6 Tips for Traveling with Grandchildren

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Traveling with grandchildren may seem like a big undertaking, but with a little planning and excellent communication, a multigenerational trip can provide a lifetime of memories. It can create lasting bonds, forge strong relationships, and bring generations of families closer together.

Learn more about the benefits of traveling with grandchildren, get tips for making your trip a success, and explore some of our favorite places to take grandchildren.

3 Major Benefits of Multigenerational Travel

According to a recent survey by Airbnb, 34% of family vacations include grandparents. As the boomer generation becomes grandparents, we are seeing a new generation of seniors who are living longer, healthier lives and are able and more willing to travel long distances with their families. The ability to travel and the extensive benefits of multigenerational travel are making traveling with grandchildren more popular than ever.

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1. Creating unique memories

Traveling together and getting out of your daily routines leaves space for some pretty fun adventures. When grandparents and grandchildren come together, leave their day to day lives behind, and travel they can explore the unknown, eat new foods, try new things – all together. These shared experiences create lasting memories and bring generations together.

2. Bringing families together geographically

Families are more spread out than ever before and many families only get together on major holidays, if even then. Making the time to be with each other physically is an important part of getting to know each other and understanding each other. As far as technology has come, nothing can replace being together.

3. Creating a lasting legacy

Traveling alone with your grandchild lets him or her know that they are important to you, that they matter, and that you want to be with them. As time passes and as travel becomes more difficult due to mobility constraints, time constraints, and financial obligations, grandchildren who have traveled with their grandparents will have lasting memories forged by a unique and shared travel experience. The opportunity to travel with grandparents will create a family legacy, and maybe even a lasting family tradition for generations to come.

6 Tips for Traveling with Grandchildren

When it comes to traveling with grandchildren, it pays to be prepared. Taking the time to prepare and follow these tips can lead to a stress-free vacation.

1. Plan the trip as a family

Don’t make unilateral decisions. Be sure to involve your children (the grandchild’s parents) before committing money to travel. This will help them feel comfortable with your travel plans and give them peace of mind. Also, involve the children as you plan. Depending on their age, they may have specific places they want to go and things they want to see. If your goal is to create lasting memories and build a positive relationship, take their input seriously.

2. Have realistic expectations

Realize that your interests are not the same as your grandchildren’s interests. Try to balance child-friendly activities with activities that you will enjoy too. Don’t pack your days with too many activities. If you are traveling with young children, allow time to nap and choose accommodations with a central location so that you can get home easily if you all need a rest. Try to stick to their routines as much as possible by eating meals at the same time and trying to keep an approximate bedtime.

3. Give everyone plenty of space

When traveling with grandchildren, plan to have a condo, villa, or adjoining rooms in a hotel. It can be nice for everyone to have their space at night while also ensuring your grandchildren are safe near you.

4. Plan for spending money

If you plan on shopping for souvenirs, give your grandchildren spending money in advance of the trip. Let them know that that is their money to spend how they wish, but when it is gone, it’s gone. This can help avoid overspending and also help teach your grandchildren financial independence.

5. Pack light

When traveling with kids, it’s best to travel light. Consider carrying on or packing in a backpack to keep your hands as free as possible. Children are more adaptable than you may think and the trip will be entertainment enough so there’s no need to bring a lot of toys. A coloring book and maybe one favorite stuffed animal should do the trick.

6. Have your documents organized

Being organized can save time and your patience in a stressful situation. Having a folder organized with the documents you will need in the order you will need them can help. Be sure to have any documents you need from the child’s parents if traveling internationally with a minor.

There’s no question that traveling with grandchildren is well worth the effort. Have you traveled with your grandchildren or do you have plans to travel soon? What made you plan the trip and what tips would you add? Share your comments and experiences with us in the comments below.

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About the author

Alissa has been working in marketing and the senior living industry for over 8 years. With a B.S. in advertising from the University of Illinois, Alissa has worked all over the world as a freelance communications strategist and writer. Published in Forbes, Senior Finance Advisor, Alzheimers.net and on other leading senior care blogs, she leverages her working knowledge of the senior care industry with leading research and best practices to create engaging content benefitting seniors and their caregivers. In her free time, Alissa loves to travel, read, cook, and spend time with her family.

Retirement should feel like you're on a permanent vacation which is exactly why our communities celebrate freedom from obligation, helping you pursue new interests.

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