Trips with the grandkids narrow the generation gap

Special to The Times

Want great rates when you travel? Take Grandma or Grandpa along.

When I was planning a 2001 trip to Walt Disney World in Orlando, Fla., with my children and parents, I read about a “grandparent rate” at the Holiday Inn Family Suites. The rate was determined by the grandparent’s age — the older the grandparent, the better the savings. The hotel knocked more than $20 off the nightly rate, a $200 savings for the trip, because my 81-year-old father booked the room.

Not only is there an increase in multigenerational traveling, but grandparents also are vacationing with the grandkids — without the kids’ parents — more often. Marketing consultants YPB&R/Yankelovich Partners’ National Leisure Travel Monitor found that one-third of all leisure travelers are grandparents, and of those, one-third took at least one leisure trip with their grandchildren in the last 12 months.

“We believe that the relationship between grandparent and grandchild is so special, and these trips are a wonderful opportunity for all,” said Helena Koenig, the founder of Grandtravel in Washington, D.C., who is in her 19th year of operating tours for grandchildren and grandparents.

The industry has also recognized this segment of travelers and is creating rates and package deals just for them.


AARP, 601 E St. N.W., Washington, D.C. 20049; (888) OUR-AARP (687-2277), . Some AARP hotel providers allow grandchildren to stay free or provide discounts on packages.

The Cascades Lodge, 58 Old Mill Road, Killington Village, Killington, VT 05751; (800) 345-0113, . Save up to 33% on lodging and discounted skiing packages for grandparent and child.

Divi Resorts, (800) 367-3484, . At the three Divi Resorts in Aruba, an offer good from April 1 to Dec. 21 allows kids up to age 12 to stay and dine free when sharing a room with a grandparent. Restrictions apply.

El Capitan Canyon, 11560 Calle Real, Santa Barbara, CA 93117; (866) 352-2729, . Luxury campground near Santa Barbara has “Savvy Senior Savings,” including 30% off any cabin or safari tent Sundays through Thursdays.

Elderhostel, 11 Avenue de Lafayette, Boston, MA 02111; (877) 426-8056, . The nonprofit organization offers many intergenerational travel opportunities.

Foundation for Grandparenting, 108 Farnham Road, Ojai, CA 93023; (315) 354-5311, or . The foundation holds a Grandparents’ and Grandchild’s Summer Camp at Sagamore Institute, at Raquette Lake, N.Y., in the Adirondacks.

Grandtravel, 1920 N St. N.W., Suite 200, Washington, D.C. 20036; (800) 247-7651, . Sunrise camel ride at Australia’s Ayers Rock and lunch with a Russian cosmonaut are among programs.

Point Sebago Resort, 261 Point Sebago Road, Route 302, Casco, ME 04015; (800) 655-1232, . Lakefront resort has Grandparent/Grandchild Weeks, June 18-25 and Aug. 13-20.

Sierra Club, Sierra Club Outings, 85 2nd St., San Francisco, CA 94105; (415) 977-5521, . Offers several multigenerational trips in California, Colorado and Florida.


Lisa Iannucci is the founder of .