Multigenerational holidays: 10 top tips for travelling with family

Top tips for going abroad with extended family in the school holidays, for a relaxed and stress-free trip

As the school holidays approach, you might be looking for places to travel with your extended family. And while of course it will be lovely to spend quality time together and make lasting memories, you might also feel nervous about the logistics of going away as a big group, or the prospect of keeping the kids entertained the entire time.

Don’t worry - we’re here to help. Here are 10 holiday hacks for travelling with young kids, teenagers, grandparents, aunts and uncles, and everyone in between!

1. Consider comfort on the journey

So you’ve decided on your dream destination. But remember to consider comfort on the journey there and back before you book the holiday – especially when you’re travelling with young children or older relatives.

Consider the overall journey time, whether it would be best to book direct flights, or if you need to factor in any stopovers. And don’t forget about the travel time from the airport to your accommodation when you get there, too.

2. Contact your airline for seats together

Although airlines tend to put passengers from one booking in seats next to each other on a flight, it’s not always guaranteed when it’s busy – particularly at peak times, like the school holidays.

So if you're travelling with a big party, it’s always best to contact your airline directly when you're booking your flight, so they can make sure there’s room for the whole family to sit together, or discuss the split if other options are available.

3. Choose the right parking option

Travelling with lots of people and lots of luggage can be stressful. So if you’re driving to the airport, consider your parking options carefully to help make your journey from car to terminal as quick, easy, and straightforward as possible.

Meet & Greet is one of the most popular parking options at Manchester Airport – you just drop your car and keys with one of our trusted drivers, and they’ll park your car for you, so you can just head straight to check-in.

4. Know your travel plans

If you’re taking public transport to the airport, such as a taxi, bus or train, read our travel information on getting to the airport. And keep an eye on our social media channels so you’re always in the know about any last-minute changes.

If you’re driving, plan your trip from car park to check-in. For example, if you park at JetParks you’ll need to factor in a 10-15-minute shuttle bus journey to check-in. Buses run every 15 minutes, 24/7.

5. Speed up Security and Passport Control with FastTrack

Queuing up to get through Security or Passport Control might be fine when there’s just a couple of you, but it can be challenging when you’re travelling with a big crowd. Especially with weary toddlers in tow, and your flight is in the middle of the night...

Speed things up with FastTrack. Tickets give you access to the Express Lane, so you can get to the departure lounge quicker when you’re flying out, and get home even faster when you return.

6. Book a lounge so you can all sit together

Lounges are not just for luxury. Airports are busy places (especially when it’s the school holidays), and lots of people use lounges as a space to work, or as a peaceful place to find some calm before the flight if they’re nervous.

They’re also great for families, as finding a restaurant where you can all sit together can be a challenge when there’s a lot of you. Book a spot at our Escape Lounge, where you can all eat, drink and relax away from the crowds.

7. Pack your luggage like a pro

If you’re travelling with children, you probably already have packing hand luggage down to a fine art. But it’s especially important when you’re flying, as you can’t go and get anything you’ve forgotten when you’re at 35,000ft! Essentials include: snacks, a change of clothes, a blanket, and entertainment.

And coordinate packing with other adults on the trip, so you don’t bring duplicates of hairdryers and sun creams and things, adding unnecessary weight to your luggage.

8. Find accommodation that works for everyone

On a multigenerational holiday, everyone will have different needs, so balance is key. You don’t need to be next to a major city, but having places (shops, restaurants etc.) within walking distance gives you all the freedom to explore without worrying about public transport.

It’s also pretty key to have access to a pool if you’re going on a sunny escape – as packing up to go to the beach can be hard work with children and large groups.

And remember to consider accessibility, particularly if older relatives have reduced mobility, or if you have a young child and need to take a pushchair out and about.

9. Discuss money matters

Money can be a tricky subject when you’re travelling with family, but discussing it and planning who’ll pay for what before the trip will help avoid any awkwardness of pressure to pay for things on the spot.

Consider whether you’ll take it in turn to pay for meals, or everyone will pay for themselves, or perhaps you could consider a kitty system at the start and each put in a set amount - whatever works for you.

10. Create a family holiday WhatsApp group

This is a great idea for the day-to-day holiday happenings, such as making dinner plans and creating meeting places.

But it’s even more important for sharing key information, such as booking confirmations and tickets - as you don’t want just one person to have it all, and then they lose their phone! Keeping everything in one place takes the pressure off one person, and gives everybody access when they need it, so you can relax and focus on having holiday fun.

Useful Links

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