The grandparents have agreed to take your kiddos on vacation, hoorah! We gathered the best advice from from seasoned pros who’ve been there, done that and keep the gang safe, happy and prepared for their big adventure. Scroll down to see the tips.

Before the Trip

1. Proper ID

Be proactive. Make sure both grandparents and grandkids all have proper identification. Write a letter giving permission for your parents to travel with your child, including your parents’ names, address, phone numbers and authorization to travel, as well as the destination and the length of stay. This is necessary especially when traveling out of the U.S. with grandchildren in tow.

photo: Mira Temkin

2. Photos

They probably already have them in their wallets, but make sure grandma and grandpa have a few recent photos of your kids, in case of emergency, both physical and digital. 

 

photo: Mira Temkin

3 Medical & Dental Insurance Info

Grandparents should have a notarized letter from parents or legal guardians, giving medical personnel permission to treat your child as well as permission that they can make medical decisions as their guardian. Include your child’s medical and dental insurance cards as well as prescriptions for medication in case they need to be replaced.

Tip: Print all of these records as well as scan and email them to the grandparents. With a digital version, it’s easier to keep track of and harder to lose.

photo: iStock

4. Consider Travel Insurance

Life happens, and with kids and older adults, it happens a lot! Sickness or injury are the most common reasons for canceling or interrupting a vacation. Depending on the length and distance of your trip, travel insurance may cover the risk for both adults and children. Investigate and then suggest a policy which could save the grandparents a substantial amount of money in the long run. If you can, pay for the insurance yourself since the grands are likely covering everything else. 

Packing Tips

5. Have Kids Bring Something from Home

If your child sleeps with a lovey or favorite teddy bear, make sure they pack it along. Ditto for their favorite snacks. Fill a bunch of plastic zippered bags for grandma with grab n’ go treats like granola bars and crackers. 

photo: Mira Temkin

6. Pack in Plastic

Make the Grands morning easier by putting each day’s outfits in a Ziploc bag. Include underwear, socks, t-shirt and shorts/jeans. Let your little explorer pick the bag they want, but with everything inside, grandpa or grandma won’t have to search for any necessities.

Tips for an Epic Experience

photo: Mira Temkin

7. Play by Mom & Dad’s Rules

While the grandparents are not strangers to your kids, they’re also not their parents. Grandparents might fudge on bedtime or excess sweets, but make sure everyone has a plan in place to keep to the family rules. 

When it comes to screentime, Amazon Kids Edition tablet makes it easy for everyone to be on the same page. Parents can set their desired parental controls prior to the trip so that kiddo and grandparents don't have to negotiate screentime. Parental control features include giving Junior access to his own profile so he can access age-appropriate content, setting daily goals and time limits and daily activity reports so you know what your child viewed. 

Bottom line: whatever methods you follow as a family, it's a good idea to discuss these with the kids present one more time before heading out as well as appropriate responses to any inappropriate behavior. 

8. Let the Kids Help Decide

Kids should help decide what activities they want to do. Give them choices: Do you want to go swimming or go play mini-golf? Make sure the activities are age-appropriate and appeal to their interests. If they don’t want to go, don’t push it, however the beauty of travel is to experience new things, so be sure that everyone, grands included, get a choice in the matter. One grandma told us she had to convince her granddaughter to go to Medieval Times. And guess who was cheering the loudest in the end? 

photo: iStock

9. Account for Downtime

Make sure there’s some downtime for the kids to chill out with books or tablets. If your family is staying at a resort, see what amenities they offer, like games at the pool, face painting or other included activities. And, if you're bringing along your Amazon Kids Edition tablet, your kids get access to thousands of age-appropriate books, apps, games and more with FreeTime Unlimited—no matter where you travel. Bring the tablet for downtime in the room or poolside. The tablet's parental control dashboard ensures your child won't see anything he shouldn't, which means grandparents can also enjoy a bit of downtime and not have to worry about what kiddo is accessing on their watch.

10. Stay Connected

Encourage the kids to use FaceTime or call home once a day. This will make them feel more secure as they can share their adventures with the parents and also see that everything is ok at home.

11. Souvenirs

Buy a gift card or set aside cash for your kids to use for souvenirs for themselves or their siblings. The grandparents will appreciate your thoughtfulness!

photo: Mira Temkin

12. Take Lots (& Lots) of Pictures

After the trip is over, make two photo books from Shutterfly or other online photo company: one for you, the other for the kiddos to remember the cherished memories you all made together.

When you purchase a new Amazon Fire Kids Edition tablet it comes with one year of FreeTime Unlimited at no additional cost. FreeTime Unlimited offers thousands of content titles for children ages three to twelve years old. Use code REDTRI to get 20% off your purchase of an Amazon Fire Kids Edition tablet. 

—Mira Temkin

RELATED STORIES

The 12 Hottest Places in the US for Skip-Gen Travel 

This Skip-Gen Travel Trend Is Reinventing Family Vacations 

Big-House Rentals That Can Hold Your Entire Crew 

Should Parents Vacation without Kids? 

Go Gramping with These Grandparent & Grandchild Travel Packages