Celebrate the rise of skip-gen travel with these six adventures perfect for grandparents and grandkids looking to get away.
Multi-generational vacations have been on the rise for the past few years. Grandparents, parents, and kids have all been piling into cars, planes, and cruise ships to spend time together as a family and create lasting memories. And it isn’t slowing down: In 2018, Virtuoso not only named multi-gen travel their top travel trend of the year in their Luxe Report, but also called it out as a consistent top trend in the industry, confirming that it has “firmly established itself as a travel niche.”
Now there’s a new movement happening when it comes to family travel among multiple generations. Enter “skip-gen travel,” when grandparents travel alone with the grandkids leaving mom and dad behind. AARP’s 2019 Boomer Travel Trends report pointed to roughly 15 percent of Baby Boomers planning skip-gen trips for 2019.
So what’s fueling the multi-gen and skip-gen travel trend? For one thing, money. AARP’s report noted that these trips will mostly be paid for by the grandparents—which makes sense when you consider that many in the Baby Boomer generation are now retired and more financially stable. They have both the time and the means to take vacations and want to bring the rest of the family (or at least their grandkids) along to spend quality time with them.
“Skip-gen vacations can be a win-win situation.“
It’s also a good way for grandparents to mark milestones like big birthdays or graduations with their grandkids, as TravelPulse notes. Not to mention that skip-gen vacations can be a win-win situation: Grandparents get extra time that they’d otherwise miss with grandkids, while parents get a nice break from parenting and finally build in some couples-only time.
The travel industry has begun to take note and is adapting to this new style of travel. A new term for skip-gen trips has begun to enter the vernacular: gramping. Large brands like Marriott have issued top recommendations for “gramping” spots across the US and last year, and the Sea Island Resort in Georgia even hosted the first-ever Gran-Con event. Several other hotels have even started introducing vacation packages specifically tailored to the gramping phenomenon.
Inspired to plan your own multi-gen or skip-gen family vacation? Here are a few ideas to get you started.
For Euro Trippers
Everything about Martinhal hotels in Portugal was built with families in mind. From a baby concierge to Sunday family brunches, they go the extra mile at all four of their properties to keep the whole family satisfied. It’s no surprise that they also offer a package for multi-geners bringing the whole family. The offer makes it easy and more affordable to book plenty of space so everyone can have their own room but still come together to enjoy their villas’ common areas and private pools.
For Learning Lovers
Road Scholar is an educational travel nonprofit that specializes in learning trips and offers several trips and packages geared toward multi-gen and skip-gen vacationers. Their Surf and Sun San Diego is a perfect gramping getaway. The trip package lets grandkids and grandparents hang loose and learn to surf together, tackle adventures like kayaking, and take part in learning opportunities for all generations at the aquarium.
For Active Families
Duvine Cycling + Co. tours are the perfect mix of sightseeing and active workouts. Their family-specific tours are perfect for all levels and ages. Pedal through Provence while sampling delicious French cuisine, discover history in Mallorca, mix in luxury with a yacht and bike tour in Greece, or discover enchanting castles and forests on a tour from Vienna to Prague.
For Beach Goers
The whole family can certainly enjoy lounging on the beaches of Mexico at the Grand Velas Riviera Maya. Grandparents can also get in some special time just with the grandkids thanks to the property’s skip-gen specific experiences. Travelers can choose from two of Mexico’s best cultural destinations, Chichén Itzá, Uxmal, or the colonial city of Merida. Kids and grandparents alike will be in awe of the famous ruins on their private tour. Plus, grandparents don’t have to lift a finger while still giving grandkids the wow factor. The tours include transportation in a private plane to and from the resort.
Grandparents can unleash their inner camp kid with young ones in tow during summer in the Adirondacks. Great Camp Sagamore features a summer camp exclusively for grandparents and grandkids. Classic camp activities from canoeing and hiking to barn dancing and local folk music can all be enjoyed every year at the end of June. The older generation will also enjoy the site’s history—they’ll be sleeping in the spot where the Vanderbilts slept in what is now a national historic landmark.
For Far-Flung Adventurers
A safari is certainly a bucket list trip for most families, and Thomson Family Adventures has designed one just for multi-gen families. The aptly named Perfect Family Safari takes parents, kids, and grandparents on a whirlwind tour through Tanzania. Spot incredible wildlife, learn about the local Maasai culture with trips to local villages and schools, and explore the breathtaking Serengeti National Park all while staying at the luxurious Gibb’s Farm. The eco-friendly cottages and unmatched setting offer plenty of adventure for kiddos and a place where grandparents are sure to be cozy and well-rested.
Hannah Freedman is the Senior Editor for Family Traveller, a publication dedicated to offering advice and inspiration for incredible family trips. She has also written for Vanity Fair, Travel + Leisure, Thrillist and Roads & Kingdoms, among others.