Traveling as a family is a great way to strengthen bonds and create memories that last a lifetime. When it comes to family vacations, skip-gen travel is a growing trend, with grandparents and grandchildren taking trips together while parents stay home.

Whether grandparents live around the corner or across the country, travel is an opportunity to create deeper, closer relationships because you’re spending so much time together. It provides chances for conversation that grandparents and grandchildren may not have on a regular basis. It also provides the opportunity to learn more about the grandchildren’s interests, likes and dislikes, what things are important to them, and what’s going on in
their lives.

Grandparents and grandchildren may explore a new place together, or the older generation can introduce the younger to a cherished destination or preferred way of travel, such as a cruise. 

Planning the trip together is also a good way to gather for quality time, ensuring that both generations have a successful vacation. There are places that offer organized activities for children, giving them and the grandparents some separate time to enjoy activities that are important to each generation. 

When it comes to family history and lore, grandparents are a key source of information. Perhaps the grandparents grew up in a different state or part of the country—or outside the United States—and want to show their grandchildren where they’re from. A trip is a way to share part of that history, which the grandchildren can someday share with their own children. If the destination is a foreign country or another region of the United States, it’s a great way to help children learn about and develop respect for different cultures. If it’s a place where neither has ever been, grandparents and grandchildren have the excitement of exploring and learning together. 

Of course, there are some things to keep in mind before traveling with grandchildren. Make sure all three generations—grandparents, parents and children—sit down and have a talk about travel rules and what is and isn’t allowed. Things to consider are bedtimes, texting at meals, and attention to food allergies. 

From a practical standpoint, grandparents often have more free time than their children. They may be retired or simply have a more flexible schedule, giving them time to take their grandchildren on a trip during spring break or summer vacation. This helps parents because the children are safe and occupied while they’re out of school and their parents are at work. It also gives parents a break, a chance to relax while knowing that their children are in good hands. 

If mom and dad want to come along and make it a three-generation trip, that’s great, too. As the years fly by, the family memories gained through generational travel will truly last a lifetime. 

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