TRAVEL
07/11/2014 08:00 am ET | Updated Jul 11, 2014

15 Reasons Why Your Grandparents Will Always Travel Better Than You

It's an undisputed fact that grandparents are the best -- they have the best stories, the best snacks, the best excuses for letting you stay up past bedtime. So it's unsurprising that they are also the best when it comes to traveling, whether it's roaming the globe or taking a quick weekend jaunt to a lesser-known town.

Here's why.

1. They know exactly what to pack.
Extra underwear > one more "going out" dress.

2. And how to "win" at layovers.
They are rarely without a pack of playing cards.

3. They don't even try to do Rome in a day...
grandparents
Or anywhere, for that matter. Sometimes taking a nap is better than sightseeing, and grandparents know that recharging those legs is important before the next day of adventures.

4. Because making plans is better without Pinterest.
You could pin your entire forthcoming trip from the privacy of your bedroom, or you could do what grandparents do and actually ask humans for recommendations.

5. They value sharing in more ways than one.
grandparents
To get the most out of a trip, grandparents understand that it's better to share experiences with the ones you love, rather than report back. And sometimes the most impactful moments occur when swapping stories with strangers.

6. Because they know how to create memories sans Instagram.
Yes, that magical moment really did happen -- even if you didn't get the chance to apply the Lo-Fi filter to your photo.

7. They're not afraid to ask for directions.
They only spend hours wandering around if they want to.

8. And actually know how to read a map.
reading map
Sometimes there's nothing better than sitting down with a good'ole fashioned map and a highlighter to outline the trip.

9. They know the right time to travel isn't always "summer."
Two words: The offseason.

10. But still consider sunscreen very important.
They've endured more than enough vacation sunburns in their lifetime.

10. They know the importance of filling your gas tank up ALL the way.
Because hitting traffic or that 100-mile stretch of nothing is something they don't want to relieve twice.

11. ...And emptying your tank when given the chance.
When someone stops to go to the bathroom, you GO.

12. They know binoculars are the best accessory.
Old gadgets work (and zoom) better than new ones.

13. And that "little places" are totally worth visiting.
Paris, France is great, but let's talk about Paris, Texas.

14. They know what makes them happy.
Family, fun and fresh air.

15. And last but not least -- they take travel selfies better than most of the population.
grandparent selfie

Game over, guys.

  • Spoil them while you can.
    Getty Images
    Sally Field has had a number of roles under her belt, but these days you can find her playing babysitter to her grandkids -- despite her busy schedule. "I'm probably like every other grammy. I give them too much. I let them run all over me," Field told Ladies Home Journal of her four grandchildren. "They love to come over to the house and swim in the pool... When I can be with them I am a great grandmother."
  • Share your interests with them.
    Getty Images
    It seems the Beatles rocker Paul McCartney has always wanted grandkids -- and now he has his wish. He penned the song, "When I'm Sixty-Four" back in the 1960s, which includes the phrase, "If it's not too dear; We shall scrimp and save; Grandchildren on your knee; Vera, Chuck & Dave." And now McCartney is the proud grandpa of eight! And it appears they've inherited some of his musical genius. He told The New York Times about how, like any cool grandpa, he plays "Rock Band" with his grandkids. "My grandkids always beat me at Rock Band. And I say, Listen, you may beat me at Rock Band, but I made the original records, so shut up," he said. Adorable.
  • Trust, appreciate, and respect your kids as parents.
    Getty Images
    While Blythe Danner calls being grandma her top role and the one that's most important to her, you won't find her doling out parenting advice to daughter Gwyneth Paltrow. "I'm not quite as wise and judicious in my input. I try to just be there if needed," Danner told MSN. "My daughter is extraordinary with them," she said of grandkids Apple and Moses. "She’s a much more patient mother than I was...when she had children she just was completely devoted to that and listens to them and talks to them. They never have temper tantrums because she just knows how to sweep them aside and talk to them and they listen. She’s very rational. I just admire it. I don’t know how she does it really," Danner said in an interview with Cinema Blend.
  • Emulate your own grandparents.
    Getty Images
    Prince Charles is just starting to get the hang of being a grandparent, with his first grandchild being born less than a year ago. But it's clear the future monarch has it figured out pretty well already. The heir to the throne told well-wishers on a royal visit that he's following his late grandmother's lead. "Yes, it's a different part of life. The great thing is to encourage them. Show them things to take their interest. My grandmother did that, she was wonderful." He also added the importance of developing a close bond with your grandkids early on and that he's been told he will likely have more time for his grandkids than he did for his kids. The Queen Mother had a particularly close relationship with Charles since he was a child, and reportedly even tried to help keep him from attending a boarding school far away from home.
  • Lead by example.
    Getty Images
    Heartthrob Tony Danza is among Hollywood's youngest grandparents, becoming a grandpa at just 53! Danza himself was a young father, but says parenting is even more difficult nowadays. His advice? " it all goes back to showing them how to be a good person. Keep them close to you. And make dinner together," Danza told Grandparents.com. Danza says he enjoys cooking with his grandson, "Nicky Macaroni," making pizza with him. "I want to be a good example."
  • Draw from your own parenting mistakes.
    Getty
    Parenthood was a bumpy road for crooner Lionel Richie and his reality-TV-star daughter, Nicole. Nicole had a troubled phase around the same time she shot to stardom in Hollywood, dealing with drug addiction and legal troubles. She's since become a successful fashion designer, philanthropist, and mother. "When you have a teenage daughter growing up in Hollywood, in the business, I mean, what I went through with Nicole... honestly, there is no control," Richie told omg! Insider. Richie says he's better being grandfather, than he was being a father, given his parenting experience. Richie said Nicole now comes to him for parenting advice.
  • Make up your own rules.
    AP
    Find out what works for you, whether it's a certain style of grandparenting, how often you see your grandkids, or how much involvement you have in major decisions in their life. Heck, you don't even have to call yourself a grandparent. Admittedly, many people are daunted by being called "grandma" or "grandpa" -- especially when they are younger grandparents. Blythe Danner, Goldie Hawn, and Priscilla Presley all prefer not to be called grandma, given the "aged" connotation of the word. Hawn calls herself a "Glam-ma." There's more than one right way. Find out what works for you and your family.

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