From Packing to Insurance, Here are the Essentials for Grandparent Travel


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OK, you have your parent's permission and the destination, so what's next? Plenty! From packing to insurance, here are essential things for you To Consider. And you can ask us questions at our Facebook Salons when you join our group.

Packing for Children (5-12) and Teens

Packing for kids of different age groups requires some variation in essentials:

For Children (5-12):

  • Clothing: Pack comfortable and versatile clothing, including extra layers and rain gear, as kids can be unpredictable.
  • Snacks: Children often get hungry between meals, so carry a selection of their favorite snacks.
  • Favorite Toys and Books: Bring their beloved toys and books to entertain them during downtime.
  • Medications: If your grandchild has any prescribed medications, ensure you have an adequate supply.
  • Sunscreen and Bug Repellent: Protect their delicate skin from sunburn and insect bites.

For Teens:

  • Clothing: Let your teenagers pack their clothes to encourage independence, but do check for appropriate attire for the destination.
  • Electronics: Teens might want their gadgets, such as smartphones, tablets, and headphones.
  • First Aid Kit: Include basic medical supplies for minor injuries.

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Medical Supplies to Pack

Having essential medical supplies is crucial for any trip with children:

  • Prescriptions: Ensure you have an ample supply of any necessary prescription medications.
  • Over-the-counter medications: Include common remedies for allergies, pain, and stomach issues.
  • First Aid Kit: Bandages, antiseptic wipes, and tweezers are valuable for minor injuries.
  • Medical Records: Carry copies of your grandchild's medical records, just in case.

Kids' Trip and Cancellation Insurance

When planning your trip, consider purchasing travel insurance:

  • Trip Insurance: Protect your investment in case of unforeseen circumstances or trip cancellations.
  • Health Insurance: Verify your grandchild's health insurance coverage in case of medical emergencies during the trip.

Vaccinations: Tetanus and Typhoid

Whether kids need vaccinations depends on the destination:

  • CDC Recommendations: Check the CDC's recommendations for your travel destination regarding specific vaccinations.
  • Consult a Pediatrician: Discuss with your grandchild's pediatrician whether additional vaccines are necessary.

Priority Boarding for Kids on Airplanes

Many airlines offer priority boarding for families with young children:

  • Check with the Airline: Contact your airline in advance to inquire about priority boarding options.
  • Family-Friendly Policies: Familiarize yourself with the airline's family-friendly policies to make your journey smoother.

Discounts for Kids and Seniors in Amtrak, Buses, Planes, and Museums

Traveling with grandkids can be more affordable with these tips:

  • Amtrak and Buses: Amtrak often offers discounts for children, and buses may have reduced fares for kids and seniors.
  • Airlines: Some airlines provide discounts for senior travelers; inquire when booking.
  • Museums: Look for senior discounts at museums and cultural attractions.

Finding Bathrooms While Traveling

Navigating public restrooms can be challenging, but there are apps to help:

  • Restroom Finder Apps: Download apps like "SitOrSquat" or "Flush" to locate nearby restrooms.
  • Airport and Train Station Maps: Check airport and train station maps for restroom locations.

Communicating with Parents

Stay connected with the kids' parents while on the trip:

  • Video Calls: Use apps like FaceTime, WhatsApp, or Zoom for regular video calls.
  • Postcards: Encourage your grandchild to send postcards to their parents to keep them updated.

Taking Car Seats or Strollers on a Plane or Train

Traveling with car seats or strollers can be convenient:

  • Car Seats: Check the airline's policy on bringing car seats; most allow them without an extra seat.
  • Strollers: Foldable strollers can be gate-checked on planes; ensure they meet size requirements.

Other Hints and Tips

  • Games and Puzzles: Bring various travel-sized games and puzzles to entertain kids during travel downtime.
  • Best Travel Series: Invest in travel guidebooks or resources for kids, such as the "Lonely Planet Kids" series.

Traveling with your grandchildren can create lasting memories and strengthen your bond. Following these tips ensures a smooth, enjoyable, and educational adventure for you and your grandkids. So, pack your bags, embark on your journey, and make the most of your grandparent-grandchild travel experience!

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