As parents juggle priorities to create time for getaways, grandparents are stepping up to the plate and taking the kids on vacation. Defined as skip-gen travel, this is a trend that’s gaining traction and grandparents ready to create unforgettable memories need not look any further than Jamaica. According to a recent AARP study, about one-third of grandparents have taken their grandchildren on skip-gen trips. The same study cited that 61% are interested in taking their grandchildren on vacation.
With most major airline carriers flying to Jamaica from an expanding list of countries, the destination’s accessibility takes the stress out of the planning process and gets everyone closer to having fun, faster. With a myriad of accommodation options from affordable all-inclusive hotels to ultra-luxurious villas and the most attractions in any English-speaking Caribbean destination, unforgettable memories and experiences await grandparents seeking quality time with their grandkids.
Below are some enjoyable, family-focused experiences in Jamaica guaranteed to find its way into the family album of cherished memories.
If a love of food is a shared interest, a cooking class is an experience not to be missed. On a veranda overlooking the coastline, Yaaman Adventure Park offers guests a personal cooking demonstration on how to prepare an authentic Jamaican dish. Cooking classes at Jakes will take guests on a tour of their garden to pick fresh herbs used in the cooking lesson. Guests will learn to prepare an array of dishes including Jerk Chicken, Jerk Fish, Escoveitched Red Snapper.
For families that love adrenaline, Mystic Mountain in Ocho Rios offers a variety of outdoor activities, including mountainside bobsledding, chair lift tours, and zip lining above the canopy. For something more scenic, Blue Mountain Bicycle Tour is a remarkable way to see the lush, tropical countryside and the world-famous Blue Mountain and John Crow Mountains National Park.
Families looking to add some educational value to their vacation can experience the Rastafari Indigenous Village, which showcases the life and experiences of Rastafarians. Visitors can take a tour of the village to learn about the ways of Rastafari, including organic farming, traditional crafts, worship and music. The Bob Marley Museum is another option and offers an inside look at legendary reggae artist Bob Marley’s life and history. This cultural milestone includes an interactive theater, photographic gallery, and tours of Marley’s personal home.
With all the planning leading up to vacation, a little quiet time will be a welcome relief. Take a relaxing cruise down the Martha Brae River on a 30-foot handmade bamboo raft piloted by a trained “Raft Captain.” YS Falls is another option to consider for a day of exploring nature and quality time with family. The falls is a magnificent seven-tiered, 36-metre cascading waterfall complete with expansive wading pools fed by underground springs and picnic grounds for groups of all sizes. Reach Falls is the best waterfall in Jamaica for kids as you can enjoy it without climbing any rocks. Younger kids can wade in the water below the falls and watch the small fish swim back and forth. For those with older kids or if you’re OK with carrying younger children, you can explore above the main fall.
Beaches for every mood
Jamaica is of course famous for its many beautiful beaches, and there is a beach to suit any taste, from secluded and quiet to wide with big waves. Frenchman’s Cove, Port Antonio is serene and picturesque, with swings all around the river bank and mango trees around as well, The famous Seven-Mile Beach, Negril is a popular public beach with beautiful, blue, pristine waters. And, there is Long Bay that features scenic views and often large waves that are great for surfing.
Jamaica has attractions and experiences to satisfy the variety of preferences of Skip-Gen travellers, and make for memories that all generations will cherish. For more information, go to: visitjamaica.com.