Have you heard about the “new” travel trend for grandparents?

It’s a play on the word “glamping,” an idea which has been around for more than 15 years and combines “glamour” with “camping.” People want the good things about camping—like enjoying nature, doing outdoor activities, sleeping in a tent and maybe cooking over an open fire—but without the inconvenience that often comes with it. It’s more like a luxury resort-style getaway in a very large tent, usually on a raised platform, often with a nice bed, private bathroom, electricity, Wi-Fi, gourmet food and drink, and many other modern conveniences.

Well, this new idea is much less glamourous, but might be even more enjoyable:


It’s taking a vacation with your grandkids … without their parents. And while “gramping” might be a new term, the idea has been around for many years. Dedicated, creative grandparents find ways to spend time with their grandkids while giving the parents a break for a few days or a week, or more.

And usually it involves travel. When we asked our Facebook followers about vacations they had taken with their grandkids, we received plenty of great comments and ideas. Maybe it wouldn’t work this year since school is starting up, but it’s never too early to start planning for winter break or next summer—or maybe you have grandkids who aren’t in school yet, and it could happen any time of year. Or, maybe this is worth taking them out of school for a day or two (with their parents’ and teachers’ approval, of course).

What would you like to do with your grandkids on a trip together? Where would you want to go?

Here are some of the ideas we received:

  • camping and fishing trips.
  • going to lakes or the beach.
  • visiting national parks and historic sites.
  • going to a theme park or taking a cruise.
  • taking a mission trip where the point is to help people or accomplish something good.
  • going somewhere special that you took their parents on vacation years ago.

Another idea worth mentioning is the staycation with grandkids, sometimes called “GrandCamp.” The grandkids are the ones traveling; they get a vacation by coming to see you for an extended time, and you get to host them and do kid-friendly activities where you live. Many children love the idea of that time without their parents, having you all to themselves and getting “spoiled” for a few days. Some grandparents make it a tradition to host each grandchild, one at a time, for an extended stay when they reach a certain age—almost like a rite of passage that becomes a big reason to look forward to turning eight, ten, or whatever the tradition is.

A few of the comments we received highlight the most important part of “gramping”:

My favorite is anywhere and anything I go and do with my grandkids.

Anywhere is great if you’re with grandchildren.

I took my mid-teens grandsons plus a cousin on a road trip through Colorado, Utah, Arizona and New Mexico. It was one of the high points in my life. Fun was had and memories were made by all.

It can be extravagant or simple, but it’s all about spending time together and making memories. That’s the best kind of glamour and luxury. Find more and more ways to do that, and you’re on the right track as a grandparent.

What are your best memories from a vacation with your grandkids? Add your ideas and help other grandparents on our Facebook page.