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Taking Your Grandkids On Holiday | CrunchyTales

Taking Your Grandkids on Holiday: What You Should Know

4 min read

Today’s grandparents are more adventurous than ever! And guess what? Many boomers have realised that travelling with their grandkids is a fantastic way to bond and create lasting memories. However,  the prospect of taking them on holiday can be both exhilarating and daunting, coming with its own set of challenges and considerations. 

From planning the trip to ensuring everyone’s safety and enjoyment, there are several key factors to keep in mind. CrunchyTales will help you navigate the nuances of travelling with your grandkids while keeping stress at bay.

Understand Your Grandkids’ Needs

For kids, travel can be a time of discovery, both for the world and themselves. It offers a healthy change in routine — a chance to try different foods, see how others live, and learn geography or history in a fun way. 

However, according to child psychologist Dr Laura Markham, “every child is unique, and what works for one may not work for another,” so before booking any destination in particular, take into account their age, interests, energy levels, and any special requirements they may have (as well as your budget), and then involve them in the planning process. 

As Dr. Kimberly Parker, a family therapist, states: “Giving them a sense of ownership and involvement can make them more excited and cooperative during the trip“. Whether you’re planning your first road trip close to home or joining a family group tour with activities suitable for everyone and experienced guides, a great idea to create a sense of excitement is creating a compilation of photos or videos. These will allow your grandkids to envision and anticipate each experience, feeling them involved right from the beginning, as well as help you understand their preferences.

Pack Wisely and Be Prepared

Create a packing checklist to ensure that both your grandchildren and their parents are aware of what they will need for the trip. Additionally, remember to have a discussion with their mom and dad about practical logistics.

If you are travelling internationally, it may be necessary to have a consent letter from the parents, granting you permission to travel with your grandchildren. Although it is unlikely that anyone will ask for it, it is always helpful to have a physical copy in case you are unable to contact the parents. It is also important to carry copies of the child’s birth certificate and have their health insurance information in case of an emergency.

Face Travel Mishaps With a Positive Attitude

One of the biggest advantages of travelling with your grandchildren is the opportunity to teach them adaptability.  According to family therapist Dr Michael Thompson, flexibility is key when travelling with grandkids. “Things may not always go as planned, and that’s okay,” he reassures. Embrace spontaneity and be prepared to adapt to changing circumstances.

Travel hiccups like bad weather, closed restaurants, or hotel mix-ups are all part of the adventure. Use these moments to show your grandkids how to stay calm and problem-solve. Remember, these mishaps often turn into the best stories once we’re back home.

Plan for Downtime

While it’s tempting to fill every moment with activities, allowing for downtime is essential, says travel expert Sarah Johnson. “Children, especially younger ones, need time to rest and recharge,” she advises. Incorporating breaks into your itinerary will prevent exhaustion and meltdowns. Colouring, drawing, or building with blocks can be both calming and engaging, as well as playing with puzzles and simple board games

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Make sure your grandkids have books, toys, gadgets, or whatever they enjoy for plane trips, train rides, or road trips. A portable charger for devices could also come in handy. And for the little ones, don’t forget their beloved teddy bear or blanket for bedtime.

Create Meaningful Memories

Dr. Rachel Evans, a psychologist specializing in family dynamics, suggests prioritizing quality time over extravagant activities. “Simple moments like sharing meals, exploring the surroundings or even enjoying time at the local playground together can create lasting memories,” she explains.

You can even involve them with capturing moments through photos or videos (these days kids are so skilled with their mobile phones). Documenting your adventures will not only allow you to relive them in the future but will also foster their creativity and perspective.

Top tour companies for travelling with grandchildren

If you prefer to consider a package tour,  these are just a few of the many great travel companies that specialize in multigenerational travel, taking the stress out of planning and ensuring a fun and enriching experience for everyone.

Road Scholar: This well-established nonprofit organization has offered educational travel to older adults since 1975. They currently offer 83 different programs geared toward grandparents and grandchildren. About 75% of the grandparent trips are domestic. Their multigenerational trips focus on learning and exploration, with itineraries that include cultural experiences, historical tours, and hands-on activities. Road Scholar is a great option for grandparents who want to share their love of learning with their grandchildren.

Intrepid: An adventure travel tour operator that offers “grandparent holiday” tours that bring together the young and the young at heart. They offer 35 one- and two-week tours in Europe, Africa, Asia and the Middle East, as well as in Alaska and Wyoming. 

Tauck Bridges: This large tour operator offers 19 foreign and domestic multigenerational trips called Tauck Bridges Family Tours. Some of their most popular trips are Costa Rica, European riverboat cruises, and Cowboy Country, which tours you through Wyoming and South Dakota.

G Adventures Family Tours: Their family tours are designed to be educational and engaging, with activities that will appeal to both children and adults. G Adventures is a great option for grandparents who are looking for a budget-friendly way to travel with their grandchildren.

Conclusion

Taking your grandkids on holiday can be a rewarding experience for both generations. By carefully planning, prioritizing safety, managing expectations, and creating meaningful memories, you can ensure a memorable and enjoyable trip for everyone involved.

Remember to embrace the spontaneity of travel, stay flexible, and most importantly, cherish the time spent together. As the saying goes, it’s not about the destination, but the journey—and the memories made along the way—that truly matter.

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