Click here to print this page

Planning Retirement Online

Grandparents do make a difference - 19

February 2011



Each month we bring you this special column on grandparenting written by our expert contributor Jeanne Davis.  

This month she writes about:-

Travelling with grandchildren

If you have a subject you would like covered by Jeanne, please email us at: 


Travelling With Grandchildren

Many grandparents would like to take their grandchildren away for a short holiday together, but deciding where to go , where to stay and importantly what to do can be a bit daunting. And until recently the travel industry failed to recognise there was a brand new market out there. They may have failed to recognise that today’s grandparents, compared to their predecessors, choose a very different and more independent youthful and active lifestyle – preferring to participate in their grandchildren’s interests and activities rather than be bystanders.

After 18 months of research and planning, Grand Breaks, a family run holiday company, launched a range of one, two or three day breaks in the UK, exclusively for grandparents and grandchildren to enjoy equally together, says founder Charles Grimaldi. “Our research indicated that we needed to offer several types of breaks for different interests and fitness levels: including Thrills and Surprises, Explorers, Action Stations and Pick and Mix. “

You discuss with them your interests and Grand Breaks will organise everything for you, where to go, where to stay and what to do, handling all the bookings and the arrangements.

Other companies offer enticements for grandparents to participate in family holidays. Eurocamp has offered “grandparents stay free” deals and some hotels have discounts for families of three generations.

Center Parcs, best known for family holidays, has also been recommended by grandparents as ideal for short breaks with the grandchildren. Center Parcs operates four holiday villages in the UK, each one set in a forest environment. Accommodation includes fully equipped villas and apartments. Each village offers an extensive range of sports and leisure activities, numerous restaurants, and spa facilities.


Travelling together is a wonderful way to spend uninterrupted quality time with your grandchildren as long as you keep a few things in mind.

• Planning the Trip. It is best if grandparents allow the grandchild to help plan the trip. Discuss possible destinations as well as preferred activities that will appeal to both generations. You 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 children may be able to do the same for their grandparents.

• Important to Consider. While some people have limitless funds, most of us must plan within the confines of a travel budget. Be upfront about the spending limits for the trip so that the most desired things are prioritised. For some the location may be the most important part while others may find the ability to participate in many activities the top priority.

When taking the grandchildren away from home it is vital to have the parents sign a form authorising 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 had a medical emergency.

• Fun and Learning. Children often learn the most when they’re having fun. Travelling can bring history to life and be much more appealing then studying it in books. Discuss the culture, the geography, the history of the places you are visiting, beginning in the planning stages and continuing throughout the trip. Grandparents will come away, too, with expanded knowledge and being open to new places and experiences is a good example to set for the grandchildren.

• Be Flexible. Having a bit of flexibility is key to having a good time. No matter how well you plan, there will be things that take you by surprise. With children, especially, avoid being too rigid in adhering to a set schedule. They may need to burn off more pent-up energy and stop off more often. Their food tastes may alarm you. Be tolerant. After all, the real goal of the trip is to enjoy each other.

• Making Memories. Taking lots of photographs and, if you like, some videos will help you to relive the trip many times once you are back at home. Most important is the gift of time together that grandparents can offer to their grandchildren. That is something the children will take with them for the rest of their lives.


Grand Breaks: tel. (01323)730889. Or visit the website

Center Parcs: go to



Previous articles in the series:


1. Grandparents do make a difference
2. When Grandparents are on duty
3. To Discipline or not
4. The long Distance Grandparent
5. When the parents separate
6. Second time around
7. Who baby-sits?
8. Favouring one grandchild more than the others
9. Should Grandparents who provide child care receive financial assistance
10. A feast for mind and body for you and the grandchildren at half term
11. Jealous grandparents
12. When you agree to help with childcare
13. Parents would like grandparents to live closer
14. Grandparents and teen grandchildren
15. Saga of Skype
16. And so do Great Aunts and Uncles!
17. How much do you spend on your grandchildren?
18. Grandparents with Dementia and their Grandchildren



Want to comment on this article or ask other laterlife visitors a question?

Then click on the link below to visit the comment section of the Later Lifestyle Network, click on the 'Discussion Tab' (you can't see this until you are logged in) and Create a new topic or add your views to an existing one

Don't forget you need to login before you can make a comment.



Advertise on

LaterLife Travel Insurance in Association with Avanti