It’s every grandparents dream, to have uninterrupted quality time with your grandkids, exploring new places and sharing new experiences. Today more than ever grandparents are taking advantage of the freedom of RVing to connect with their grandkids. But truth be told, many of us no longer have the energy of a 10 year old. So what to do? Careful planning makes a grand vacation well, grand.
Prior to hitting the road ask your grandkid(s) what they’d like to see and do. Plan your trip accordingly. Are you off on a National Parks tour? Itching to see the world’s biggest ball of string? Looking to attend sporting events? Be prepared by purchasing tickets and/or learning operating times in advance.
Whatever your fancy, research parks on your route that are kid-friendly. Do they have a swimming pool or other water feature that the kids will love? How about planned activities? Do they have a kid-friendly movie selection or show movies outdoors? As much as possible, make reservations at those parks along the way.
Pack all the essentials including coloring books, legos or any other activity to keep them occupied during the drives. Peruse websites such as Mom’s Minivan (www.momsminivan.com) for car trip games and other ideas. Make sure you bring along any favorite foods and plan meals to their liking.
Consider giving them a journal or notebook to record their travels in, have new friends sign or press leaves or flowers. Bring along a travel pack complete with binoculars, a kid-friendly guide book, maps and some healthy snacks. Cameras, either disposable or digital, are essential.
Routines work well with kids. Make sure you discuss the particulars of the trip – including what’s expected of them – and other specifics such as mealtimes and bedtimes. Will they have spending money and what are the rules that go along with that responsibility? How frequently will they check in with Mom and Dad and what’s the policy on cell phones and video games? The more clear you are upfront, the better prepared they will be to enjoy their time with you.
Once on the road take advantage of the kid-friendly parks. Head out to the pool. Participate in group games, etc. Allow your grandkids to interact with others their age, running about and having a ball! Do some fun and unusual things with them such as “slime time” - guaranteed to make you the coolest grandparents around (click on the link to learn how easy and fun it is to make). Or customize a a one-of-a-kind tour around a favorite activity, color, sport, cartoon character anything you and the grandkids can imagine. Let them make decisions about what to do together or whether to make s’mores or doughboys around the evening’s campfire.
No matter where you choose to go or what you choose to do, an RV trip with your grandkids will build strong bonds between you and create memories to last a lifetime.