Silver Travel Advisor (www.silvertraveladvisor.com), the only website that offers travel reviews and advice specifically for over 50 year old travellers, has come up with its top ten tips for grandparents travelling with young children.
Silver Travel Advisor’s MD, Debbie Marshall, said “The scenario is that you’ve volunteered to look after a brace of your son or daughter’s offspring for a weekend (or been landed with them). Based on the numerous contributions we have received from grandparents on our Forum, here are our top ten tips for surviving, and indeed enjoying, the experience”.
1. Training – have a few practice runs, a couple of days out, a weekend away. Learn to pace yourself and familiarise the youngsters with your routines; coffee at 11am, lunch at 1pm, gin at 6pm, and that they must eat crisps without crunching and drink without slurping.
2. Treats – It’s a long time since two bob and a bag of chips were acceptable as a holiday highlight. Treats need to be achievable but enjoyable. A bag of Maltesers goes a long way, a good book buys even more silence, but make sure it’s Jeff Kinney or David Walliams’ latest, not a Dickens or a Bronte.
3. Tricks – Have a few, not necessarily up your sleeve, though if you can produce a coin from your ear it helps. Failing that, practice cartwheels or making loud noises with body parts.
4. Time – every outing will take at least twice as long and will weigh twice as much once you’ve packed coats, drinks, snacks, teddies, favourite blankets and gin. If they’re past the pushchair stage, consider a shopper on wheels as an essential accessory.
5. Tears – try not to cry in front of them You may be at your wits end but don’t let them see that. If they cry, have a large red spotted handkerchief ready, it will stun them into silence. An Opal Fruit works well too, you can’t cry and chew at the same time.
6. Tired – you will be! Stop for frequent breathers, for ice creams, tantrums and photographs.
7. Tease – very gently at least once a day, it is good for bonding, but be prepared for the grandchildren to get you back.
8. Teeth – put them in before you get up to avoid life long trauma and flash-backs. And brush theirs morning and evening otherwise you’ll be in trouble when you take them home.
9. Teens & telephones – these two are synonymous, joined at the hip. And they are called `mobiles’, not telephones. They do so much more than make calls. Don’t even try to lever them apart, leave them at home if necessary (the teens).
10. Taking them home – the best and the worse bit. You’ll miss them, you’ll find cuddlies and g-strings in your luggage and teeth in theirs, Maltesers stuck to your cardigans and Jeff Kinney books glued to the hand luggage. The worst is to come, but perhaps it’s best not check out the older kids’ Facebook profiles.
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