Multi-generational travel has been popular for some time and now there is an increase in skip-gen or ‘gramping’ travel, when grandparents travel alone with the grandkids leaving mom and dad behind. It’s a great opportunity to get to know the grandkids, create life-long memories and travel experiences for your grandchildren.
The planning process should be as fun as the trip itself and when all involved participate it is sure to be a hit! If you want to get really creative, how about a mystery trip? With hidden clues along the way and the destination a surprise, it is sure to keep everyone interested and engaged in the trip itself. If the thought of the planning is just too overwhelming, there is always help by way of your local travel advisor.
To make the most of your trip, here are a few tips and ideas to get you started.
1. Family Meeting: Gather the troops together and ensure everyone is on the same page. Are you looking for an action-packed or relaxing getaway? Being on the same page at the very beginning will help avoid disappointment and conflict. You may have an aspiring marine biologist that would love a trip to the Shaw Centre for the Salish Sea on Vancouver Island or perhaps for the animal lover stop in at the Greater Vancouver Zoo in Langley.
2. Planning: Once you’ve agreed on the overall concept, plan together. Involve the grandkids! If they are old enough to research, have them look into activities and points of interest along your route and at your destination. This way they are invested, and you never know what they may find! Need a theme? How about a farm tour, totem discovery tour, cycling tour or see as many waterfalls as you can tour?
3. Consider Everyone’s Needs: Are there special requirements for accommodation and restaurants? Separate bedrooms for the snorers in the group? Restaurants that offer a menu to suit everyone’s taste, including accommodating any food allergies or preferences? Did you know your grandson is afraid of heights or your granddaughter is a vegan? Having some options in advance will save a lot of time and frustration on your trip.
4. Plan for Meltdowns: Adult or child, there will be at least one. Plan your day to include some down time, respect each other’s pace while doing activities and keep to familiar schedules. Stopping for meals before everyone (including grandpa) is hungry. Stop at the local deli for a picnic lunch on the beach, stop at the local food truck or farm-to-table restaurant. And remember to always have a plan B!
5. Trip Photographer: Perhaps the most important job of all! Designate someone as the trip photographer. To appease multiple volunteers, you may want to alternate days. If you have younger grandkids, pick up some disposable cameras. It’s always fun to see what has sparked their interest. If it is a special trip, you may want to consider hiring a professional photographer for a couple of hours or for the day. Either way, you want to capture those family memories.
We have so many beautiful and wonderous places to visit in the Lower Mainland, in the province and across Canada. Take this time to enjoy it with your grandkids and spend some quality time together.Here are some resources to help in your planning: http://destinationvancouver.com, http://hellobc.com.