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Senior Citizen's Guide

10 Survival Tips For Traveling With Grandchildren

Many of us have traveled with our own kids and their children to celebrate special occasions or family reunions. However, when I vacation with one child at a time—without their parents along—we all seem to behave differently. The young ones don't whine or have temper tantrums when they know our guidelines, and a special bonding takes place between the generations. I've discovered these jaunts add a special meaning to my relationships with my five grandchildren, aged two-and-a-half to eight. (And did I mention that they're all brilliant and gorgeous?)

It's different from when we were young, when grandparents often lived within the same house or nearby. Today, traveling together often fills the gaps caused by divorces and relocated jobs causing generations to live far apart. In addition, as many of us retire at younger ages, we have the energy and means for travel.

Since I became a grandmother who loves traveling with her family, however, I've found that grandparents' needs are different. "Grands" are usually less energetic than parents, with different physical requirements — forget about white—water rafting for most of us and think afternoon naps.

Although most experts recommend starting trips when the youngsters are eight or nine, I began when my oldest granddaughter was three. However, you should know the children and how they will do without their parents before you go.

Here are some tips:

These trip tips work. My grandkids, who call me Mimi, vie for the next vacation—even the two-and-a-half-year-old keeps asking, "When is Mimi going to take ME on a trip?".

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