The mere mention of family holidays often conjures up images of arguments, rainy days stuck inside a cramped caravan, and lots of getting on each other’s nerves.
As the children grow up and begin to appreciate time off work and time with relatives a little more, holidays involving the whole family become much more appealing.
According to research carried out by car hire broker Auto Europe, 14 per cent of parents still pay for their kids to holiday with them when they are over the age of 18. What’s more, they provide their grown-up children with an average of £165 pocket money to spend per trip.
But with different age groups and tastes to cater for, how can families decide on the perfect holiday destination to keep everyone happy?
Here’s our pick of five of the best European destinations for parents and their adult children to visit.
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Lisbon, the capital city of Portugal, is brimming with culture, making it an ideal destination to keep family members of all ages busy.
The Belem Tower is a must-visit attraction, dating back to the 16th century. It was erected on the banks of the Tagus River to mark Portugal’s maritime role in exploring previously unmapped parts of the globe between the 15th and 18th centuries, and is one of the country’s most popular tourists sites.
For more sightseeing, a walking tour of the city will enable you to do some exploring of your own, allowing you to take in everything from Lisbon’s quaint, colourful architecture to streets lined with cafes and bars, where you’ll be able to sit back, relax and spend some quality family time together.
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A beach holiday isn’t always the best idea for parents and grown-up children vacationing together. All that lying around sunbathing can lead to members of the party becoming restless, and that’s usually when the bickering starts.
Athens, however, is perfect for adults of all ages, with plenty to keep them entertained over a week’s holiday.
Must-see attractions include the Acropolis, Parthenon and Panathenaic Stadium – which is the world’s only sports arena constructed entirely of white marble – while the Monastiraki markets are well worth checking out to pick up some unique souvenirs from your trip.
There are also traditional Greek tavernas aplenty for you to spend your evenings unwinding and catching up over local delicacies such as spanakopita – a kind of pie made from spinach and feta cheese – and, of course, moussaka.
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Rome is another of Europe’s most popular locations for travellers of all ages, making it a great destination with plenty of talking points to keep both older and younger adults amused.
Steeped in history, Italy’s capital has the sights, and it has the food. From the Vatican to classic Italian pizza and the Colosseum to gelato, Rome is perfect for catching-up with your children over a table filled with some of Europe’s finest cuisine, or seeing Ancient Wonders of the World up close.
Even if you’re not a particularly religious family, the stunning design of the Vatican makes the sacred site well worth a visit, and the shopping opportunities are world-class. Think Dior, Armani and Louis Vuitton, to name just a few.
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Vienna tends to be the destination most often thought of when trips to Austria are discussed, but Salzburg is just as beautiful and has more than enough to keep family members of all ages entertained.
Salzburg was the birthplace of Mozart, and today, it is home to a museum that allows an insight into the internationally-renowned composer’s life, as well as a tour of some of the stunning hills and scenery featured in the classic movie The Sound of Music.
If films and music aren’t your cup of tea, or you’d rather leave those attractions to the [big] kids, Salzburg’s Old City and its cathedral have plenty of history for you to discover. In the evenings, you can meet up to swap stories about your days over a few drinks and some schnitzel – veal is the most traditional option if you want a truly authentic Austrian dining experience.
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In much the same way that Vienna often overshadows Salzburg in the popularity ranks, Barcelona tends to eclipse Seville when people are looking for city breaks in Spain.
You’ll probably already know that the city is famous for its oranges, but are you also aware that Seville is home to some of Europe’s richest history?
Just nine kilometres outside of Seville is Italica, the first city to be built outside of Rome, which features a 25,000 seat amphitheatre, and was the birthplace of Hadrian – the figure responsible for the ancient wall that divides England and Scotland. Although a trip here requires you to venture a little further afield, hiring a car allows you to see even more of this beautiful country along the way.
Seville is also home to Metropol Parasol, which is the largest wooden structure in the world, and Alcazar, a historic palace with exquisite gardens where the King of Spain likes to stay when he’s in the area. If it’s good enough for royalty, it should be good enough for your family.