By Marie Haaland // SWNS
It’s been more than seven and a half months since the average grandparent has seen all their grandchildren in person, according to new research.
A survey of 2,000 American grandparents revealed, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, 59% have spent less time with their grandchildren during the past year.
Of those, four in five said the hardest part of the pandemic was not seeing their grandchildren as often as they usually would.
And 77% of those who’ve spent less time with their grandchildren reported it was difficult not being able to watch their little ones grow up in person over the past year.
Conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Motel 6, results found the majority of respondents have a unique relationship with each of their grandchildren — but that’s been more difficult to cultivate during the ongoing health crisis.
And that’s especially true for the two in five who had a new grandbaby born in the past year (42%).
Results found two-thirds (69%) of those with a new grandchild said that what they’re looking forward to most is meeting them for the very first time.
Regardless of whether they have a new family member or not, three in five (59%) plan to spend more time with their grandchildren in the coming year than ever before.
This might come with a big change: half (51%) of grandparents have considered moving closer to their grandchildren, with one-quarter (26%) of those already having made the move.
That’ll help allow them to make sure for lost time — even if respondents felt comfortable traveling to see their family over the course of the past year, one-fifth (21%) said at least one grandchild lives out of driving distance.
When it’s safe to travel again, 56% of grandparents said the first trip they’re planning to take is to see their grandchildren — with almost half (48%) already planning their first trip.
The top three places that grandparents are most looking forward to traveling with their grandkids are mountains, beaches and campgrounds.
“As more and more Americans feel ready to travel again, we are thrilled to be able to take part in some of these much-needed family reunions,” said Rob Palleschi, CEO of G6 Hospitality. “We will continue to leave the light on for our guests, whether that be grandparents staying with Motel 6 on the way to visit family or for those choosing to stay with us as a way to socially distance for upcoming family visits.”
Socially distant or not, grandparents like to spoil their grandkids, with 54% in this survey acknowledging they spoil their grandkids and give them some special “perks” they wouldn’t get with their parents.
“With the increased return to travel, our guests can rest easy knowing that Motel 6 continues to open the door for those in need of a clean, comfortable and affordable place to stay during these unprecedented times,” said Palleschi.