Skip-generation travel is a trend associated with multi-generational travel. However, the distinct difference is, the grandparents are leaving their own children at home whilst they venture on holiday with their grandchildren; seizing the opportunity to enhance the connection and create closer bonds, as well as new and lasting memories
Many of ‘today’s grandparents are, as some describe, still ‘movers and shakers’. They are conscious about their lifestyle; taking more of an interest in their health and activity choices, and prioritising experiences over material things.
‘40% of grandparents travel with their grandchildren’ revealed by Grandparents Today Survey – AARP Research (USA).
Grandparents have a passion to impress their personal values upon their grandchildren through global exploration. The skip-gen ‘sweet spot’ is described as being grandchildren typically between the ages of 6-14 years.
Moreover, this travel trend is also influenced by milestone events associated with the grandchildren, with a travel experience being the more appealing option over and above the expense of venue hire, and a traditional party celebration.
Let’s address the indirect benefit first – parents are gifted with quality time together, to indulge in the things they love doing whilst the kids are enjoying some bonding time with their grandparents.
Although, the counter-argument to this is, modern parents are caught up in ’24-7 industries’ with demanding roles therefore, taking a family vacation feels like a distant dream. Parents encourage and welcome the grandparents to take the kids away on vacation as they have more time to devote to having fun with the kids.
Psychologist Dr Kairen Cullen states grandchildren get to appreciate the simpler things in life whilst the grandparents experience a boost in their cognitive powers from the physical exercise necessary to keep up with the younger generation. It is also suggested this quality time spent with grandchildren can act as an antidepressant.
Are you a grandparent whisking the grandchild(ren) off for a vacation? Are you a parent packing up the kids ready for an adventure with their grandparents? Here are 4 things to make sure are on the ‘to do list’ before embarking on the adventure
Letter of Permission. It is strongly advised to have a letter from the parents authorising the international travel, especially if the grandchildren have different family names to the grandparents.
Medical Requirements. Ensure all medication is requested with sufficient supplies for the duration of travel. It would also be a good idea to check with the GP that the medication and quantity required is lawfully allowed through border control of the intended destination.
Travel Insurance. Ensure all persons travelling have a comprehensive travel insurance policy that is fit for purpose. It is strongly advised to seek advice from a travel professional to ensure the policy is suitable for the intended travel; taking into account any existing medical conditions and activities that are being undertaken.
Emergency Contact Numbers. Have a list handy of emergency contact numbers should family members back home need to be contacted by yourself or a third party.
First of all, this travel trend is not a ‘one size fits all’.
Industry professionals need to adopt a creative approach to ensure their products and services respect and cater for each generation. This is to ensure both the grandparents and grandchildren have a fulfilling and meaningful experience with memories that last a lifetime.