Tips for a Grand Trip

Travel can be stressful. A little planning can make a big difference. Here are a few ideas that can help everybody get the most out of their time together.

t-weight: normal">• Include the grandchildren in planning the trip and the itinerary. They’ll feel more invested in the adventure and will be more enthusiastic about participating in activities that they have selected. Do remember, however, that you are the one in charge (and, most likely, the one footing the bill!).

t-weight: normal">• Consider a trip designed especially for grandparents and grandchildren. There will be other children there, activities just for kids and a chance for you to connect with other grandparents.

t-weight: normal">• Encourage kids to keep a trip journal. Include ticket stubs, postcards, restaurant menus and photos.

t-weight: normal">• Set limits for spending on souvenirs and snacking.

• Arm each child with a disposable camera.

t-weight: normal">• Plan for down time. Have a stash of books, games and puzzles on hand for those moments when you are waiting in line, sitting in a restaurant or driving in the car. Consider books on tape (available at the library) to pass the time during long flights or car trips.

t-weight: normal">• Discuss potential problems before you leave home. What will happen if the child is homesick? What are the bedtime expectations?

t-weight: normal">• Pay attention. Watch your grandchildren do handstands in the pool, listen to their stories and laugh at their jokes. Remember that some of the best moments will be the ones that aren’t scheduled.

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• Review the highlights and the low points of the trip upon your return. What would you do again and what will you change on your next trip together?

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