The idea of grandparents traveling with grandchildren ("grand-travel") is a "win-win-win". The grandparent(s) get to enjoy the little darlings, perhaps in a way not possible in the hectic days of raising their own children. The grandkids experience a special vacation. And the parents get a breather and time for themselves.
Another bonus: intergenerational travelers might get to combine senior's discounts with children's fares.
For tips, try this article at the GrandTimes website, for some practical advice: how and where to travel with your grandkids. For example:
- Make the first outing a short, easy one so you can get the feel for it and "work out the bugs" without major hassles.
- If your grandchildren live some distance from you and you don't know their interests, spend some time with children their ages before embarking on a trip together.
Ideas for Grandparent Family Travel
The travel section at Grandparents.com has write-ups about interesting trips with grandchildren. Explore Baseball's Home Town (Cooperstown, NY), Mayan Caves in Belize, dinosaurs in Utah...
Also: in this era of market "niches", it's no surprise that some travel companies design vacations especially for grandparents and grandchildren. Grandtravel, for example, has itineraries that combine learning and fun in Alaska, Galapagos, South Africa, Italy...Could be the tour of a lifetime, for both generations?
Family Adventures: this more general type of family tour could suit grandparents/ grandchildren very well. "Family Adventures" are a special niche in family travel: small group escorted tours with terrific itineraries, and all details handled. Most tours are offered by adventure travel companies; Adventures by Disney is another option and gets excellent reviews.
Elderhostel Intergenerational Tours: a different type of tour, and potentially more budget-friendly than the Cadillac tours above... Elderhostel is an educational travel organization for people over 55, with hundreds of travel choices; Elderhostel also has an Intergenerational Program with many interesting itineraries in the US.
Cruises: with cruise companies going all out to provide programs and facilities to kids of all ages (even teens), cruising could be an excellent way for grandchildren and grandkids to enjoy a vacation together.
All-inclusive Resorts: Many beach resorts in the Caribbean and Mexico make vacationing as easy as possible, with kids' programs for all ages, water sports, etc. Could be a great way for grandparents and grandchildren to enjoy a vacation, with some break time available for grandparents if needed.
Club Med Sandpiper: this all-inclusive resort deserves special mention because it is a rare all-inclusive within the US, and even better, is located in Florida. Many grandparents who've retired to this sunny state take the grandkids for a stay at this terrific resort, which has very impressive kids' programs with fun activities such as trapeze and roller-blading.