Did you know that ‘intergenerational camps’ are an up-and-coming trend in the camping world? At these family focused camps, family members spend quality time together, catching up on everything that they’ve missed in each other’s jam-packed lives. All this while you’re wondering how to get your own family to accompany you on a caravanning holiday!
Well, it doesn’t have to be this way. Granted that figuring out a way to get everyone together just for Christmas is in itself a tall order, and granted that your children now have families of their own to look after. But a full-flavoured family camp also has its unique selling points, and the key lies in communicating the same to your children without alienating them.
Here’s how you can go about it:
1. Present to them the sunny side of things.
When you propose the idea of an extended family camping trip, make it seem like an actual break. Your children live in a world where there’s no end to things that have to be taken care of, and no time to actually take care of them. Their generation longs to feel like a kid again, without those endless to-to lists to worry about. As such, taking the planning and logistical aspects of the camping holiday out of their hands could go a long way in convincing them to join you, with their families and everything! Depending on the amount of time you have at your disposal, chalk out a rough draft of everything – the schedule, the places you can visit, activities you can engage in, and even things you can carry with you. However, this is where tip #2 becomes important.
2. Don’t make it sound like an imposition.
Allow your children some freedom. To make suggestions, to extend or cut short the trip, and so on. Remember that the camping holiday is your idea to begin with; your children (and their families) will only be interested if they can participate in some of the decision making. Give them a say in where they would like to go and what they would like to do, and step in only to take care of ‘how’ to make the same happen. For the same reason, suggesting the idea of the family camping trip while you’re at a neutral venue or at your children’s homes rather than yours, can also go in your favour.
3. Take babysitting out of their hands
You’ve been a young parent, and you’re all too familiar with how hectic and never-ending a job it can be. Now, as young parents themselves, your children probably crave a little break from the constant routine of preparing meals for their little ones, helping them with their homework, keeping them engaged in healthy activities, and so on. On a family camping holiday, you can take care of the grandkids, leaving your children some exclusive couple time with their spouses - something that’s so rare to come by once you’re a parent. Drop in this idea during your pitch; it definitely won’t go to waste!
4. The more the merrier…and cheaper!
It is much, much cheaper to go camping with the entire family than to strike off on your own. When nothing else works, this fact can come to your rescue. Especially if you throw in suggestions of exclusive, luxury destinations and experiences that you can all share at a fraction of their slated cost!
Throughout your negotiations, it is important to keep in mind that your children, their partners and their kids will all have their independent opinions and schedules to work with. Factor this into any plans you make, and communicate the same sensitively. After all, a happy family makes for a much better group of campers than a reluctant one!