[dt_gap height=”10″ /]Crop tops and chokers aren’t the only thing that have made a comeback from the nineties. It’s suddenly cool to hang out with your family again. Blame the Kardashian clan and their infamous Mykonos trip if you want, but everyone is doing it these days.
Nostalgia is big business at the moment, from old band tees to crisp sambos and retro packaging, the fond memories from our childhood and teenage years come flooding back at the thought of a family holiday.
They slowly drifted out of vogue along with the package holiday and have been gaining momentum again in the last few years thanks to budget airlines and family-friendly, affordable accommodation like Airbnb. Once you’ve done the dancing ’til dawn in Ibiza, backpacking around Australia and the full moon parties in Thailand, sometimes all you want is a nice glass of wine and a civilised chat at dinner. Am I right? As we get older we realise we shouldn’t take our families for granted, our parents aren’t just glorified childminders or that taxi service they once were…they’re pretty decent company too and that seven year age gap between you and your big brother doesn’t feel nearly as big now you’re both real life grown ups (plus you’re not desperate to hang out with his mates anymore, thankfully). I posed the question; ‘Are family holidays the next big thing?’ to Xposé reader and Travel PR Alicia Legg. She told me, “with so many festivals, events and the millennials being busy with work and socialising, the family holiday has dwindled over the years. But a lot of families are trying to regain that family bond and create memories together while having fun abroad”. Her family make it an annual experience and they tend to go somewhere more luxurious than any trip she’d be able to organise with her friends. “It’s usually my one relaxing holiday of the year, with good food and wine. My parents and brother are fun too, so I never feel like I’m missing out on nights out”, explains Alicia.[dt_gap height=”10″ /]
[dt_gap height=”10″ /]
With lots of twenty and thirty-somethings moving back in with a parent to save for their own home, after a break up of a long term relationship, or for the convenience of live-in childcare, there’s less of a stigma attached with spending time with the folks, it’s become the norm. I asked make up artist Odharnait; ‘are family holidays the next big thing?’. She says, “I think you just appreciate your family more as you get older. We rely a lot on my Mam for minding the kids and so it’s nice to go on holidays and remind them we appreciate them as people and for their company too!” . Previously, their only family trips were for weddings, but the holiday was a hit and they’re already planning the next one – camping in France. “There’s no obligation to do anything you don’t want to do, everyone is so comfortable with each other, you can say no to stuff without any drama”, Odharnait tells us how the pressure is off when you’re traveling with family. “We all get on really well and my parents are easy going and young at heart so it was great craic and chilled.” A common theme with all the people we spoke to. Compared to holidaying with friends, everyone said it was a lot more relaxed and they could just “let go”. I’m thinking stretchy eating pants and no make up, but model Roz Purcell has a different story. “A few years ago we started going away to Club La Santa in Lanzarote for Christmas. My parents, sisters and boyfriends too. It’s a sports resort, but there’s something for everyone and all levels of activity, so you can just do your own thing, plus there’s a minding service for the kids. You can totally be yourself around your family because you’re so used to them and I find that you get talking to other people more than you would with a group of friends, who generally just stick together.”[dt_gap height=”10″ /]
[dt_gap height=”10″ /]So why are family holidays the next big thing? There’s less to think about travelling with family, rather than friends, which frees up more headspace to allow you to relax and come home more chilled out. You’re not so worried about going to the trendiest day club, when you could be kicking back at a local beach hut with cheap beer, fresh seafood and chilled tunes. Actually, you couldn’t think of worse than watching men wearing bumbags and girls in cut-out one pieces and full make up dancing to head-banging EDM at 11am in 35 degree heat clutching plastic containers of neon “cocktails”. Your wardrobe isn’t so much of an issue, it’s not a crime to wear the same sarong more than once and gladiator sandals on the beach just aren’t practical, so the funny looks you’d get from your dad mean you’ll always opt for the more sensible, comfortable option. Winner winner.
PR Aislinn O’Toole tells us, “I think I tend to go a bit mad on friend holidays. With family, it’s a lot more relaxing, we planned ours out all in advance, so we were a lot more organised than usual. We stayed in a lovely apartment in Huntington Beach which we found on Airbnb, it was only a five minute drive to the beach and perfect for the whole family.” [dt_gap height=”10″ /]
[dt_gap height=”10″ /]You don’t need to worry about missing out on fun though, says Jessie Daly, nail technician at Tropical Popical, “my family are quite chilled, but always up for having the craic…so it’s kind of all the same for me”. She also kindly let us know she was sitting by the pool at the family villa in Alicante while corresponding with Xposé and that her parents had been spoiling her with dinner and drinks on the trip. But it’s not all fun and games either, “you will never get chatted up sitting with your parents”, says Jessie. You win some, you lose some!
Usually a late summer or off-season thing, when admittedly there’s not much else happening (helps with the FOMO), the new type of family holiday is low key, grown-up and hopefully stress free. Xposé reader Shaunagh went on a cruise this summer with her mam and siblings plus their kids and spouses and loved the balance of being able to spend time together with having your own space. “The cruise worked out great because we all came together for dinner every evening, so we were able to catch up on what we’d done during the day, when we could pick and choose where we went and who we went with, on or off the ship.” They had learned from their last experience where they rented a big house in Brittany last year, “while we all got on and there were no big blowouts, we were pretty much together 24/7. We’re all grown up now with our own homes and have our own way of doing things, so it can be hard to compromise on some stuff. But the good thing with family is that you can be completely honest with them and then just get on with it.”
Trying to spend quality time with relatives can be difficult when day-to-day life gets in the way, so if you’ve got the option to head away with the fam, come back more chilled and maybe get a free dinner in the process, then really it’s a no brainer. Are family holidays the next big thing? They’re certainly back with a bang![dt_gap height=”10″ /]
[dt_gap height=”10″ /]Cruise
Galapagos, Alaska, Hawaii, you name it and Celebrity Cruises have a trip there. Luxury cabins, shore excursions, fine dining and activities like language lessons, yoga classes and triva games, mean everyone in the family will be happy.
The Canary Islands are popular year-round destinations for the good weather and affordable flights. Make like Roz and go for an action-packed trip to Club La Santa in Lanzarote, they cater for every age and ability.
Tenerife is the largest of the Canary Islands and one of the most popular, plus really easy to get to from Ireland (try Aer Lingus or Ryanair for direct flights). Go dolphin or whale watching, explore the national parks or discover one of the world’s largest lava tubes. It’s also home to what’s been named as Europe’s most exciting water park – Siam Parque, who have just launched “Singha” – a 240-metre long waterslide designed to simulate the feel of a roller coaster. If you get homesick, they’ve even got their own Penneys on the island!
Check out my list of ten things to do in Tenerife.
For five-star affordable luxury, check out Adrian Hoteles in Costa Adeje – the sunniest part of Tenerife.
If you don’t want to go abroad, there are tonnes of places to holiday in Ireland. Portsalon in Donegal has something for everyone. Normal camping this is not… luxury yurts, fire pits for toasting marshmallows and proper showers. Plus, the world renowned blue flag beach ‘Ballymastocker Strand’ is just down the road. Check out www.discoverireland.ie for lots more ideas to plan your next break and see Ireland on my list of the 6 best places to visit in 2016.[dt_gap height=”10″ /]
[dt_gap height=”10″ /]So what do you think, are family holidays the next big thing?[dt_gap height=”10″ /]