Camping with the grandparents - or 'gramping', as it's now known - can be a rich and joyful experience.

Camping -with -the -family

In our busy lives, opportunities to spend quality time with immediate family, let alone extended family, can be few and far between.

Today’s grandparents are very different from previous generations. No longer content to sit at home and grow old, they are on the move, fit and active, and exploring the world.

Today’s children are also very different from previous generations, although maybe not in such a positive way. There aren’t many parents who wouldn’t agree that anything that gets the kids out from behind their computers and away from the television is a positive thing. Add to this the opportunity to experience the limitless wonders of their own country and you’ll be on to a sure winner.


Consequently, more and more families are discovering the joys of inter-generational travel, or ‘gramping’. It’s family camping, just including the grandparents. Travelling and camping together gives you the chance to not only enjoy each other’s company, but to share unique, once-in-a-lifetime experiences, which build stronger bonds between generations. The memorable moments you share on holidays stay with you for a lifetime, and that is one big reason why gramping – camping with kids, parents and grandparents – is really worth considering. You’ll be creating treasured family memories that last not just a lifetime, but several lifetimes.

Even before they had such a fancy name for it, we’ve been regularly gramping with three generations; grandma and granddad, mum and dad, and two kids (one boy and one girl). From weekends at the beach to epic trips like doing the Gibb River Road together, we’ve shared many adventures and amassed a stockpile of memories.

The fact that we’ve been gramping more than once suggests that something must be going right. We’ve come to appreciate that each generation brings its own unique contribution to camping and that enriches everyone’s experience. From the practical to the more esoteric, there are lots of pluses.


Seeing things through the innocent joy of a child’s perspective makes you appreciate even ordinary things in a whole new light. In the reverse, the children’s experiences are enriched by hearing stories from different generations.

Granddad telling them about having to milk the cows each morning to get milk for his breakfast when he was growing up can be a revelation for those who think milk comes from a carton. By including activities chosen by each family member in your trip, you may find yourself really enjoying something you would never have chosen to do yourself. Also in the activities stakes, children can be like little Energiser Bunnies – they just keep going and going and going. With two sets of adults on hand, you can spread the load around so everyone enjoys their time playing but also gets a break.

There is also the opportunity for one set of adults to babysit occasionally so the other couple can have some time together.

Read the full version of this article in Caravan World #525, May 2014. Why not subscribe today?