Are you a grandparent who’s been invited to tag along on your son or daughter’s family vacation? While you were excited to be asked, there are a few things you should be careful of. Check out these 4 tips that will help make sure everyone has a fun and exciting – yet stress-free – experience.
1. Make a plan for payment
The biggest mistake you can make is to assume anything about who’s paying for what. If the kids invited you, then you may assume they’re going to pay for certain things on your trip. The reality is that if both parties don’t have their expectations clear, this can turn into a very awkward situation very quickly. If you’re driving down, who is paying for the gas? Are you staying in the same resort hotel room? Or renting a vacation home? Either way, will you be expected to pay a portion of this expense? Just be straightforward about what’s expected and you can avoid serious issues that might otherwise arise.
2. Offer to Watch the Kids – or Don’t!
If the parents are paying for all or a large portion of your trip, then it may be considered good manners to offer to watch the kids for a night or two so the parents can whisk themselves away for a special night out. Not only is this a very helpful thing to do to show your gratitude, but it’ll give you a chance to spend some quality time with the grandkids. On the other hand, if you’re interested in taking the trip but don’t feel as though you want to go as their personal nanny, let your family know! The key it be clear about your expectations.
3. Give your kids some space – but only if they want it
You have to remember that you are the guest on this trip. If your kids want some time with just them and the kids, give it to them! Graciously offer to spend an afternoon at the pool while they take the kids out to a special lunch, or give yourself some me-time in the parks if they want to all experience a ride together for the first time.
On the other hand, if your kids want you around the entire time – respect that! You have plenty of alone time at home. If family bonding time is the most important factor to them, then go along with it.
4. Return the generosity
If your kids are planning to pay for the majority of the trip, be sure to do something nice to return the favor. It could mean paying for a meal, paying for a special experience, or buying a souvenir for everyone. If you’re on a limited budget it could be as simple as buying everyone a key chain. Just try to find something you can do to show your appreciation.