Extended families are holidaying together after lockdown separations - Murray Thomson

Quality time. Family time. Time to be together; to reconnect, to relax, a place to pause. When it comes to holidays, whether it’s a short break or a week away, in this post lockdown era our motivators have evolved. So too has who we choose to holiday with.
Eva and Lily Chalmers launch kids afternoon tea at DalmahoyEva and Lily Chalmers launch kids afternoon tea at Dalmahoy
Eva and Lily Chalmers launch kids afternoon tea at Dalmahoy

The enforced separations of lockdown have resulted in a surge in multigenerational breaks, also known as 3G breaks. Extended families who have been apart are coming together, and adults are no longer taking a break to escape the kids. Now, they are taking the kids and inviting the grandparents too.

During the summer months at Dalmahoy we saw many extended families reconnecting; there was a real sense of celebration and it was heart-warming to be part of these reunions. We also saw an upturn in grandparents spearheading the 3G bookings with the grandkids, often without the parents who had to work. In fact, a high proportion of family bookings were from grandparents looking to spend some quality time with their little ones.

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With more than 70 per cent of families having already been on a multigenerational getaway (as of 2019), and Scotland remaining a top holiday staycation destination, the hospitality industry as a whole should look at ways to harness this ever rising trend to bolster bookings.

Murray Thomson, General Manager, DalmahoyMurray Thomson, General Manager, Dalmahoy
Murray Thomson, General Manager, Dalmahoy

At Dalmahoy, we had already invested significantly in key facilities to ensure our destination was family-friendly. Accessible bedrooms on ground floor level, dedicated expansive family rooms with two double beds, interconnecting rooms and carefully considered suites, are all high on the check list for multi-generational bookers. The team had also created extensive on-site activities, including an outdoor play park, nature trail, nine-hole pitch and putt golf course, tennis courts and kids’ hours in the swimming pool.

However, creating a 3G destination doesn’t have to be a significant investment for leisure operators. Creative and immersive bolt-on experiences always create the wow factor for little guests, and can be inexpensive. Carefully considered the children’s menus and bespoke partnerships with visitor attractions for exclusive discounts also appeal to this market.

We’re seeing the multigenerational break trend continuing during the October and Christmas holidays with 3G bookings already strong. Interestingly, the duration of breaks has increased too with families keen to escape everyday life, stay for longer to take time to pause, reconnect and truly relax.

On the back of this demand, we’re already finalising the October and Christmas activities for both adults and children. Highlights are set to include a host the roast festive dinner, wreath making workshops, festive crafts, cocktail making masterclasses, pizza making classes and dedicated games room amongst other highlights.

Children enjoy a tent sleep over at DalmahoyChildren enjoy a tent sleep over at Dalmahoy
Children enjoy a tent sleep over at Dalmahoy

As multigenerational breaks show no sign of abating, we should all be working to create staycation experiences that help holidaymakers pause, reflect and enjoy what life is all about – family.

Murray Thomson, General Manager, Dalmahoy

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