Gramping: Holidays that close the generation gap

The post-Christmas and New Year period is often marked by parents returning to work while their kids join holiday care, but for many Australian families this time of year brings “skip a generation” holidays – and the benefits go far beyond free childcare. 


While not a new concept, families are finding grandparent-grandchild holidays are increasingly beneficial to modern family life, with research suggesting these kinds of experiences shape healthy, resilient and well-rounded kids. 


For the past nine years, grandparents Lorraine and Ken Martin have ‘hit the road’ in their caravan, making the annual journey from Sydney to Ingenia Holidays Cairns Coconut where they meet their eldest grandchildren for some holiday fun and quality one-on-one time. 

Keen ‘gramper’ Lorraine Martin said the opportunity to go caravanning and camping with her grandchildren – Hamish, 14 and Phillipa, 11 – allows them to share experiences, build relationships and create memories for life. 


Holidaying together gives us an opportunity to have that extra bonding experience with the children – it’s a very special time, and we’ve got to know them even better,” Ms Martin said. 


“We think as they get older, they’ll have special childhood memories of coming up here and spending time with us.  


Ms Martin said the annual trip to Cairns gives the kids the opportunity to have new adventures, meet new people and get outside their comfort zone, but it also gives their parents the chance to reconnect – a luxury for many busy working families. 


“It’s a really nice break for their parents too – when our daughter and her husband celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary last year, they thought it was pretty amazing that the kids were up here enjoying themselves and having a wonderful time, while they were able to go out and celebrate together.” 


The Martins know that with teen and tween grandchildren these kinds of holidays won’t last forever, but for now they’re enjoying every moment. 


We’re lucky to have such close relationships with our grandchildren, even as they’re getting older,” Ms Martin said. 

“And they still love the holidays just as much as we do – the first thing they said to their parents when they got back to Sydney last time was ‘can we go again next year?’, so we’re gearing up for the next adventure.