Glamping is so last year. The hottest travel trend around is gramping—when grandparents take their grandkids on adventures, no parents required.
"Gramping" is also called a "skip-gen." According to Boomer Magazine , a so-called "skip-gen" (skip-a-generation) trip that allows grandparents to bond with their grandchildren by taking them on a vacation. We think it's a brilliant idea.
Gramping can be a big win for everyone involved. Grandparents get to travel while bonding with the next generation. Kids can have an adventure, instead of being stuck at home during a school break or summer vacation, and parents can save their days for the annual family outing to Myrtle Beach or a summer retreat in Key West.
As any parent of a school-age kid will tell you, a lot of children have more days off from school than parents can get off from work. There are Christmas, spring, and summer vacations, plus holidays and teacher planning days and an assortment of days that just call for school not being in session. But the next time a surprise four-day weekend hits the calendar, talk to the grandparents about taking the kids on a gramping adventure.
While gramping doesn't have to involve camping—it could mean a vacation to New Orleans or Atlanta or Disney, just as easily—but there are a lot of benefits to taking the grandkids outside. As HGTV wisely points out , camping is also an ideal activity for grandparents on a fixed income who still want to have fun with the grandkids. Some state parks have free admission or charge a small fee and many national parks are free or have free days . If you're 62 years or older, national parks offer a senior pass that grant access to all the parks for either $20 for a year or $80 for a lifetime.
Plus, there are many studies showing that the great outdoors are great for your mental health. Harvard Medical School's website says that a walk in the woods can help reduce stress, anxiety, and depression, and maybe even improve your memory. Those are great for parents, too, of course, but so is time reveling in the sweet, sweet silence of home while the kids are away.
If you're looking for a place to enjoy the South's natural wonders, check out our list of some of the South's best camping spots .