Exploring the World with Grandkids
When I was six years old, my parents decided to send a babysitter to our hotel room after I fell asleep. They wanted a night out at the hotel lounge. However, they did not tell me that a stranger would be in the room, expecting that I would sleep through the night and they would return before I was awake.
BAD IDEA! Hey, Mom and Dad, what were you thinking?
Of course, it all went wrong. I woke at 2 a.m. to a strange face and bawled my head off. My parents were called by security, and I never got to see Milton Berle. What if Grandma or Grandpa were there instead of a stranger? Or better yet, what if I was traveling with my grandparents? They would never do such a thing.
So here’s to all the great trips you and your grandchildren will have with and with the parents. This one’s for YOU!
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Discovering Where to Go
Here is a sampling of resources to help you decide the destination.
- Mommy Poppins (mommypoppins.com): Mommy Poppins is my go-to resource for local attractions, events, and travel destinations suitable for children.
- Lonely Planet Kids (lonelyplanet.com/kids): Lonely Planet Kids offers travel guides and books specifically designed for children to travel around the world.
- National Geographic Kids (kids.nationalgeographic.com): National Geographic Kids provides educational and entertaining content about different countries, cultures, and wildlife. Their website offers interactive maps, games, and articles to enhance a child's understanding of the world.
- Travel with Grandchildren by Janet Tice and LaVerne Tice (book): This book provides practical advice and tips for grandparents traveling with their grandchildren. It covers planning, safety, and making the most of the travel experience.
- Disney Family (family.disney.com): If you're planning a trip to a Disney destination, Disney Family provides tips and resources specifically tailored for families, including grandparents and grandchildren.
- Roadside America (roadsideamerica.com): For those interested in quirky and offbeat attractions, Roadside America offers information on unique and unusual sites across the United States.
- AllTrails (alltrails.com): If you enjoy outdoor activities, AllTrails is an excellent app for finding kid-friendly hiking and nature trails in various locations.
Finding a Babysitter or Nanny
Before embarking on your trip, it's essential to ensure the safety and well-being of your grandkids. Ask for Recommendations: Seek recommendations from local friends or family members who might know reliable babysitters. If you work for a corporation or have a local community paper, there is often a pipeline to ask for recommendations and references.
- Online Platforms: Explore online platforms like Care.com, Sittercity, and UrbanSitter to find experienced babysitters or nannies in your travel destination.
- Hotel Concierge: Many hotels have a list of approved babysitters or can assist you in finding reliable childcare services. Tell the child you are doing so!
Choosing suitable accommodation is crucial to ensuring a comfortable and enjoyable stay for you and your grandkids. Peter Anderson, our hotel and spa expert, emphasizes the importance of the concierge in choosing a hotel. Join our free Facebook Salon to ask Peter hotel-related questions before you travel.
- Family-Oriented Hotels: Look for hotels that cater to families, offering amenities like kid's clubs, childproof rooms, and babysitting services.
- Online Booking Sites: Websites such as Booking.com, Expedia, and TripAdvisor often provide information and reviews on child-friendly hotels.
- Vacation Rentals: Consider renting a family-friendly vacation home or apartment through platforms like Airbnb or Vrbo.
Ageless Traveler Resource: See our article "PICKS BY LINDA” with her curated hotels for grandparent trips.
Grandparent/Grandchild-Friendly Cruise Lines
Some cruise lines are known for their kid-friendly activities and atmosphere. Here are a few of my favorites based on their kid-friendly and age-friendly ambiance.
Disney Cruise Line: Known for its exceptional entertainment and activities for kids of all ages. https://disneycruise.disney.go.com/
Royal Caribbean: Offers various amenities like water slides, mini-golf, and dedicated kids' programs. https://www.royalcaribbean.com/
Carnival Cruise Line: Provides supervised youth programs and family-friendly entertainment. https://www.carnival.com/
Norwegian Cruise Lines- bonding activities for teens. They love the programs and the privacy from adult eyes. https://www.ncl.com/
MSC- An excellent time for the children. Your little darling may even learn to speak Italian. https://www.msccruisesusa.com/
Concierge Services for Kid-Friendly Activities
Hotel concierge services can be your best friend when it comes to finding kid-friendly activities in your destination:
- Inquire at the Hotel: Ask the concierge for recommendations on child-friendly sights, activities, and dining options.
- Local Events: They can provide information about local events, festivals, and attractions suitable for kids.
- Arrange Tours: The concierge can help you book family-friendly tours and experiences.
Ageless Traveler Resource-Hear Judy Frizlen, Founder of Rose Garden Childhood Learning Center and author of "Where Wisdom Meets Wonder: 40 Stories of Grandma Love", on our podcast with heartfelt advice for your grandparent trips.