What is “Skip-Gen” Travel?

Baby boomers are traveling more and it's a great opportunity to spend quality time with your grandkids

Blackbeard’s Cruises is celebrating 40 years of liveaboard cruising.  Back in 1979 Blackbeard’s was a two-person team.  My husband, Bruce Purdy, and myself were both employed with the airlines and working to introduce our first Blackbeard’s liveaboard, the Sea Explorer to newly certified scuba divers. The first summer season the Sea Explorer was filled with scuba diving Scouts in their early teens.  As we added more liveaboards we also added a daughter and son.  Our kids grew up at the dock and on our Blackbeard’s liveaboards swimming and snorkeling in the Bahamas.  As soon as they were old enough they became certified junior divers.  Breaks from school were always about diving as a family. As baby boomer parents we enjoyed scuba diving vacations, ski vacations and just good family time whether it was a road trip or a day trip. 

  Over the past 40 years we’ve had passengers come aboard as singles and return with a spouse a year or two later.  Years later those same passengers returned with their child or came as a family and introduced their kids to a scuba diving vacation.

Blackbeard's Cruises dive liveaboard, Bahamas dive vacation

  Many of these former passengers are returning with their grandkids.  It used to be that when school let out the kids went to the grandparents for a week or two and the parents came on our liveaboards.  Then I noticed as the kids got older and became junior divers we were seeing whole family charter requests with grandparents, parents and kids all out for a week and enjoying scuba diving, quality family time and much needed relaxation. 

  Now the parents are staying home and the grandparents are bringing their grandkids aboard for a week of scuba diving.  There is even a name for this now, Skip-gen vacations or Gramping. Grandparents traveling alone with their grandkids. With our aging population there are now more Grandpa’s and Grandma’s than ever. Baby boomers are a large part of these grandpas and grandmas.  They are also more active, fit and have the financial means to travel.  With families living miles apart there is no better way to create strong family ties with your grandchild than on a Skip-gen vacation and create some special memories.  

Fast forward to 2019 and I am a Boomer grandparent and fortunate to live close to my grandkids. My weekends are set aside for adventures with my oldest grandchild, Piper.  Piper will be 4 next year. Swimming, beach time, dance parties, miniature golf and ice cream fill my weekends.  We are now waiting for cool weather to arrive for a visit to the zoo.    

My advice

Planning a trip with the grandkids for next summer? Start early!  Getting a date set for a summer trip can get complicated with sorting out grandkids busy summer schedule of camp, swim lessons, dance, baseball and of course scuba classes.   

Take photos and write down stories to present to them when they head off to college.

And… it’s okay to spoil them a little.

Bruce & Peggy Purdy with their granddaughter, Piper
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