“Skip-Gen” trips also known as “Gramping”

“Skip-Gen” trips also known as “Gramping” is a new travel trend that brings grandparents and their grandchildren closer together by allowing them to travel without the children’s parents and  all their annoying rules!  


The first destination that comes to mind is Disney World in Florida. This combination of theme parks offers a wide variety of activities, entertainment, accommodations and special services that will thrill kids of any age and make planning and executing the plan easy for the grandparents.

A Disney World vacation gives you access to four different theme parks, all with attractions for every age group.  The Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios and Epcot parks each have their own focus and highlights.  Classic rides like Space Mountain and Pirates of the Caribbean in the Magic Kingdom, a Kilimanjaro safari and Avatar  flight over floating mountains in the Animal Kingdom are fun for everyone.  Immerse yourself in a Star Wars environment or spend an evening at the Fantasmic musical spectacular at Hollywood Studios.  Spend a day at Epcot and experience the cultural wonders of eleven different countries in the World Showcase with the added bonus of authentic ethnic food presentations in each area. 

Accommodations in the park itself range from deluxe villas to themed rooms, family suites and campgrounds. Some accommodations have kitchen facilities making it easier to supply hungry teens and toddlers with mid-day and late night snacks.  Staying in the park allows you to enjoy complimentary transportation between your hotel and each of the parks by monorail, bus, or boat.  Parking is also complimentary.  You will also be eligible to purchase a “Magic Band, allowing early entry into the parks as well as other exclusive features.  Park Hopper Plus passes give you access to more than one park during the course of the day, as well as admissions to water parks and golf courses.  These features are especially helpful for a “gramping” group.  The early risers can use their Magic Band early entry passes to start their day before the rest of the tourists arrive and avoid long lines.  Then when the little ones (and Grandma) need a nap, Grandpa can take the second shift with the teenagers and maybe sneak in a round of golf!  Accommodations at an on-site Disney property makes this kind of flexibility possible.  In the evening the whole group can get back together for dinner at a “dine-in” movie theater or some down home southern cooking at Chef Art’s Homecomin’ Restaurant before enjoying a Frozen sing-along at Hollywood Studios and the spectacular fireworks show at Epcot.  Full days to be sure, but the beauty of staying on property is that you can return to your accommodations with a minimum of hassle to recharge your batteries in preparation for the next adventure.


Another good idea for a “gramping” vacation is a cruise, as many cruise lines have programs for young children and teens that will give Grandma and Grandpa a few hours of peace and quiet.  Alaskan cruises are great as most of them are scheduled during the summertime when kids are out of school.  Seeing a whale up close, hiking along glacier fields, or trying your hand at “mushing” a dogsled team are experiences kids will never forget.  The focus of many of these cruises is the fragility of the environment, a subject that most kids find fascinating, thought-provoking, and a little scary!  NCL’s Splash Academy (ages 3-12) and Entourage (ages 13-17) are supervised kids clubs that offer fun activities and educational opportunities for children during the day while the grandparents enjoy a spa treatment or a seminar on Alaskan history.  Typical shore excursions adults and kids would enjoy are:

  • A guided tour of the Mendenhall Glacier followed by a tram ride through the rainforest to Glacier Gardens
  • A ride on the White Pass Railway where you can learn to pan for gold and hear the colorful history of the Alaskan Gold Rush
  • A whale watching and seafood fest in Icy Point Strait, also home to Harbor seals, sea lions, porpoise, and bald eagles
  • A visit to historic Sitka, formerly a Russian city, now the site of the Alaska Raptor Center and the Fortress of the Bears where you can view 3 species of Alaskan bears and hear about their way of life with an Alaskan naturalist

Other cruises that appeal to both age groups include:

  •  Galapagos cruises that explore the unique ecosystem of the archipelago and the infinite variety of wildlife and plantlife that inhabits it 
  • Caribbean cruises visiting Mexican ports – if the grandkids love snorkeling and watersports, this is a dream vacation.  Opportunities to visit ancient Mayan ruins and lots of local markets for shopping are draws for the adults.
  • River cruises in Europe, gliding by medieval castles and fortresses and experiencing the art, music and cuisine of French, German, Austrian and Spanish cultures give the travelers the opportunity to see the highlights of several countries and decide which they’d like to explore in depth on future visits.

You will never forget a trip like this so let us help with the planning.

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