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Monday, May 23, 2022

Let's go 'gramping'

After a couple of years of social isolation – including children being separated from their grandparents for prolonged periods – the ‘gramping’ travel trend is gaining momentum with seniors keen to re-connect with their grandchildren…without a parent in sight.


Also known as skip-gen travel, gramping has emerged as a key travel trend[iii] among grandparents looking to make up for missed milestones and time spent apart, and Australian and New Zealand nannas and pas are catching on fast, according to John Thompson, Head of Commercial for Minor Hotels, which is seeing heightened demand for its apartment-style accommodation from multi-generational travel groups.


Travel agency network Virtuoso consistently ranks multi-generational travel among its top trends, while pre-pandemic US research[iv] indicated that 61% of grandparents gave the idea of a skip-gen trip the thumbs-up, while 60% of grandkids said they felt closer to their grandparents after travelling together – and the desire to make up for pandemic-induced separation is set to drive interest in this type of travel.  


“The skip-gen travel trend is also a great way to help grandchildren living interstate or in a different region to their grandchildren to build their own relationships with their grandkids, something which can be done in a totally different way without the parents close by,” said John Thompson.


“With a huge number of retired baby boomers now finding the time and disposable income to travel, as well as today’s increasingly flexible and mobile workforce driving people to relocate – often shifting further from family - we believe the gramping trend is certainly here to stay.”


In addition to the physical benefits of staying active and getting out and about with grandchildren, studies[v] have highlighted the positive mental health outcomes of occasionally caring for grandchildren.


While Sydney grandmother of two boys aged eight and 11, Dayle Collins, regularly visits her grandsons and helps with school pick-ups and activities, she’s looking forward to taking the boys away to connect in a more relaxed, non-scheduled setting.


“Between primary school and various after-school sports and activities, it can be tricky to find time to just relax and have fun with the boys without distractions. We’re planning to take the boys away either on a city staycation break or a drive up the coast for a weekend to create memories together and bond in a way that’s hard to do in their busy day-to-day lives,” explained Dayle.


“We also see how busy our daughter’s life is juggling work and the boys, so we feel that taking them away is a win-win - we love spending time with them and feel good about giving her a much-deserved break at the same time. For us, the perfect holiday with the grandchildren would be having space for us all to relax, time to enjoy fun, laughter, and new places, then sitting back and not having to clean!”


John Thompson says that grandparents appreciate the fact many Oaks properties are ideally located for driving holiday or city staycations, eliminating the need to navigate airports and flights with kids in tow.


“Our spacious serviced apartment-style accommodation means there are separate bedrooms for grandparents and kids, as well as handy laundry facilities and well-equipped kitchens so there’s no need to drag tired toddlers out to restaurants every night, while regular/daily cleaning frees up time to spend quality time together in a way which is harder to do when you’re visiting at home,” John Thompson added.


“Plus, our delivery partnerships with local supermarkets and restaurants mean travellers can turn up and have their food delivered within a couple of hours so they can start exploring and enjoying each other’s company straight away rather than start their getaway traipsing through local grocery stores.”


To take the hassle out of choosing destinations with appeal for both grandkids and grandparents, Oaks Hotels has shared recommendations for stress-free ‘skip-gen’ stays across Australia and New Zealand.




Oaks Sunshine Coast Oasis Resort, Caloundra, Queensland

Voted one of the Top 10 Family Resorts in Australia by Holidays with Kids, Oaks Sunshine Coast Oasis Resort in sunny Caloundra – an easy hour’s drive from Brisbane - has so much going on grandparents can easily keep the young ones entertained without having to leave the resort…other than for a leisurely stroll to Bulcock or Kings Beach for a spot of sandcastle building or to paddle in the ocean. Features include a fun-filled waterpark, resort-style pool, mini golf course, sandpit, giant Kangaroo Jumper and climbing equipment. Even better, the on-site Oak & Vine restaurant invites kids under five to eat free, with 50% off for those aged six to 12.


Oaks Casuarina Santai ResortCasuarina, New South Wales

Located on the Tweed Coast close to Coolangatta, Kingscliff and Byron Bay, the Balinese-inspired Oaks Casuarina Santai Resort features palm-fringed pools, leafy cabanas, a heated jacuzzi, onsite wellness spa, bbq facilities for a sausage sizzle by the pool, and an Asian fusion restaurant – all within 100 metres of a white sandy beach the kids will love. From the theme parks of the Gold Coast to native creatures at Currumbin Sanctuary, lively local weekend markets, or the quirky Tropical Fruit World, there’s plenty to keep kids of all ages entertained in and around the Tweed Coast. Accommodation includes one and two-bedroom self-contained apartments.


Oaks Port Stephens Pacific Blue Resort, Port Stephens, New South Wales

Port Stephens is the whale and dolphin capital of Australia, and the Oaks Port Stephens Pacific Blue Resort is right at the heart of the action. Ideal for whale-watching adventures, fishing, boating on the bay, four-wheel driving down the Stockton Sand Dunes or just chilling by the magnificent – and enormous – 500-metre island lagoon pool, the resort also boasts a heated spa, Japanese steam room and tennis courts. Accommodation options include one, two and three-bedroom apartments packed with home comforts – some even have swim-out access or private plunge pools.




Oaks Sydney Castlereagh Suites, Sydney, New South Wales

Ideally located in the heart of Sydney’s vibrant Chinatown, and close to all the action in Darling Harbour, including Sydney Sea Life Aquarium and Wild Life Sydney Zoo, Oaks Sydney Castlereagh Suites offers accommodation ranging from studios with kitchenettes to three-bedroom apartments, all with cable TV and streaming capabilities. An onsite swimming pool and spa are popular for a splash after a day’s exploring. An easy option for a fuss-free staycation to take in a musical, ride the Sydney Harbour ferries, visit Vivid or fossick for treasures and souvenirs at Paddy’s Market.   


Oaks Glenelg Plaza Pier Suites, Adelaide, South Australia

For absolute beachfront access an easy tram ride from the centre of town, the Oaks Plaza Pier Suites in Glenelg is hard to beat. Sandwiched between soft white sands, a large park, a marina with daily dolphin cruises and the Beach House entertainment centre with dodgem cars, water slides, mini golf and more, grandparents will have no trouble keeping the kids occupied in Adelaide’s waterfront playground which is a short walk from the restaurants, cafes, ice-cream parlours and cinemas of Jetty Rd. Hotel facilities include a heated indoor pool and spa, casual beachfront restaurant and one, two and three-bedroom apartments with balconies and beach or park views.


Oaks Brisbane Festival Suites, Brisbane, Queensland

For a memorable city break, Oaks Brisbane Festival Suites’ central location makes it easy to explore Brisbane’s riverside precinct, restaurants, shopping, museums and more before returning for a dip in the spa, heated lap pool or sparkling plunge pool with sundeck. From the Brisbane City Botanic Gardens to Sunday markets, river cat cruises and a day discovering the Museum of Brisbane, accommodation includes one and two-bedroom apartments with kitchenettes and TV streaming facilities so you can snuggle up on the sofa for a fun family movie night.




Oaks Queenstown Shores Resort, Queenstown, New Zealand

Offering the ideal blend of tranquil natural beauty and adrenaline-stimulating adventure, Queenstown is a destination made for family fun. Enjoying a stunning lakeside location, Oaks Queenstown Shores Resort is just minutes away from boat trips, shopping, walking trails, snow sports activities and more. Accommodation ranges from one-bedroom apartments to four-bedroom penthouses with panoramic views, underfloor heating, gas fireplaces and views over Lake Wakatipu and The Remarkables mountain range. Visit during winter to treat the grandchildren to their first sight of snow, go during spring to see newborn lambs at local farms or try jetboating or kayaking on a serene summer’s day.



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