Traveling with Your Grandchildren: The Joys … and the Basics

Planning a fun getaway with your grandchildren can accomplish two important goals: it can give you invaluable bonding time with these precious youngsters, and it can also give the parents some all-important time for the two of them, made even more enjoyable because they know their charges are probably having the time of their lives.

Depending on the grandkids’ ages and interests, a vacation with the grandparents can be as basic as a camping trip to a nearby state or national park, or it can be as elaborate as a package stay or tour at an exotic destination or theme park. It’s really up to you, but there are some helpful resources that can simplify the process of planning and booking your adventure.

For insider hints and suggestions about booking a trip to one of American’s national parks, is a great place to start. Their article, “10 Best National Parks for Kids in the US,” can give you a rundown of the least congested times of year, best kid-friendly activities for various ages, and other resources to help you get the most out of your excursion. If you’ve got something in mind that’s farther afield, this website also lists “18 Best Caribbean All-Inclusive Resorts for Families, 2021.” You can also take a look at packages for destinations like Costa Rica (think eco-tours and birdwatching, along with great beaches and ziplining) and Kauai (whale-watching, sun, sand, and surfing—if you or the kids are up for it!).

There are a few basics you need to have in hand as part of your planning and travel. First, you should secure a letter of permission from the parents, especially if you are traveling with minors. The letter should include the parents’ names and contact information, the names and ages of the children, and specific wording that conveys the parents’ permission for you to travel with their children, and if the form is notarized, that’s even better. The US Customs and Border Protection website provides a complete listing of the required information. You should also obtain a notarized consent form allowing you to seek and secure medical care for each child you are traveling with. It’s a good idea to bring current photographs of the children, in case of an emergency, but a passport also works well. And speaking of passports, if you’re traveling internationally to any country other than Mexico, Canada, or certain locations in the Caribbean, each child will need a valid passport. For the countries mentioned above, an original or copy of the child’s birth certificate will be accepted as valid identification for entering the country.

As a fiduciary financial advisor and wealth manager, I specialize in helping grandparents make sound decisions for preserving and passing on their wealth to future generations To learn more, click here to read my article, “Teach Your (Grand)Children: Creating the Financial Culture for Future Generations.”


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