Multi-Generational RVing: Grandparents, Grandkids, and Adult Kids

Amelia ArvesenJune 24, 2024

Multi-Generational RVing: Grandparents, Grandkids, and Adult Kids

Between work and school, responsibilities and distractions, family time is increasingly precious. If it seems like whenever you’re free to spend time with your grandkid, they’re busy finishing a school project, dashing off to soccer practice, or heading out with their friends, you’re not alone. In the blink of an eye, childhood will end, and your grandkid will become a grand-adult. A family vacation is the perfect opportunity to slow down time and spend time together.

In this article, we’ll dive into the health benefits of traveling with your children and grandchildren, cover the delights of intergenerational RV trips and disconnecting from technology, and break out some different tips and ideas for vacations.

RVs For Rent Near You

{“odcTracking”:”Multi-Generational RVing: Grandparents and Grandkids Camping Together”,”rentalPageType”:”pin”,”odcLocale”:”en-us”,”partnerId”:”700″,”apiObject”:{“auto_radius”:true,”instant_book”:true,”pagination”:{“pageSize”:4}}}

Multi-Generational Travel Is On The Rise

More and more families are realizing the value of togetherness. Last year as the pandemic dimmed, multigenerational travel took off, according to the 2023 Family Travel Association Annual Family Travel Survey of 3,300 parents and grandparents. Grandparents and parents planned more trips together with their family’s youngest generation to create core memories for kids, build emotional bonds and support, and reestablish their sense of identity.

Plus, spending time with your grandchildren is good for your health. Loads of studies show that spending time with them can boost your feel-good hormones, decrease your risk of Alzheimer’s and dementia, give you a sense of purpose and connection, and help you share knowledge.

Grandpa and grandson

Reasons to Take an Intergenerational RV Trip

One summer, the Johnson family decided to embark on an RV road trip together. The family included Grandpa Joe, Grandma Mary, their daughter Sarah, her husband Tom, and their two kids, Emily and Jack. Grandpa Joe sparked the idea, nostalgically remembering his childhood road trips and wanting to create similar memories with his grandchildren.

The journey began in their hometown, with a route planned to explore national parks, historical landmarks, and charming small towns. They packed the RV with camping essentials and a few home comforts, and the family set off with excitement and a sense of curiosity.

As they traveled together, several benefits of the intergenerational trip became apparent:

  • Time on the road strengthened their family bonds: With no distractions from work or school, the family had time to talk, play games, and share stories. Grandpa Joe recounted tales from his youth, giving the children a deeper understanding of their family history. Sarah and Tom enjoyed reconnecting with each other and their parents, strengthening their familial ties.
  • They learned from each other: Grandma Mary taught the kids how to build a campfire, while Grandpa Joe shared practical skills about navigation and cooking. Emily and Jack, in turn, taught their grandparents about new technologies and social media.
  • They created lifelong memories: The shared experiences, from hiking in the Grand Canyon to visiting historical sites in colonial towns, created lasting memories. The family took countless photos and videos, but the most cherished moments were the spontaneous ones—like singing songs around the campfire or spotting a herd of deer at dawn.
  • They experienced personal growth: Each family member grew in their way. Grandpa Joe felt a renewed sense of purpose and joy in sharing his experiences. The kids learned resilience and adaptability, coping with the unpredictability of the journey. Sarah and Tom found a deeper appreciation for their parents’ and children’s roles.

By the end of the trip, the Johnson family returned home with a newfound closeness and countless stories to tell. The intergenerational RV trip was more than just a vacation—it was an opportunity to reconnect, learn, and grow together. The journey reminded them of the importance of family and the joy of sharing experiences across generations and the trip became a cherished family tradition, with plans for future adventures already in the works.

Reduce Tech Time and Increase In-Person Time

Screens are part of our everyday lives: You use them for email and reading, kids use them for school and social media, we use them to connect with strangers and loved ones, we use them to read the news and this blog. Undoubtedly, if you live far away from your grandchildren, technology has helped you foster relationships. 

Yet even if you see your kids on the reg, it might often be behind screens. Sometimes it’s nice to get away from the glowing rectangles to interact in real life, and RV trips are proven to reduce tech time and the usual distractions, creating time for deeper connections.

Types of Intergenerational Trips

Camping as a whole fam is the most obvious way to take a trip, but here are a few other alternatives for spending time together in the outdoors:

  • Sweep your grandkids away for an RV trip right after school gets out for the summer—or anytime in summer. Plan stops together, from beaches to hiking trails to museums.
  • Reunite with your adult kids over a camping experience. Remember when you used to go when they were just wee little kids? Create new memories together.
  • Invite the whole extended family for an RV family reunion. You might need to book a group campsite depending on how many members are in your fam.
  • Get three generations all on one trip for an unforgettable time. The grandparents, the kids, and the grandkids can cook, learn, and camp together.

Pro tip: Use Outdoorsy’s refer-a-friend feature to make RV rentals more affordable for all generations. 

Tips for Successful Intergenerational Trips

Multi-generational trips are a fantastic way to vacation. The best trips happen when you take deliberate steps to make them the best they can be.

Here are some proven ways to do that:

Involve Kids in Trip Planning

Engaging kids in the planning process gets them excited in advance and ensures that the trip includes activities that interest them. Let the kiddos choose some of the destinations, activities, or even meals. This involvement makes them feel valued and increases their enthusiasm for the trip.

You could even plan to create roadschooling light by incorporating some elements of homeschooling over the road. Sure, the kids are out of school, but trip planning is a great way to engage their minds with historical stops and fascinating destinations along your path. 

Grandparents Giving Parents a Break

Grandparents can take the lead in planning and organizing parts of the trip, giving parents a much-needed break. This dynamic not only eases the burden on parents but also allows grandparents to spend more quality time with their grandchildren.

While it might be tempting for parents to plan the trip, remember that the time spent on planning can become an important part of memory-making. When grandkids and grandparents go together from start to finish, it has lasting impacts for all. 

And since these activities are known to help strengthen the grandparents’ mental health, why not add on as much as you can? 

Check National and State Parks Off Your Bucket List – Together

National and state parks are perfect destinations for intergenerational trips. They offer a mix of educational opportunities, outdoor activities, and stunning scenery. Plan visits to parks that have been on your family’s bucket list, creating shared memories and experiences that will be cherished for years to come.

Outdoorsy also put together these guides for national parks so you can see all the best RV rentals and campgrounds near these national gems.  

Banff National Park

Pack Activities

Pack a variety of activities to keep everyone entertained during downtime. Board games, card games, and outdoor sports equipment are great options. These activities encourage interaction and help create lasting memories.

Here are some of the best travel games around. 

Popular Add-ons

Consider bringing along popular add-ons to enhance the trip. When it comes to outdoor adventuring, the hosts of our RV rentals offer an array of exciting add-ons. We’re talking bikes, boats, beach gear, and much much more. You can easily add these to your RV rental so they’re ready when you roll on your trip. 

Intergenerational Bonding Activities

Trips that span family history create lasting bonds between the generations. That said, there are some deliberate steps you can take to build these bonds. Here are some of the most popular ways to do this: 


Intergenerational trips should be packed with time around the campfire that inspires the sharing of family memories and history. While much of this happens naturally, why not inspire it with some pre-planning? 

Legacy journals like these are tools that can guide grandparents in sharing stories of their lives with younger generations. When the questions get grandparents thinking deeply about memories, you may be surprised to hear stories you haven’t even heard of!

Cook Together/Plan Meals Together

Meal times are perfect for family bonding. Plan and cook meals together, sharing family recipes and trying new dishes. Stock up on campfire and s’more supplies for evenings spent around the fire, telling stories and enjoying each other’s company.

Here are some of our favorite campfire recipes, no-bake recipes, fresh-fish recipes, and other all-American camping recipes.  

Hiking, Biking, and Exploring

Nature is a connecter. It connects us with elemental things just as much as it bonds us to each other. That’s why hiking, biking, and general outdoors’ing are important ingredients for intergenerational RV trips. 

Think about ways you can build these activities into the trip. Better yet, ask grandma and grandpa to pick some outdoorsy activities they think would be fun for everyone. 

To get you started, here are our favorite summer hiking trails, the best RV getaways for biking, and our complete guide to family-friendly fishing.

Grandpa and Grandson fishing

Create Traditions

Grandpa’s ghost stories by the campfire, that RV cooktop meal you always make together, movie nights under the stars, are the kinds of things that make for lasting traditions. 

Traditions don’t have to happen by chance. You can inspire them by creating moments everyone wants to make happen again. 

Check out this fun history of American camping traditions.

Artistic Pursuits

This is a tried-and-true way to bond generations. There’s no one-size-fits-all approach here because every family has different artistic inclinations, but getting everyone creating together is a surefire way to build bonds.  

Get started with these crafting while camping ideas for kids of all ages

Boost Mental Wellness — For All Generations

Nature has a proven power to heal. Being in it reduces anxiety, creates mental clarity, boosts creativity, and more. Combine that with what is known about the positive mental impacts of grandparents spending time with grandkids, and these sorts of trips are potent.

RVing trips that bring parents, grandparents, kids, and grandkids together create moments in time that are free from the usual distractions and pressures of life. These moments become powerful experiences that provide lasting mental health benefits for all.

Grandpa with special needs grandson

Intergenerational RV trips set the stage for bonding moments that reverberate through time. Make the call today to get Grandpa and Grandma in on the trip planning. And when you need a few RVs for the trip, we have you covered.

RVs For Rent Near You

{“odcTracking”:”Multi-Generational RVing: Grandparents and Grandkids Camping Together”,”rentalPageType”:”pin”,”odcLocale”:”en-us”,”partnerId”:”700″,”apiObject”:{“auto_radius”:true,”instant_book”:true,”pagination”:{“pageSize”:4}}}

Amelia Arvesen, Outdoorsy Author

Ready to get started.

Be the first to get doses of destination inspiration, and discount codes.

We care about the protection of your data. Read our privacy policy