They’re the emergency babysitters called upon to help out hard-working mums and dads in school term-time when things get a bit hectic. Now grandparents are putting in extra shifts during their grandchildren’s school holidays – and are even taking the youngsters away with them.
Over a third of the 1,000 families questioned in a recent survey admitted they depend on grandparents to look after youngsters in the school holidays to save on the cost of childcare. And, one in four grandparents regularly take their grandchildren on holiday with them.
So, if you are one of the 19% of grandparents travelling with your grandchildren then follow these top tips, compiled by escorted tour operator, Leger Holidays to make your trip a holiday to remember, not forget!1. Plan, plan, plan – think about the kind of holiday you will all enjoy. You may not be able to find somewhere that 100% suits every member of the family but you may well be able to find somewhere that has a little something for everyone. Are you into watersports or swimming or wildlife? Is there something that your grandchildren are studying at school which you could tap into?2. When booking a holiday check out whether assistance is available with luggage. If not, don’t over pack and ensure your bag is on wheels and easy to pull. Remember, you may also be holding hands with a little one or pushing a buggy!3. Let each child have a backpack to keep all their toys and books in. It’s also worth slipping some little extras in the bag, such as puzzle books, washable felt pens, which can be revealed later on4. Pack some tasty treats for when the inevitable ‘I’m hungry’ cries begin. Ditch the chocolate as you’ll get those sticky fingers everywhere. Dried fruit, crisps, fruit and cereal bars are a good idea along with cartons of fruit juice or water. If you’re going somewhere with a pool pack your swim suits separately so you can go swimming if the accommodation isn’t ready when you arrive.5. If you’re holidaying in this country, there are some great websites that will deliver everything you need for travelling with toddlers so you don’t have to take it with you. Check out www.babycomes2.co.uk. It’s also worth asking when you book as most holiday homes will offer stair gates and high chairs and some will even deliver a supply of nappies!
6) Who doesn’t remember the ‘Are we there yet’ questions from their youth? So, for long car journeys, make sure you have lots of things to keep them occupied. Back of seat DVD players are a really great idea and they can be used when you get there. Travel games and paper and colouring pencils will also help to while the time away
7) If you’ve got young travellers with sensitive tummies, make sure you pack a ‘sick kit’ including travel tablets (Traveleeze are good) a bucket, baby wipes and have some clean clothes to hand.
8) If you’ve got teens on board it may be worth investing in a wireless modem. With a £10 pay as you go sim card it could allow up to five youngsters to connect their Nintendo DSs, PSPs and iPod touches to a broadband internet connection whilst on the move – bliss!