Savvy Senior gives tips for planning a trip with your grandchildren

My husband and I are interested in taking our two grandchildren on a big trip this summer and are looking for good ideas. Can you recommend some travel companies that offer special travel packages for grandparents and grandchildren?

Loving grandmother

Dear Dotting,

Grandparents traveling with just their grandchildren have become a growing segment of the multi-generational travel industry. This type of trip is not only fun, but also a great way to strengthen intergenerational bonds and create lasting memories.

To help you with your travel aspirations, a number of travel companies today offer specialized grandparent/grandchild and multigenerational travel packages. It’s a good way to go because they plan everything for you with most activities together but some adults only so you can take a break from time to time.

Available in a variety of trip lengths and price ranges, these tours are designed for children, usually between the ages of 6 or 7 to 18, and are usually scheduled during the summer or sometimes during the winter holidays when the children are out of school.

Here are some top travel companies that will take you and your grandkids on a fun, well-planned vacation.

Road scientist ( This well-established non-profit organization has been offering educational travel to seniors since 1975. Offers 83 programs aimed at grandparents and grandchildren. About 75% of grandparent/grandchild travel is domestic; 25% are international.

Some of the many popular travel destinations include the national parks of the United States, Washington, Canada, France, Italy, Iceland, Costa Rica, and the Galapagos Islands. The average price per person per night is about $265 for domestic travel, $365 for international travel.

Fearless ( This adventure travel tour operator offers “grandparent vacation” tours that bring together the young and the young at heart. Offers 35 one-week and two-week tours in Europe, Africa, Asia and the Middle East, as well as in Alaska and Wyoming. To find these trips, go to

Tauk ( This is a large tour operator that offers 19 international and domestic multigenerational tours called Tauck Bridges Family Tours. Some of its most popular destinations include Costa Rica, European riverboat cruises, and Cowboy Country, which takes you through Wyoming and South Dakota.

Smithsonian Travels ( They offer family trips to Yellowstone National Park, Iceland, New Zealand, Italy, Greece, Japan, Ireland, Costa Rica, South Africa and a Rhine River cruise in Central Europe.

International travel ( They offer customized multi-generational travel, primarily to Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Pacific.

Travel documents for grandchildren

Depending on where you’re going and your mode of transportation, you’ll need to gather some paperwork for your grandchildren to make sure everything goes smoothly. In general, most travel experts recommend carrying a notarized travel consent form (parental permission letter) and a medical consent form in case of emergencies or problems. Also bring copies of insurance cards.

If you are traveling within the country, you should know that airlines and trains do not require any form of ID for children under 18. But if you’re traveling to Mexico, Canada, Bermuda or other areas of the Caribbean by land or sea, grandchildren 15 and under will need certified copies of their birth certificates. In addition, passports will be required if your grandchildren are 16 or older or if you are traveling to these locations by air, regardless of your grandchildren’s age.

If you are traveling abroad, all children, even infants, must have a passport. Some countries also require a visa to enter and in some cases vaccinations may be required. Before booking travel, check the US State Department website at for country-specific information.

Send your senior questions to: Savvy Senior, PO Box 5443, Norman, OK 73070, or visit Jim Miller is a contributor to the NBC Today show and author of The Savvy Senior.

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