Travel with Grandchildren:
The Royal Holiday to Remember
Year after year, we see members arrive with teenagers and young adults, college kids and kids who’ve grown up right under our eyes.
Seeing Royal Holiday-ers coming back with grandchildren is a point of special pride for the entire club.
If you’re thinking of leaving your kids behind – and just bringing their kids this year – our hats are off to you. There are few things more memorable in young people’s lives than those trips with grandparents. They will literally talk about this trip for years. But…
… like with every Holiday, a little planning goes a long, long way.
These are some tips for when you start planning and for once you’re on your way.
You get a break from your kids and – best of all – you get their kids all to your self. What could be better?
The important thing is to let your grandkids’ parents – your own kids – have a major stake in all of the planning. Discuss everything about the trip with them and provide them with all the information, as if they were YOUR PARENTS.
After all, who would you have trusted to haul these same kids off on a holiday when they were young?
Fact is, there’s probably no one better qualified than you, and your kids probably know this.
Is there a drawback to the kids traveling with you?
Discuss everything and make a plan for all the worst case scenarios.
In general, we don’t recommend that children under 8 travel internationally without a parent or guardian, and you’ll need to plan accordingly depending on the age of your grandchildren.
Your own kids will know their kids better than you, so take notes, write everything down, and remember, the more open the both of you are, the better are your chances for holiday success.
We’d also recommend that you not travel by air with grandchildren you don’t know well or who don’t know you well. It’s asking a lot for them to trust you, and it may very well be asking them too much, grandparents or not.
Lastly, we’ve put in a few different plugs in the past for all of the advantages of all inclusive travel when it comes to trips with kids and older adults. Barring all other factors of your trip, a trip to an all inclusive resort or hotel will give you more time together and far less time worrying about food, drinks, snacks and activities. It could make all the difference in the world between a so-so trip and the knock-out holiday of a lifetime.
While you don’t want to overload kids with too much information, you do want to tell them where you’re going. Give them some pointers for getting started learning about it in the way that’s best for them, and start building a little excitement.
Where ever you decide to go, here are a few other things to consider.
Grandchildren under 15 don’t need a passport in most of the western hemisphere, including Canada, USA, Mexico and the Caribbean. They should be able to travel with just a certified birth certificate.
More importantly though, you should have a notarized letter giving the parents’ permission for the kids to travel with you. Likewise, if the kids have medical insurance cards, you should bring those along. If not, you should check with their insurance company and see what coverage they offer and what documentation you need to bring.
Air Travel with Grandchildren
1. Establish some rules for the airport and airplane with younger kids. Make sure the kids understand them and repeat them when necessary.
2. Direct flights are always preferable, even if they aren’t always possible.
3. When it comes to traveling with kids, the fewer carry-ons the better. Check everything you can.
4. Know the rules about liquids (usually 3 ounces or less sealed in a plastic bag) and bring appropriate snacks, like grapes and crackers.
4. Don’t board early if it means the kids are waiting around on the plane.
5. Electronics are your grandkids’ best friends and their own movies are usually more fun than the airline’s. Take advantage of all of them, and make sure the kids have plenty to occupy them plus a book or two.
Royal Holiday is here to help. If you have any questions about the place you’re traveling to, what to expect or about spending the best vacation ever, just let us know.