Maybe it’s time to cut out the “middleman” and plan a unique bonding opportunity with the grandchildren. With over 50 percent of grandchildren living more than 100 miles away, grandparent relationships have moved from quantity to quality. Identified as a popular trend, the travel industry has naturally given these experiences a label–Skip Gen Travel.
Favorite destinations range from the Grand Canyon and rafting to the Great White Way for a Broadway show. Beach lovers are fans of all-inclusive resorts in Mexico as well as Disney Cruises.
Demand for skip-gen travel now includes movie location destinations. Popular tours are Lord of the Rings in New Zealand as well as Harry Potter landscapes in Scotland. Of late, the picturesque mountain village of Hallstatt, Austria has been in high demand once it was revealed as the inspiration for the Frozen village of Arendelle. Located near Salzburg, there’s the skip-gen bonus of Sound of Music tours.
- Involve the grandchildren. Now you have something to work on together, and a reprieve from asking, “how is school?”
- Build-in activities. Learn to sail. Learn to cook local cuisine. Take a shot at creating local art. It’s all about interests. Research your destination together and build a must-do list. Remember, memories live in the things you do as much as where you go.
- Carve out time on your own. A little separate, solo adult and kid time. Most accommodations have dedicated programs for children from toddlers to teens.
- Celebrate culture. My favorite skip-gen projects are Ancestry Trips. There is something magical in visiting the towns and walking the streets of your ancestors together.
Mark Murray is a travel advisor at Newmark Travel, an Edina based affiliate of Pique Travel and member of the Virtuoso Travel Network.