When embarking on a journey, especially with children, there is always a packing list. This could either be written down in an online note taking program, a binder, moleskin booklet, scrap paper or in your head. Whatever works for you. Remember that with multigenerational travel, you have a responsibility, as a grandparent, to also bring your bag of tricks/magic potions/or whatever you want to call it. (Responsibility is a strong word and may make you shirk, but we’ve been through it as parents so it’s easy to take on this role as a grandparent as when traveling, in particular, the role is temporary.) Here is what has worked for me with a 2, 3, and 5 year old and what will change with maturity, theirs or mine, it’s sometimes hard to tell.
1. Snacks. I bring granola/power bars, gum, and vitamin C lozenges. Peanut butter and jam sandwiches (they last long without spoiling) or something similar. Anything nutritious that doesn’t spoil.
3. Stickers of superheroes or cutesy things, depending on the child.
4. A little diary/booklet to put the stickers into and write a daily notation on where you’ve all been that day.
5. Books (paperback), or if you have an iPad, download many free books and age-relevant games and learning tools for those long plane rides, trains, cars, buses, or just for something to do in the evenings and first thing in the morning.
6. DVDs for your laptop, portable dvd player, or better yet, to use in the players available in the homes/hotels/hostels/apartments where you’re staying. Take two or three favorites in disk sleeves, not the plastic cases, to save room.
More to be added as preparations and pre-travel shopping is underway.