1. Choose a destination where family members can indulge their own interests, such as a national park for cycling or hiking, or a coastal retreat for fishing or swimming.
2. ‘Happy hour’ is a great way to bring the whole family together in a relaxing way after a day of activity. Light the campfire, bring out the nibbles, crack open the drinks and sit back, relax and catch up.
3. Try and plan your accommodation so each family group has its own space and refuge if things get too hectic or noisy. Whether it’s a convoy of separate vans or campers, a multi-room tent, or even just a quiet corner of the annexe, it’ll definitely help keep the peace.
4. Don’t rely on Grandma and Grandpa to be there just as babysitters. Encourage kids and their grandparents to share activities and spend time together, but don’t force it, or no one will have a good time.
5. Remember, it’s the simple things in life that are often the most enjoyable – especially for the kids. You don’t have to catch a bucket full of fish for a few hours’ casting a line to be a success. Take a stroll down to the shops for an ice-cream, or toast some marshmallows over an open fire – they’re the things the kids will remember.
6. Remember that each generation of the family will bring something special to the trip which will enrich everyone’s experience – that’s why you’re doing it! Try and let go of the little niggles and idiosyncrasies that bother you in everyday life and appreciate the opportunity to spend time together.
7. Include activities chosen by each family member on your itinerary. You might find yourself really enjoying something you never would have chosen to do yourself. This will help everyone feel included in the planning and the trip itself.
8. Talk and plan before your trip and find out where each family member stands on issues such as boundaries, discipline, noise, decision making, money, division of labour etc. Get your expectations out in the open and deal with them beforehand, to prevent them becoming issues along the way.
9. Respect each other and learn to compromise. Whether it’s respecting someone’s need for some quiet-time or personal space, or even respecting a smoker’s decision to smoke - work out a compromise which suits everyone.
10. Keep a diary, journal or photobook from your trips. These gramping experiences are ones everyone will want to treasure forever.