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Where to Next, Grandma?

2. Settle the money
It's wise to figure out a budget for presents and souvenirs. The grandchild might make a list of gift recipients, and of each person's wish list (and if Dad wants a belt, say, jot down his size). Helena Koenig, owner of Grandtravel, recommends deciding in advance to "collect one type of thing, such as spoons, T-shirts or books," as a way to minimize the time spent browsing—and agonizing over purchases.

3. Agree on a bedtime
What is the child's bedtime at home?When does he or she like to wake up?Enforce the former; learn to live with the latter. If grandparent and grandchild will be sharing a room, they should discuss habits, such as whether one needs to sleep with a light on or is known to snore (and then consider packing a night-light, sleep mask, and earplugs).

4. Share the load
Only one person has to lug certain essentials, such as a hair dryer, an umbrella, even toothpaste. Why let duplicates weigh a trip down?

5. Hang up the phone
On arrival, the grandchild should call home, and after that get in touch every other night or so. Phoning more frequently puts the parents too prominently in the picture; calls to friends should be banned. Remember: this is a chance for grandparent and child to lend each other an ear.

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