Multigenerational Travel: Reasons to Travel with Grandparents

Photo Credit: Cheryl Leung/List Making TravelingMom

Have you ever considered traveling with your children’s grandparents?

Yes, I know what you’re thinking “What are you, nuts? You want to travel with your in laws?! Your parents?!”

My two children love spending time with their grandparents. It may be due to the fact that they can eat ice cream any time of the day and are rarely turned down when it comes to buying treats from the dollar store.

It’s not surprising that when it comes to travel my kids want Grandma and Grandpa to tag along too. More candy, later bedtimes, more money to spend on souvenirs, and for me – more schedules to coordinate.

At one point in my life I thought I was pretty crazy too – spending an entire week side-by-side, in connecting rooms, with my children’s grandparents.

But the more we travel together, the more I realize the benefits of multigenerational travel.

Here are 5 reasons why I love traveling with grandparents

1. More Babysitters

This probably doesn’t come as a surprise to many parents who plan multigenerational trips but traveling with grandparents means there’s more people to split babysitting time with.

One child needs to nap? One adult can head back to the room with sleepyhead and everyone else can keep exploring and playing.

This also means Mom and Dad can sneak in some alone time too once in a while instead of waiting for an adults only vacation which for us, rarely happens.

2. Slower Travel

Grandparents know that everyone needs to recharge and unwind – whether it’s in the middle of the day or at the end.

My in-laws and parents travel at a similar pace as my two kids.

I just don’t know when to stop looking at my lists (hence my List Making TravelingMom title) and they’re better at recognizing when they and the kids have reached their limit.

3. Reminiscing about Our Childhood

Traveling with my in-laws and my parents brings back a ton of memories of childhood trips for my husband and me.

It’s so much fun to re-visit favorite destinations (they’ve all changed so much since the 80s and 90s) and make memories with a new generation.

4. Making Memories Not Picture Perfect Photos

“Twitter, Facebook, Instagram – what is that? And why are you always looking for WiFi to share what you’re doing with everyone?”

Sweets in Seattle

Photo Credit: Cheryl Leung/List Making TravelingMom

My parents and in-laws are aware of social networks but have no interest in them. They’re more concerned about making memories, taking a few photos (unposed, unfiltered) and then moving on to make another memory.

Want to have ice cream 3 times today? Grandma and Grandpa will most likely say “Yes” if you ask nicely.

Multigenerational trips remind me that it isn’t always about getting that perfect shot for my scrapbook or my Facebook photo album.

5. Learning about Our Family’s History

The biggest benefit of traveling with grandparents is watching them interact with their grandchildren.

Stories are often shared and questions are asked about what it was like when Grandma and Grandpa were kids.

A few years ago, I overheard my daughter ask my mother-in-law “Grandma, what do you mean Disney World was not built when you were a baby? You didn’t live in North America? Where is Hong Kong? If Disney World wasn’t built and Mickey and Minnie weren’t alive, does that mean you’re over 100 years old? You should be in a museum! Because things there are very very old.”

My children have learned about our family’s Chinese Caribbean heritage, cultural traditions and a 3rd and 4th language – all from being with their grandparents 24/7 several times a year.

It’s so much easier for them to absorb this information when they’re with family than it is to learn from a book or in a classroom setting.

Have you traveled with your in-laws or parents? What do you think are the biggest benefits of multigenerational trips?