The name’s Bond, Bonding Holiday

08 Mar 24


The-name-s-Bond-Bonding-Holiday - GLOBE-TROTTER

Travel is as prone to the fickleness of fashion as, well, the fashion industry itself. Destinations that are red hot one year can have tumbleweed bouncing along the beach the following year, and it’s not just places that fall prey to changing trends, but ways of travelling as well. The bucket and spade family beach holiday, while not dead exactly, is on life support as families become ever more adventurous in their choices of destination and the activities they do when they get there. In turn, thanks to an even newer innovation, even families holidaying together en masse might soon be under threat. Enter the latest family travel trend – the bonding holiday. 

So, what gives? We’ll start with our definition of what constitutes a bonding holiday. To the team at Original Travel, a bonding holiday is a trip undertaken by any – and only – two members of the same family. The genius here is that that can be a parent and child of any age, or even a grandparent and grandchild, but the key factor is that they are spending quality time (well, that’s the theory, anyway) together, just one-on-one. 


Another key defining factor of a bonding holiday is the element of a shared experience – and no, lying side by side on a sunlounger with noses in different books (devices) for the entire duration of a holiday doesn’t really count. We are talking about finding common ground by connecting over a joint interest, be that history, art, history of art or indeed, something far less cerebral, such as a Game of Thrones geekfest or Disney love-in. Whatever floats both your boats that you can enjoy exclusively together, without that dissenting voice of a bored or too-cool-for-school sibling. 

However, the secret ingredient to the most successful bonding holidays and the one that will be fondly recollected at family gatherings for years to come, is one which involves learning something new. If it’s new to both, that can be a great leveller and an opportunity to rid the dynamic of any pre-existing hierarchy (activities which require embarrassing get-up or have the potential for humiliation – see surfing, horse-riding, salsa dancing – work particularly well for that oh-so-British point-and-laugh mockery).  

Or, even better, it’s a chance for one to introduce the other to a favourite pastime. For a child to see one of their elders attempt to get out of their comfort zone (old dog, new trick etc) in an attempt at solidarity is pretty heart-warming stuff, even to the most truculent teen. Likewise, for an older relative to pass an interest (wine-tasting, bird-spotting, astronomy) down to the next generation is the stuff of middle-aged dreams. Plus you’ll always have someone to bore on to at Christmas! 



So, now the concept is clear, you’re probably thinking about a bonding holiday of your own. If so, bear in mind that unlike most family trips, bonding holidays are led first by the ‘what’ rather than the ‘where’. The first questions to ask yourself are: Who do you want to travel with and what do you want to get out of it?  

As each bonding holiday is 100% unique to the pair taking the trip, the answers to these questions are just the starting point of a brief you can take to a travel expert (like our friends at Original Travel) to get planning. Just be prepared: once you do one trip, you’ll suddenly be everyone’s favourite relative. 

By Tom Barber 

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