Traveling with Grandkids

Frequently Asked Questions


What age does my grandchild need to be to attend a Road Scholar program?

It depends on the learning adventure! Each of our Grandparent programs is created for a certain grandchild age range in mind, depending on the topic. You can search by grandchild age on our website to find the programs that work best for you.


How do I know the age range of a program?

When searching for a program on our website, you’ll see a tag with the age range assigned to that program. You’ll also see the age range noted for Grandparent and Family programs in our catalogs.


If my grandchild is slightly older or younger than a given program age range, can they still attend?

We design our Grandparent programs for a specific age range so that we can ensure the content of the program is enriching and appropriate for their educational needs. With that said, we typically allow for a 6-month window (plus or minus) that allows kids to attend if they don’t fall directly in the age window.


What are the ideal ages to take grandchildren on trips?

You know your grandchild best! Children as young as five can attend a Road Scholar Grandparent or Family Program, and the average age of a Road Scholar grandchild is 11-12. But the ideal age really depends on your grandchild’s maturity and development. Are they ready to be away from their parents for several days and nights? Do they interact well with new people? Are they open to trying new things? These are all questions you should ask yourself to know if your individual grandchild is ready.


Are there programs for teens?

Yes! You can filter our grandparent programs by age using the search filters on our “Find a Trip” page here.


I’m planning to take each grandchild anywhere in the word they want to go when the graduate from High School. Are they too old for a Grandparent Program?

We do have a handful of programs with 18 as the high end of the age range. (Find them here.) This is really up to your grandchild. Would they feel comfortable traveling with children who may be younger than them? 


What’s the average group size for a Grandparent or Family program? How many participants are in a trip listed as “small group?”

Programs in the U.S. have a maximum group size of 35. International programs have a maximum of 24. If a program is listed as “small group,” there will be no more than 24 participants on the program.


What is the average length of grandparent programs?

Most Grandparent and Family programs are between six and ten days long. You can search by duration at Choose “Grandparent & Family” in the “Group Size & Type” filter and then use the “Duration” filter.


What is your current COVID vaccination policy? Do you check to verify participants' vaccination status?

All participants, including children five and older, and Group leaders must be vaccinated and have at least one booster. All participants are required to bring their vaccination cards with them to the program, and they will be checked at registration.


Do I need a parental consent form?

Parental consent forms are required for all programs where a child is traveling without their parent or guardian. We will provide consent forms that you’ll need to share with the child’s parents to sign. If the parents are divorced, one parent’s signature is fine. If you're traveling internationally, parents will need to bring the form to a notary and have the form signed in their presence. 


What medical permission requirements are there for these trips, especially out of our country?

There are no additional medical forms or requirements for domestic or international travel with grandkids beyond the parental consent forms that we require.


Do you accommodate grandchildren with special needs?

We do our best to accommodate special needs for any participant. It’s best to call us so we can discuss your grandchild’s exact needs and find the program that’s the best fit for both of you!


How does rooming work? Will we stay in the same room as our grandkids?

Rooming configurations vary by program — depending on the lodging, grandparents and grandkids can all be in one room or divided into separate rooms. In general, at least one grandparent must share a room with the grandchild.


Can one grandparent take two grandchildren on a program?

We require one grandparent per child, but some programs may allow two children per grandparent. If you would like to take two grandchildren and you’ll be the only adult, give us a call and we will let you know if that is possible for the program you have in mind.


Can parents come along and stay in the room but not attend the Road Scholar program?

Unfortunately, that is not an option unless you attend one of our Family programs where all generations are welcome.


Could I schedule a trip including my children and grandchildren?

Yes! We offer both Grandparent Programs for grandparents and grandchildren only, as well as Family Programs for three generations! Find them here: Family Programs or Grandparent Programs.


Can I attend a Grandparent program without a child?

Unfortunately, that is not an option. Please see our wide range of learning adventures created just for adults!


My spouse and I are celebrating our anniversary and would like to bring along several of our family members — including grandkids of varying ages — on a Road Scholar program. What are our options?

Road Scholar offers private trips so that you can travel with your family. To learn more about those trips, head over to You can also email or call our private groups coordinator at: (877) 209-4634.


Can grandparents take grandkids on Family Programs without a parent present?

You’ll find that most of our Grandparent Programs have a companion Family Program, and vice versa. If there is not a corresponding Grandparent Program or the Family Program dates work better for your availability, then, yes— you may travel on a Family Program with just you and your grandchild.


I don't have grandchildren. Can I take my nieces and nephews on a program?

Yes! Great aunts or uncles may bring grandnieces or grandnephews on a Grandparent program.


Do you recommend or discourage cousins of similar age to attend one trip together with the grandparents?

We encourage grandparents to bring siblings or cousins who are close in age on a trip together—the more family memories, the better! Just remember that we generally require one adult to attend per child. So, if you’d like to bring two cousins with two grandparents, that works! You could also ask a friend of yours to come along, or choose a Family Program and bring a parent.


For Grandparent and Family Programs with broad age ranges, how do you ensure the program remains relevant for all the kids?

We divide the kids up for separate activities that they may enjoy together.


In terms of how the program is run, what is the difference between a Grandparent program and a Family Program? Are the activities for the kids the same on the Grandparents and Family programs?

The difference really is in the participants. But as far as the program itself— activities and educational content on our Family Programs are planned with a wider age range in mind, and the Group Leader may even split participants up into two small groups if the children span a large age range.


Before we depart, will we know how many people and what ages are enrolled? What if my grandchild is the only older or younger kid or the only boy or girl? Does the Group Leader facilitate group dynamics?

No, unfortunately we do not share information about those enrolled on the program in advance. But rest assured that our Grandparent Program Group Leaders are pros at easing the group dynamics to make every single child feel welcome and included, starting with lots of icebreakers at group orientation. By day two, the kids are so immersed in the program and activities that all those other details tend to melt away!


What percentage of grandkids are boys?

The percentage of boys versus girls on our Grandparent and Family programs hovers around 50% / 50%.


If my grandchild is reluctant about a group activity, can they sit out if a grandparent supervises them?

We would never force a child to participate in an activity. The Group Leader may do some gentle coaxing to help your grandchild feel confident and included, but the two of you may decide to sit out of an activity if you choose, yes, as long as the child is supervised by a grandparent or adult in your party.


How does Road Scholar accommodate grandparents who has mobility issues? l am not sure that l can keep up physically with some programs that l know my grandchildren would love. Is there a way to work this out?

We do recommend that you select a program that can meet both you and your grandchild where you are with physical abilities. Alternatively, you could invite another adult to join the program with you can participate in all of the activities—perhaps a friend of yours that your grandchild knows or a parent. As long as there is one adult with the child at all times, the second adult could cheer from the sidelines.


My granddaughter is interested in a program that has a lot of walking and public transportation. If I feel a particular day has too much walking for me to reach the destination, could I take a taxi?

Again, we always encourage participants to be realistic with themselves about their physical abilities and to choose a program that is the right fit. If you find yourself on a program that’s more challenging than expected, you and your grandchild can sit out of certain activities. 


How are food allergies handled?

We can accommodate most food allergies. Please call us when you’re selecting a program so we can help find the program that’s the best fit for your grandchild’s needs.


Kids can be notoriously picky eaters. How is this handled?

These programs are designed with kids in mind, and the restaurants we work with know there will be children in the group. There will always be kid-friendly options, but we also won’t require everyone in the group to live on mac and cheese all week!


How do you deal with kids who have smartphones?

Typically, our Group Leaders will help encourage the use of smart phones only for taking photos during activities and other program time— not for texting, social media, or browsing the web. Participants tend to be respectful of this rule, but Group Leaders are also skilled in the art of redirection. If smartphone usage becomes an issue with individual grandchildren, the Group Leader may discuss the issue with you directly. That being said— we find that grandkids are so engaged in the programming that smartphone usage isn’t a problem, especially after the first day of the program.


How much downtime is built into the daily programming?

Most programs have a few hours of free time built in during several, if not all, afternoons for resting, independent exploration with you and your grandchild, or pool time.


How early do activities start each day and what time do they end? When are meal times?

Start time varies by destination and activity, but generally breakfast will take place around 8 or 9:00 a.m., with programming beginning around 9:30 or 10:00.


Do you provide an age-appropriate reading list for Grandparent and Family Programs?

Yes, many of our Grandparent and Family programs include recommended reading! You can find those book recommendations on our website. Find the webpage for the program you’re interested in or enrolled in and scroll down to “Suggested Reading List” (below the “Featured Expert” section). Click on the “+” sign to expand the reading list.


Can Road Scholar book our flights for us?

Road Scholar has an air services department that can book flights for participants traveling internationally. If you are enrolled in a domestic program, you will need to arrange your travel to the program on your own.


Does Road Scholar meet us at the airport?

If you book your flights through Road Scholar’s air services department and arrive and depart on the first and last day of the program, then complimentary airport transfers are included.


What happens if your flight is delayed/canceled in getting to the destination? Will we miss the program if we don't get there in time?

Again, we recommend purchasing Trip Protection Plan so that you can apply for reimbursement in the case of a canceled or severely delayed flight. If your flight is just slightly delayed, the Group Leader will make sure you join the program whenever you arrive.


A perk of booking flights for international programs through Road Scholar’s air services department is that they will be there to assist you with rebooking flights if you should experience any delays or cancellations.


When will I know for sure that the program I signed up for will have enough participation for it to be held?

Before we send your initial billing statement, we’ll know if we have enough participants to make the program a go.


If we won't know if the trip will for sure run until 8-10 weeks before the trip, then we can't book flights till then. That sounds late for booking flights.

If a program is canceled by Road Scholar because of low enrollment, we do offer a credit of up to $300 to offset the cost of cancelling or rescheduling your flights or other travel commitments. Also, often airlines allow you to change your flight at no cost, so— if a program is canceled due to low enrollments, you could enroll in a later program date and just reschedule your flights. 


This hasn’t been a huge issue for participants in the past, but if it’s something you’re really concerned about, you may want to consider purchasing airline tickets that are fully refundable, or check with your credit card to see if they have trip cancellation insurance benefits.



What is the cancellation policy?

Cancellation terms and conditions vary by program. To see the deposit, transfer, and cancellation policy for a program, find the program on our website and navigate to the “Dates & Prices” tab. Click on the link to the left that says “Deposit, Transfer & Cancellation Policy".


Can I purchase insurance for me and my grandchild? For my whole family?

The Road Scholar Assurance Plan is included in the price of tuition for all Road Scholar Programs. You may also purchase optional Trip Protection for you and your family members.


Can I apply for a scholarship to cover the cost of my Grandparent program?

Yes! But the scholarship can only be applied to the grandparent’s portion of the program.


Is there a special brochure just for Grandparent and Family programs? How do I get one?

Yes, we do have a special Grandparent and Family brochure. You can request one here.


To make sure you’re on the list for all of our grandparent print brochures and catalogs and emails moving forward, you can edit your mail and email preferences by logging into your “My Account” on our website, clicking on “Account Settings,” and checking the box next to “Grandparent and Grandchild” under “Mail & Email Preferences.”


When will you open more programs for grandparents?

We typically open the following summer’s programs in the previous summer and fall, so remember to check back during that time frame to see what’s new!


How do I enroll in a Grandparent or Family Program?

You can learn more about our selection of Grandparent and Family Adventures in our catalogs and on our website, but you’ll need to give us a call to enroll: 800-454-5768.