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Flying with Grandchildren

Tips for Flying with your Grandchildren

A guide on what every grandparent should know before travelling with their grandchildren.

Grandparents with child

Do Your Homework

Before you decide on a date and destination make sure you look into getting a consent letter from the parents indicating that you have their permission to travel with your grandchildren. Most likely no one will ask you for it, but you'll be glad to have a hard copy on you in a scenario where you can't get in touch with them. You should also carry copies of the child’s birth certificate and have their health insurance information in the event of an emergency. This will put your mind at ease and ensure a stress-free journey.

old people

Confirm the Trip With Their Parents

While the kids are busy thinking about all the fun they're going to have, be sure to take some time to discuss practical logistics with their parents. Get a rundown of the children's favourite foods and what they dislike, to make meal planning on the trip easier and familiarise yourself with the ins and outs of their daily routine. This can include everything from health requirements like allergies and medications to house rules like bedtimes that need to continue on the trip.

Kid at the airport

Consider Their Age

When travelling with children take a moment to consider their age before picking a destination. After all, toddlers and teenagers have entirely different needs and interests. Be sure to look for activities that will appeal to each age group especially if you're traveling with multiple grandkids of different ages. From amusement parks to cruises both are great for family vacations, but if you do your research you can find activities to interest kids of all ages in most destinations. If they are below the age of 5 then maybe consider somewhere with a short travel time and a child-friendly flight.

children plane watching

Get Them Involved When Choosing A Destination

You may be the trip leader, but that doesn't mean you have to do all the planning on your own. Right from the start, it's essential to engage your grandchildren in the trip-planning process. They can give you some activities they might be interested in such as parks, museums, guided tours, zoos, boat trips and more. This way you can make sure there is something to do for everyone. You may want to consider destinations such as Tenerife, Crete, Porto, Tuscany and Majorca as they all have short flight times and are family-friendly destinations.

baby in a suitcase

Pack Wisely and Be Prepared

Create a packing checklist so both your grandchildren and their parents know what they'll need for the trip. Make sure your grandchildren have books, puzzles, games, electronics, or their preferred entertainment for flights, train journeys, or car rides. Bring along sufficient chargers for phones, iPads, and other electronics.

Try not to forget important items such as the children's favourite teddy bear or blanket for bedtime or a first aid kit. We recommend checking the weather forecast in case you need suncream or even raincoats. When heading to the airport make sure you check the restaurants and plan where to eat or pack food for the plane. After you have finished packing go through your travel checklist and double-check you have everything you need.

A senior couple laughing while travelling

Have Fun!

The most important tip is to let loose and have some fun. We understand that making memories with your grandchild is important and you want this trip to be memorable so try and plan an itinerary that involves everyone and isn't too full on. Make sure to show them where they are going and plan activities and excursions to take part in. Whatever the destination, activities must be age-appropriate.

You can prepare your grandkids by providing books, maps, and videos about the destination to spark their interest. This is especially important if you're travelling abroad. Watch movies together that take place in your chosen destination and consider doing a little language practice. When making a booking consider an airline with good inflight entertainment for kids to keep them entertained during the flight.

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What is a letter of consent to travel with grandchildren?

There is no official letter that must be used, but rather just have both parents acknowledge the travel is known to them in whatever format you want. The grandparents may never be questioned, but the signed letter does give them something to refer to if they do get asked about the child.

How to keep my grandchildren entertained on a flight?

Check out our page on airlines with the best inflight entertainment before you book. There is also a page of advice for travelling with kids which prepares you for what to expect and the different prices.

How do I know what to pack when flying with my grandchild?

When going away with your grandchild make sure you follow our family travel checklist which includes top tips and tricks to ensure you're prepared.

Which destinations are family-friendly?

Destinations with a shorter flight duration and lots of activities to participate in are perfect for flying as a family or with your grandchildren. We have a page on the best family-friendly destinations.