You’ve heard of “glamping,” but what about “gramping“? It’s a great intergenerational travel idea, in which grandparents take their grandkids on a special trip. No parents are allowed on a gramping, or “skip-gen” trip — it’s strictly time for grandmas and grandpas to bond with their grandkids.
This can be an important way of strengthening family relationships, especially since a 2018 report by the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) found that 49% of grandparents said that living too far away from their grandchildren was their biggest challenge.
The report showed that 40% of grandparents vacation or travel with their grandkids, and it cited another survey that found that 60% of kids felt closer to their grandparents after vacationing with them.
And this was all before the pandemic, which only deepened the ache of not being able to spend time with loved ones (especially for many seniors who were more isolated than ever during lockdown), and made the desire to reconnect on vacations and road trips all the more urgent.
Each year, Sarah Gilliland’s twin daughters leave their home in Birmingham, Alabama, to take a weeklong trip with their grandparents, which proves fun for the kids and grandparents — and it’s restorative for the parents, too.
“We’re allowed some much-needed relaxation time, whether that’s a staycation or an actual vacation,” Gilliland told Boomer Magazine of her family’s tradition. “It gives us a chance to remember who we were before kids and allows us uninterrupted quality time with one another. My parents benefit by growing their relationship with their grandkids.”
The cool thing about gramping is that it can be whatever you want it to be. Whether your kids’ grandparents live across town or across the country, little ones will be delighted to get spoiled by them and have a change of scenery. They can stay local and take part in fun activities near their home, or they can make it an international trip of a lifetime. It’s all about what works for everyone involved.
Colorado residents George and Beverly Garmany have taken their now-teenage grandsons on their annual trip to Plymouth, Massachusetts, and they love the opportunity that traveling gives them to get to know their grandkids on a deeper level.
“Like most grandparents, we feel like we don’t really get enough time with the grandchildren,” Garmany told the Boston Globe. “We certainly have time with them, but to go on a special trip like this, these will be trips that all of us will remember for the rest of our lives.”
It’s also a great way for kids to learn more about their family’s history and bond over shared activities.
Would your family consider a gramping trip?