There’s a quote that says, “Surely, two of the most satisfying experiences in life must be those of being a grandchild or a grandparent.” How true that is! The bond between grandparent and grandchild is one to be nurtured and cherished. One of the best ways to do that is to travel with the grandkids. Here are some of the benefits, along with tips for successful trips.
Benefits of Travel with the Grandkids
An AARP survey found that 40 percent of grandparents already travel with their grandkids, but even more are interested in doing so. With good reason because the benefits of intergenerational travel include:
- Strengthening your connection – With busy schedules, distance and even technology competing for time with your grandkids, travel is a perfect opportunity to get away from it all, and spend one-on-one time together.
- Learning from each other – The fact that you’re from two generations means your different experiences, viewpoints, and interests give you a great opportunity to broaden each other’s horizons. And you may learn you have more in common than you think!
- Giving the parents a break – Of course, traveling as one big family can be fun, too. But traveling with just you and your grandkids can give their parents much-needed time to relax and recharge themselves. You likely remember all too well how chaotic daily life can be with kids.
- Creating lasting memories – It’s those times spent outside the daily routine that we often remember the most. It’s the things we don’t normally do, the places we don’t normally go, and sharing those experiences with your grandkids that make them even more meaningful.
- Passing on family history – Grandparents are often seen as keepers of the family history. Travelling provides the opportunity to share it firsthand if there are places that are special to your family and/or to experience doing things that are an important part of your past. At the very least, it gives you a captive audience for storytelling!
- Keeping active – A vital part of healthy aging is staying active. Although spending time with your grandkids in general likely accomplishes that to an extent, traveling can help even more whether you’re actually hiking up a mountain, sightseeing in a city, or walking along the beach.
Tips for Successful Trips with the Grandkids
Yes, spontaneous trips can be fun. But, if you’re traveling with your grandkids for the first time on your own or just haven’t traveled with them before, a bit of planning can go a long way towards ensuring a successful trip. Our tips include:
- Consider the ages of the kids – This can often be a determining factor in whether or not the parents should join you, as well as what you do in general. For younger kids, it may be easier to travel to one spot where you stay for a week. For grandkids 18 and over, they may relish the idea of leaving their parents at home and heading out to explore several destinations with you.
- Start early – You’ve likely seen firsthand how busy your grandkids are, so planning ahead is key to making sure you select dates that work for everyone. Plus, it gives you all something to look forward to!
- Plan together – One way to start the bonding early is to plan the trip together. From choosing locations to accommodations to what to bring- it’s a surefire way to get the grandkids invested in and excited for the trip.
- Choose activities you can enjoy together – Even if your grandkids aren’t old enough for you to plan the trip together, you likely know what they like to do. So, keep those things in mind when deciding on an itinerary, as well as what you can enjoy together. You may not be up for scuba diving, but snorkeling may fit the bill for you both, for example.
- Capture the moments – You certainly want to be present in the moment, but make sure to take as many photos and document as many experiences as possible so you can look back on it later and relive all the fun you had!