We’ve explored the pros and cons of a full family gathering and a single family gathering. Here we’ll consider skipped generation travel.
You’ve likely noticed that when grandchildren come for a visit without their parents, they change (become different people). The family dynamics from home disappear. The grandchildren respond to you with total acceptance of a new set of rules for interaction. Your rules.
Miraculously your grandchildren become interested, obedient, disciplined, willing, curious, loving, involved…(the list goes on and on). Like chameleons, this fabulous, wonderful, amazing, incredible…(the list goes on) behavior reverts back to “normal” the moment their parents return.
Imagine a trip with just your grandchildren.
You share an experience that imprints deeply in the psyche, builds mutual memories, and cements bonds. Together you experience a time of wonder and exploration that also allows you to impart the wisdom and perspective of your life experience. They soak it in like a sponge drinks water. WOW!
But there are important caveats:
• Such a trip can happen only if your children agree. (Tip, remind them that they, too, will enjoy time off from parenting, plus time together again as a couple.)
• Traveling with grandchildren is an enormous responsibility. This will not be a vacation for you. You’ll be on duty 24/7. Be realistic about your expectations.
• Taking more than two children can be overwhelming. One grandchild per grandparent is plenty.
• Taking only one grandchild is even better because the responsibility is shared by both adults. Plus the grandchild gets double attention.
• Fully preparing grandchildren for the trip enriches the experience. Together you build the dream, experience it, then remember it. This trip is a cherished time shared only by the three (or four) of you.
Practice for major travel by taking a few short trips to nearby points of interest.
Then go ahead. Order passports and start packing.