Some grandparents enjoy reading to their grandchildren while others share a love of sports taking in athletic events on a regular basis.
Some especially lucky grandchildren get the opportunity to go on holiday with their grandparents, seeing sights and spending uninterrupted, quality time.
When a grandparent and grandchild spend time together, it is usually a great deal of fun for both.
Unlike the relationship that children have with their parents, grandparents can usually afford to be a bit more flexible when enforcing the rules — after all, they aren’t the ones responsible for the everyday care of the children.
As long as the grandparents do not undermine the authority of the child’s parents (which is never okay), most children are allowed a bit of freedom when spending time with their grandparents.
Traveling together is a wonderful way for grandparents to bond with their grandkids, as long as they keep a few things in mind.
Planning the Trip
If possible, it is best if grandparents allow the grandchild to help plan the trip. Taking the time to sit together and discuss possible destinations as well as preferred activities is not only fun in itself, but allows the potential traveling companions to design a vacation that will appeal to both parties.
Ideally, by including activities that are of interest to both generations, everyone will not only enjoy the trip but will have the opportunity to get to know a little more about each other.
Grandparents may be able to introduce the children to some favourite locations and hobbies, while the kids just may be able to do the same for their grandparents!
Things to Consider
While some folks have limitless funds, most people must plan within the confines of a travel budget. If the children are old enough to understand, it’s a good idea to be upfront about the spending limits for the trip so that the most desired things are prioritized.
For some, the location may be the most important part while others planning their holiday travel may find the ability to participate in many activities the top priority.
Also, when taking grandchildren away from their home, it is vital to have the parents sign a form authorizing emergency medical treatment for the children, in case the need should arise.
While the need to use such a document is rare, it can save precious time if the child has a medical emergency.
Fun and Learning
Kids often learn the most when they are having fun, and traveling is a great way for children to gain knowledge in a hands-on way.
History and geography may not hold much appeal when studied in books, but the experience of traveling can bring history to life and clarify the world map in a way that cannot be accomplished in the library.
Grandparents can assist in this learning process by discussing culture, climate, and history of the chosen area, beginning in the planning stages and continuing throughout the trip.
It is not only the children who are likely to come away from the holiday with expanded knowledge. Adults, too, are enriched by travel and it is good for the kids to see that learning is a lifelong process.
Grandparents who are open to new places and experiences will be setting good examples for their grandchildren.
When traveling with children (or even without them), having a bit of flexibility is key to having a good time. No matter how well you plan, there are sure to be things that take you by surprise.
Children, especially, make it necessary to avoid being too rigid in adhering to a set schedule. If you are traveling by car, be sure to stop often so that everyone can stretch their legs and burn off a little pent-up energy.
Taking along a basket of healthy snacks can keep whining at a minimum, and stopping to see interesting sights along the way will alleviate boredom.
More than anything, it is important to remember the real goal of the trip — quality interaction between grandchild and grandparent.
Whether taking a short weekend trip or a leisurely summer holiday, kids will take far more home with them than merely a few touristy tee-shirts.
For many of us, our fondest childhood memories involve spending time with our grandparents.
Taking lots of photographs and maybe even some videos if you have access to a camera, can help you to relive the trip many times once you are back at home. Most important, though, is the gift of time that grandparents can offer to their grandkids.
That is something that the children will take with them for the rest of their lives.