Twila, my daughter, and I have always harbored a special love for NYC. We often talked about when the time would be right to take my granddaughter, Sidda, for a visit. Manhattan juxtaposed against Austin, Texas is a real culture shock. We knew our timing had to be just right.
Sidda, 7 years old, was enthusiastic about the prospect of seeing the Big Apple. OK. Maybe she was more excited about the airplane ride at first. When she wanted to begin packing months in advance of our summer departure date, we knew our timing and destination was correct.
Here are our tips for Traveling with Grandchildren:
1. Expectations: have you selected a destination that your grandchild will enjoy? Discuss plans with him/her to make sure the place is perfect. There are so many great travel destinations out there. Think unlimited!
2. Travel readiness: do a trial sleep over to make sure your grandchild is OK to be away from familiar surroundings and parents.
3. Safety: an ID bracelet or some form of ID attached to his/her person is recommended, just in case, you become separated. If the child takes medication, be sure you have an ample supply and a written schedule of when and what medication to administer.
4. Learning new things: For sure, we wanted Sidda to learn how to ride the subway since this was such a foreign experience to transportation in Austin.
5. Feeling good: Make sure to carry energy bars, bottled water and stop for snacks and refreshments often.
6. Having fun! What would be fun for him or her? Make an itinerary so you don’t waste time zigzagging from place to place. This doesn’t mean flexibility goes out the window. You can always extend your stay at a destination that is a winner. Don’t expect every spot on the itinerary to be winner. The next spot might be just the ticket.
You want traveling with your grandchildren to provide a lasting memory for them. Plan and discuss…plan and discuss…plan and discuss. You get the idea. Those expectations get the ball rolling.
As a grandmother, I know that these travel memories last a lifetime.