Get Us in Your Inbox
Growing up, I had just one grandparent, and she always seemed very old to me — almost ancient. About the only thing we had in common was that we both liked the television show “Little House on the Prairie.” I liked it because it had kids in it, and she liked it because it reminded her of growing up in Romania. So, I never really understood the power of the grandchild-grandparent relationship — until I had children of my own.
I was always amazed at how much my kids enjoyed spending time with my wife’s parents — they treated their grandparents as a combination of secondary parents, older siblings and partners in crime. The kids could tell them things they didn’t share with my wife and me, they had their own favorite activities, and they occasionally came up with schemes that playfully undermined our rules.
We traveled with the whole family on many occasions, but by the time my children were old enough to travel without us, my wife’s parents were a little too old to take them on their own.
Reading this issue’s cover story, “Bridging the Gap” (page 12), I realize how much the kids missed out by not having that opportunity.
As James Moses, president and CEO of Road Scholar, says in the story: “Parents have a different role in their children’s lives than grandparents do, and these grandparent-grandchild learning and travel adventures give the two generations the chance to experience the world together.”
Travel advisors have an important role in planning these meaningful “skip-gen” getaways. As an unbiased expert, the agent can gently steer the family toward itineraries and activities that are feasible for the grandparent and interesting for the grandchild. It’s just a matter of staying educated on options and reaching out to clients who might not have considered this kind of trip on their own.