Monday, October 14, 2013

Tips on Cruising with Your Grandchild

Taking a "buddy" makes it easier
(photo: Michelle Richmond)

Sometimes we're given the opportunity to travel with our grandchildren. It not only allows us some precious bonding time with them, but it also affords us an opportunity to see the world through their energetic eyes, while creating memories which they can carry with them throughout their lives.

Here are some tips on making it a success:
  • Carry written permission from the child's parent or legal guardian which will allow you to make medical decisions on behalf of the child in case of an emergency. 
  • Establish some ground rules right from the start - especially on a cruise. Children should not be allowed to wander the ship alone and if they do make friends and want to leave your side, make sure they advise you of their changing destinations. Try to make yourself "invisible" while they play with new friends in the pool - or elsewhere - but plan to be there - just in case. 
  • Explore the Youth Program, onboard the ship even if your grandchildren think they don't want to sign up. Once you’ve seen it for yourself you will feel comfortable either encouraging them to join, or supporting their decision not to. 
  • Be flexible and allow time in your schedule for spontaneous activities and for those inevitable delays. This will make the trip more relaxed and more fun for all of you. In years to come, your grandchildren may not remember everything they saw, but they will remember all the laughs you shared. 
  • Take lots of photos, keep journals and talk about the trip long after it ends. Children grow up so fast and they may not always want to travel with you so it's just as important for you to capture those memories as it will be for them someday. 

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