The concept of grandparents traveling with their grandchildren is what Grandtravel is all about. The company organizes domestic and international travel. (Participation by a surrogate grandparent--an aunt, uncle or friend--is not precluded.) Itineraries focus on natural attractions (glaciers, jungles, mountains, canyons), historical sites (native villages, ancient cities, castles) and places of current interest (museums, industries, cultural attractions, beaches).
Travel is usually by air-conditioned buses. Escorts provide games, puzzles, guidebooks and history notes to make the trip more challenging for the youngsters.
Ample time is scheduled for private time and intergenerational activities. Separate activities for children are supervised.
Several weeks before a tour departs, travelers receive a day-by-day itinerary, maps, city brochures, age-appropriate reading lists, names and addresses of each tour's participants, and addresses and telephone numbers for each hotel. All travelers receive a photo album, a travel diary and a travel bag.
Three daily meals are included on most tours. Grandparents should know that there may be occasions (especially in Europe) where lunches are served late in the day. Tips are included in the tour price for luggage and waiters but not for tour guides and escorts.
A sampling of trips include:
* Pacific Northwest--July 18 to 27 for ages 7 to 11; Aug. 1 to 10 for ages 12 to 17. Prices: $3,750 double, $3,515 triple, land only. Visits include Seattle, San Juan Islands, Mt. Rainier and British Columbia.
* Hawaii--June 20 to 29 and Aug. 15 to 24 for all ages. Includes Kauai, Oahu, Molokai, Maui and Hawaii with a Pearl Harbor cruise, picnic lunch, snorkeling, outrigger canoe and paddle-boat rides, helicopter ride and a luau. Land-only prices: double $4,590, triple $4,215.
There are 13 tours in the United States, including the Southwest, Washington, D.C., and the Grand Canyon. Foreign destinations are Ireland, England, France, the Netherlands, Belgium, Austria, Italy, Spain, Africa and Australia. For a Grandtravel brochure, call (800) 247-7651.