The holiday season is near again, and it is time for some unforgettable family adventures!
Whether you choose to travel as an extended family or it is just you and your grandchildren, there are plenty of tips to keep in mind to ensure that you travel without any major issues down the road.
So, it always that you think ahead when traveling with your grandkids. Once you take these tips into heart, you will be thankful that you can handle several travel issues even before they even start.
1. Plan the trip as a family
This advice might be obvious, but you must plan your trip as a family ahead of time. Do not just come up with decisions on your own.
Make sure that you also involve your children (your grandchildren’s parents). By doing so, you are making them feel more comfortable with whatever your travel plans are, and also giving them peace of mind.
As much as you can, also involve the kids as you plan along. It usually depends on what age they are, because there might be particular places that they want to go to or see.
If your primary goal is to create lasting memories and building meaningful relationships in this trip, then you must seriously consider their input.
2. Assemble all required travel documents
To ensure that you do not through a couple of embarrassing oversights on your part when checking in, assemble all the needed travel documents for your group.
- If you are traveling abroad, make sure that you bring valid passports with dates that cover the specific period that you are away for your trip.
- Note that some countries need an extended period of validity. If you are not quite sure, it is best to check beforehand with the Foreign & Commonwealth Office.
- Travel insurance documents
- Health insurance cards
- A medical release (notarized) for every grandchild. Every healthcare provider would need a form before they could treat a minor.
- For international travels, you would need a letter from the parents that is permitting you to take your grandkids across international borders. Again, this letter should be notarized and should include the contact information of the parents, as well as a summary of your travel itinerary.
- It usually depends on the destination you are going to, you might also need a copy of every child’s vaccination records.
- Extra copies of your prescriptions and a letter from your GP as a replacement in case you lose them.
3. Minimize carry-ons
More and more airlines have stricter rules when it comes to carry-ons, so it is always best that you keep your carry-ons to a bare minimum.
When you minimize them, you will be able to go through the security a lot easier, lessen the chances of leaving anything behind. It is also a lot more convenient on your part since you will not be carrying much around, especially when you are with your grandkids. To maximize your trip, check out this 2019 carry-on size guide.
If you have older grandchildren, then it is okay to let them bring along their carry-on as long as it is within their comfort level. It is also a great way to make them feel more responsible for their stuff.
4. Set down a few ground rules
Before leaving for your trip, set a few ground rules, and repeat them several times if you can.
Here are a couple of ground rules that you could apply for younger children:
- Do not kick the seat in front of you.
- Be prepared to stay put in your seat most of the time.
- For older kids, warn them not to make any bomb jokes or something like that.
5. Teach them about the concept of air travel etiquette
If you are traveling by plane, teach them a couple of air travel etiquettes like the various requirements of an aisle, middle, and window seat.
Tell them also that they should not recline their seat unnecessarily, and to warn the person behind them if they should recline their seat.
6. Bring some snacks
Be creative with the snacks that you bring along when traveling. For instance, when traveling via plane you could bring along some crackers, fruit snacks, and so on.
Just remember that you do not go overboard, because what does not get eaten during flight must be carried off the plane.
Also, if you are flying with a grandchild with allergies, you should have a list of the foods that they are allergic to, and take extra precautions with what you are eating.
7. Permit their use of electronics within reason
Sure, you would never get to understand your grandkid’s obsession with their smartphones and other electronic devices, but still permit them from using it, even for just a couple of times a day.
Doing so lets them engage in a familiar and enjoyable activity on their trip with you. It is also best that you coordinate with their parents to get a better understanding of their rules at home.
8. Arrange your ground transportation
If you are planning to rent a car, then it is better to coordinate with the rental services company beforehand. Let them know your estimated time of arrival so that they can prepare the vehicle for you ahead of time.
Because you already have your preferences, then the time to process all the paperwork are significantly reduced. It helps you save a lot of time and minimizing all the hassle when traveling.
9. Have some quiet time
Traveling can be exhausting, so you need some downtime and one point or another, and so does your energetic grandchildren.
There is nothing worse than dealing with a tired, cranky child who is unfamiliar with his or her surroundings. So, it is best to schedule your downtime each day. Take your time also to rest and recharge while they nap.
Over to You
Traveling with your grandkids gives you an excellent opportunity to bond with them. So planning ahead of time, and considering these tips will help you travel with them more smoothly. Know what you and your grandkids need before you go.
Geraldine Mills is a self-confessed wanderlust from the land down under, Australia! She funds her adventures by working as a travel writer. She loves sharing the allure of backpacking and being one with nature. Visit this website to check out her other published articles.
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