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Travel for Senior Citizens
'Grandtravel' Popular Bonding Experience for
July 25, 2006 - Seniors who like to "spoil the
grandchild" without interference from the parents have discovered that
the safest bets are long trips to theme parks, historical sites and even
on safaris, a new University of Florida study finds.
"Grandtravel," the practice of kids vacationing
with grandma and grandpa and no parents, received a thumbs up from
nearly 80 percent of grandparents surveyed, said Catherine Palmieri, a
UF graduate student who did the research for her master's thesis in
tourism, recreation and sports management.
America's Top 100 Family Campgrounds Announced
Seniors can find parks by state or categories
from best beaches to bird watching
May 1, 2006 As spring blooms, many senior
citizens start thinking about the outdoors whether to recapture the
joy of younger days or to have fun with the grandkids, or both.
ReserveAmerica today released their list of the top 100 family
campgrounds. They are listed below in alphabetical order by name and by
state. There are also lists of the parks by attributes, like bird
watching, hiking, canoeing, etc.
Making the Most of Your Time with Grandchildren
Download your copy of
the grandparents credo
By Susan Newman, Ph.D., author
Little Things Mean A Lot: Creating Happy Memories with
27, 2006 - Every grandparent is familiar with the fly-by visit: that
short, rushed time spent with grandchild that is closer to a pit stop
than a bonding experience. The shortness of visits is dictated by the
babys routine, parents hectic schedules, or strained relationships.
You may feel your son- or daughter-in-law short-circuits your visits or
you have a generalized feeling of being intrusive.
Travel for Seniors
"The key to the popularity of grandtravel may be
that it offers something for everyone, even the parents who are not
involved," Palmieri said. "Grandparents and grandchildren are able to
spend quality time without interference from the parents, and the
parents are able to relax, knowing their children are with someone they
know and trust."
The phenomenon of grandtravel has increased 60
percent since 1996, and now accounts for at least one-fifth of all trips
taken with children, Palmieri said. There is even a company called
Grandtravel, which operates tours in the United States, Europe, Africa
and Australia, while Walt Disney World and Elderhostel offer their own
travel packages for grandparents and grandchildren, she said.
Grandparents are democratic with the kids. Although
they are most likely to decide when and where to travel, how much money
to spend and where to stay, they shared the decision with their
grandchildren about what to do once they arrived at their destination,
as well as what foods to eat, the study found.
Grandtravel is likely to become even more popular
in the future with the aging of the baby boomers, who are living longer
and are more physically active than their parents' generation, said Lori
Pennington-Gray, a professor in UF's tourism, recreation and sports
management department who supervised Palmieri's research.
"Perhaps because baby boomers were the first
generation where large numbers of mothers went into the work force and
might not have been around as much as they wanted to be for their own
children, they now see this is a way to be involved with their
children's children," Pennington-Gray said.
Palmieri did her research at The Villages, an
active retirement community near Lady Lake, Fla., which has more than
40,000 residents. In the summer of 2005, she surveyed 166 female and 78
male residents about their attitudes toward grandtravel with a "favorite
The vast majority of grandparents surveyed endorsed
the idea, with 43 percent strongly supporting it and 38 percent
supporting it. Forty-two percent said they had experienced it.
The most popular destinations were theme parks,
such as Walt Disney World, and cultural centers, including New York City
and Washington, D.C., Palmieri said. Safaris were a hit with those who
wanted more extensive travel, she said.
Palmieri said some grandparents traveled with a
different grandchild every year or arranged to take each child on a trip
once they reached age 12 or 13. "For the child, it was something they
really looked forward to, and for grandma and grandpa, it was an
opportunity to see something new while having a special experience with
their grandchild," she said.
Some grandparents liked the idea of grandtravel but
were unable to do it because they had to care for an ailing spouse, the
children were busy with school activities or the parents were divorced
and one parent would not agree to the arrangement, Palmieri said
Discipline was a common issue mentioned by the
respondents. "Some grandparents said they didn't want to be the person
to say, 'No, you can't do that,'" Palmieri said. "They would rather just
be able to invite their grandkids over and send them back home."
Judy L. Randall, president and CEO of Randall
Travel, a North Carolina company focused on travel research and
strategic planning, said she has seen increasing numbers of grandparents
and grandchildren traveling together without the parents along.
"What's that line about the reason that
grandparents and grandkids get along so well is that they have a common
enemy?" she said half jokingly. "For me, it's easy to see why the baby
boomer grandparents and the Generation Y grandkids are having a blast
Both generations tend to be more active and
adventurous than the Generation Xers in the middle and so resemble each
other more in their tastes and choice of activities, she said.
In the past, grandparents and grandchildren
visiting Alaska were likely to take a guided cruise, said Randall, who
spends about 40 percent of her time on the job traveling. Today many
chart their own trips, going off by themselves to camp, observe wildlife
or fish, she said.
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