bedroom trullo in the gardens, where grandparents can hide away in luxury.

How to do it: Trullo Ashi (020 8003 6557; simpsontravel.com) sleeps nine from £2,400 per week, excluding flights

Scandinavian adventure

Lofoten Islands, Norway

Milestone birthdays are often the reason behind multi-gen holidays and, for those, you need something extra-special. Adventurous families will love Black Tomato’s trip to the remote Norwegian Lofoten Islands, an Arctic archipelago once inhabited by fisherman tracing the cod migration but now popular with hikers and wildlife watchers. It offers the chance to kayak, surf, hike or explore by RIB (rigid inflatable boat) as well as a spectacular add-on as the pièce de résistance: a trip to an uninhabited island for a slap-up beach barbecue.

How to do it: Black Tomato’s 10-night trip (020 7426 9888; blacktomato.com) costs from £9,990pp B&B, excluding flights

Adventurous families will love Black Tomato’s trip to the remote Norwegian Lofoten Islands, an Arctic archipelago

Adventurous families will love Black Tomato’s trip to the remote Norwegian Lofoten Islands, an Arctic archipelago – iStockphoto

Thai TLC

Phuket, Thailand

For a serene break on a beautiful stretch of sand, five-star Aleenta Phuket has family retreats specifically designed to foster quality time, as well as sprawling, four-bedroom beachfront villas to house everybody. Teens can join in with yoga and beach gym sessions and you can make family memories by planting a tree together or learning to cook Thai food. Meanwhile, for little ones, the Explorer’s Club has classes in everything from batik painting to origami towel folding.

How to do it: Rooms at Aleenta Phuket (00 66 76580333; aleenta.com) cost from £285 per night B&B, with family retreats costing from £222 per adult/£112 per child extra per night. Thai Airways (thaiairways.com) flies direct to Bangkok from London Heathrow from £828 return

Five-star Aleenta Phuket is perfect for a multigenerational resort holiday

Five-star Aleenta Phuket is perfect for a multigenerational resort holiday – AndoShah+LightWorx

Splashy staycation

Cotswolds, UK

Planning on packing the extended family? Flight and accommodation logistics can be tough once you start to involve siblings, aunts and uncles too. For big family holidays, it’s easier to stay in the UK. New to the books of Luxury Cotswold Rentals is Latimer Farm Oddington, a 19th-century estate 20 minutes’ drive from Stow-on-the-Wold that’s been given a serious sprucing. In its seven acres of grounds, there’s a pool, gym, cinema room and tennis court with football goals.

How to do it: Latimer Farm Oddington (020 7993 6545; luxurycotswoldrentals.co.uk) is spread across four buildings; sleeps 20 from £15,000 per week

Prefer to stay in the UK? Latimer Farm has everything you need for a big family break

Prefer to stay in the UK? Latimer Farm in the Cotswolds has everything you need for a big family break – VEERLE EVENS

Easy rider

Loire Valley, France

A biking holiday with kids and grandparents might sound like madness, but Cycling for Softies has come up trumps with its “The Loire in Luxury” self-guided itinerary. This easy, seven-day jaunt has plenty to please every age group; from around eight-plus. On the cards are trips to the fairytale Château d’Ussé (thought to have inspired Sleeping Beauty), as well as Château de Saché, where Balzac penned some of his most famous works. It’s topped off by wine tastings for the grown-ups, cave houses for the kids to explore and nights at Domaine la Tortinière complete with a pool, boating lake and family suites that sleep up to six.

How to do it: The seven-day Loire itinerary (020 3925 6021; cycling-for-softies.co.uk) costs from £2,295pp B&B, including flights

Cycling for Softies has an easy, seven-day jaunt and plenty to please every age group (from eight years)

Cycling for Softies has an easy, seven-day jaunt and plenty to please every age group (from eight-plus years) – Universal Images Group Editorial/family on a bike ride along the banks of the River Loire

Private safari


The increasing number of extended families booking safaris has led to camps building villas where kids, parents and grandparents can stay together. On Expert Africa’s Greater Bushbaby Safari through the South Luangwa National Park and Great Rift Valley in Zambia, families can head out by boat to see hippos or drive through a wilderness busy with elephants before returning to a thatched four-bedroom house with a private swimming pool, safari guides and chef.

How to do it: The eight-night Expert Africa Greater Bushbaby Safari (0203 405 6666; expertafrica.com) costs from £7,840pp all-inclusive, excluding flights

The classic all-inclusive

Corfu, Greece

An all-inclusive is a good solution for families for whom splitting the bill can fast become a minefield. The much-loved Ikos chain has some of the best options in Greece, with its newest outpost Ikos Odissia about to enter a second season amid Corfu’s fragrant pine forest. Ten pools and a private beach means ample opportunity for families to do their own thing during the day and meet up at one of six restaurants later, with pedalos, kayaks, tennis and a spa to keep everyone busy. Meanwhile, there’s a kids’ club for little ones aged from four months and a football academy for older children.

How to do it: Tui (020 38 303 111; tui.co.uk) has a week at Ikos Odisia from £2,455pp including flights

Perfect for all the family:  Ikos Odissia has 10 pools, a private beach and six restaurants

Perfect for all the family: Ikos Odissia has 10 pools, a private beach, spa and six restaurants

Drift along the Danube

Vienna to Nuremberg

River cruising company Uniworld’s family-friendly Generations programme includes activities such as dessert-making with the onboard pastry chef, tours of the ship with the Captain and specially-created shore excursions – from a geocache treasure hunt around the German city of Passau to a trip to the headquarters of renowned coloured pencil makers, Faber-Castell. Meanwhile, the company has kept some of its traditional grandparent-pleasers including private art gallery viewings and city walking tours.

How to do it: An eight-day Authentic Danube cruise (0808 168 9231; uniworld.com) costs from £3,099pp all-inclusive with flights

ship on river by budapest

Uniworld’s offer a specific family-friendly programme called ‘Generations’ – Pam McLean

Trick the teens into having fun

Patagonia, Argentina

Keeping older kids happy on a trip with granny and grandpa can be a thankless task. Trade a traditional hotel stay for a more experiential trip that’s guaranteed to inspire joy in even the most jaded teen. Harriet Pike, head of Swoop Patagonia, is “seeing more groups of children, parents, and grandparents on our voyages than ever before”. For an unforgettable adventure, she recommends the company’s Peninsula Valdés Self-Drive Safari spotting elephant seals, sea lions, Magellanic penguins and southern right whales on a Unesco-protected stretch of Argentinian coast.

How to do it: The five-day Peninsula Valdés Self-Drive Safari (0117 369 0196; swoop-patagonia.com) costs from £1,446pp all-inclusive, including car hire; excludes flights

Split level view of a curious southern right whale with a whale watching boat in the background, Nuevo Gulf, Valdes Peninsula, Argentina, a UNESCO World Heritage site..

Give the teenagers something to talk about on a holiday to Argentina – Moment RF

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