Best ideas for travel with grandchildren plus documents grandchildren need when traveling with grandparents.

Travel with grandchildren is a great way to bond
Travel with grandchildren is a great way to bond

Traveling with young children

Traveling with your grandchildren can be an experience filled with adventure, delight and treasured memories.  It can also come with unexpected problems that can make a vacation turn from happy to tearful if you are unprepared. 

Remember what it was like when you were raising children?

Somehow, as we age, we tend to forget what it was like to have little ones at home.  It is easy to enjoy a houseful of grandchildren all bustling around for a holiday visit or Sunday dinner when accompanied by their parents to handle the “problems”.  It is quite a different scene when you have decided to take your grandchildren on a three-day camping adventure to Yosemite—a full day’s drive from mom and dad.

Spending quality time with your grandchildren is a great way to build relationships and memories…it only takes a little preparation to make the trip pleasurable for all. 

10 things you need to know when traveling with grandchildren

  1. Have your grandchildren spend the night in your home on several occasions prior to your trip. This will allow them to get used to being with you… and apart from mom and dad.
  2. Let the children be in on the planning. Discuss all the possibilities that you have considered appropriate for you first, and then allow them to pick what sounds fun to them. Don’t offer to take them on a trip to the snow, for instance, if you are unable to move around on slippery surfaces, otherwise you will spend your time worrying about falling instead of enjoying the trip.
  3. Choose locations that have medical facilities available in case there is an emergency.
  4. Pick a vacation that may offer supervised activities for children in order to give you a break.
  5. Make arrangements for downtime each day of the trip. Children will want to stay active, but they also need to have times of rest in order not to get cranky (the same is true for grandma and grandpa).
  6. Give each child its own flashlight. This can be especially helpful when night comes and they are in a strange place. Quick access to a light can help calm their fears.
  7. If possible, choose a hotel with a heated swimming pool. Most children love playing in the water.
  8. When it comes to mealtime, allow lots of freedom in choices. While you certainly don’t want them sick and cranky from eating lots of junk food, this is not the time to insist they eat their Lima Beans either. When children are away from their normal food habits, this can become an area of quick tension if the rules are too rigid.
  9. Have each child bring a small bag of their favorite toys including any stuffed animal friends they may be “attached” to. These small familiar things from home will bring them a sense of comfort.
  10. Have the parents make a list of any peculiar habits or special routines that may be helpful for you to know. You will also need to have a “parent consent” letter for each child.

Taking your grandchildren on a vacation should be a wonderful experience for all. Taking these steps will give you peace of mind knowing that you will be off on a fun adventure that will offer a lifetime of shared memories.

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Comments 14 comments

DiamondRN profile image

DiamondRN 6 years ago from Charlotte, NC USA

We took my grand daughter to see Niagara Falls from the Canadian side when she was about 9-years-old. We had a hard time getting back across the boarder to the US because we didn't have a birth certificate or passport for her. We asked her mother for permission, but we never thought about needing any documents. The lady at the booth was asking my grand daughter some tough questions. I could picture going to jail for kidnapping a child and then trying to get her a across an international border. It's seems funny now; but it wasn't then. Lesson learned!


bayareagreatthing profile image

bayareagreatthing 6 years ago from Bay Area California Author

Wow- that is so scary!

The link above for the documents is a good list for knowing how to avoid those kinds of situations! Great story DRN! I really appreciate you sharing it!


IslandVoice profile image

IslandVoice 6 years ago from Hawaii

We're going away for the first time and traveling with our 5 yr old granddaughter. We're excited, but we're also curious what it will be like going to a different country and seeing things so different, esp for her. This is a timely hub as we now must make sure we are prepared. Thanks!


bayareagreatthing profile image

bayareagreatthing 6 years ago from Bay Area California Author

That is so wonderful IV! I hope you have an awesome time with her. Just taking these steps can make a difference. Please check out the document list...you don't want an experience like DiamondRN went through. These documents, especially if you travel outside the US, are vital!


psychicdog.net profile image

psychicdog.net 6 years ago

My kids love flashlights, and I realized after reading this I might try giving them out to get the 2yo especially into bed at night!


Dim Flaxenwick profile image

Dim Flaxenwick 6 years ago from Great Britain

That was great bayareagreatthing. !!!

Hve never ever thought of documents before. Thanks for the tip.


bayareagreatthing profile image

bayareagreatthing 6 years ago from Bay Area California Author

That is a great idea Psychicdog! I bet that will work. Thanks for stopping by!

DimFlax-I really appreciate your kind comment. We are in a new world where carrying "proofs" is more and more important.


Sandi 3m 6 years ago

Wonderful point about the documents. I am not a Grandparent yet, but this is helpful info for me to share with the Grandparents.


bayareagreatthing profile image

bayareagreatthing 6 years ago from Bay Area California Author

Thanks Sandi- I appreciate you stopping by!


Mighty Mom profile image

Mighty Mom 6 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA

This is an extremely useful hub! I never, ever would have thought of most of these ideas. Thanks!MM


bayareagreatthing profile image

bayareagreatthing 6 years ago from Bay Area California Author

Thanks Mighty Mom! I appreciate it! I am glad they are useful.


vrbmft profile image

vrbmft 6 years ago from Yucaipa, California

Great Tips. I am going to print those out for the future! And maybe even use them in one of my classes. I teach parenting to foster parents and kinship parents. I like number 9, and would add an article of clothing from Mom or Dad with their smell on it--an old tee shirt or sweater!! As an older person, I can see myself getting all excited about taking younger folks some place without ever giving thought to what they MOST need. Good tips.


bayareagreatthing profile image

bayareagreatthing 6 years ago from Bay Area California Author

Thanks vrbmft for your thoughtful comments! I really appreciate that. Make sure to tell your class about the documents too. They are really important when traveling with children.


JenDobson27 profile image

JenDobson27 6 years ago

Thanks for sharing your tips with us. Traveling with children of any age can be quite the challenge sometimes!

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