Over three quarters (76%) of grandparents are looking forward to seeing their grandchildren once lockdown restrictions have lifted completely, with their duties as grandparents set to take centre-focus moving forward.

Research from megabus has shown that grandparents have been hit especially hard by the coronavirus pandemic, missing out on 49 hugs, 47 kisses, 40 conversations and 25 family meals with their grandkids after eight months apart.

The study also showed that the average grandparent wasn't able to be there for major milestones, like first steps (15%), first words (14%) and first days of nursery (11%).

In response, megabus have launched an industry-first 'Grand Reunion' ticket, which will bring together long-distance grandparents and grandchildren, with 10 specially-selected families given free travel to visit one another on megabus' entire network for a year.

Further details of the report show that grandparents are set to spend 30 hours in an average month with their grandchildren following the lockdown restrictions lifting; a figure that's 20% longer than they themselves spent with their own grandparents in previous generations.

Hoping to bring a smile to kids’ faces up and down the country, the megabus Grand Reunion ticket is now available for 10 sets of grandparents. To apply for the Grand Reunion ticket, visit https://uk.megabus.com/grand-reunion.

The coach operator has launched the trial with a short film showing the emotional reunion of real-life grandparents Nick Plowright and Louise Plowright and their grandchildren Archie, aged 10 and Ava Rollini, aged nine, who haven’t seen each other for over eight months due to the pandemic. In fact ‘Nanny Lou’ and ‘Big Grandad’ as they are affectionately known have only seen their grandchildren twice since last March due to restrictions.

Louise Plowright, says, "We’ve become very old since lockdown, we need them back in our life to give us that energy and make us feel youthful again. We cannot wait to spend time doing all the things we love and be around Ava and Archie’s infectious enthusiasm once again."

You can watch the gorgeous reunion for yourself below:

Mark Venables, Managing Director from megabus comments: "With 61% of parents saying that missing grandparents has been one of the hardest things for their kids this past year, we’re really excited to help grandparents get back on the road and travel with confidence to see loved ones across the UK through great value coach travel. The past year has been tough on everyone, but what’s clear from the research is that grandparents play a vital role in their grandkids' lives.

"With our megabus coaches offering strict cleaning regimes and safety measures to keep everyone safe on board, we hope that the new 'Grand Reunion' will allow more grandparents to reconnect with their grandchildren, and we look forward to being a part of the journey as a more normal life resumes."

Travel company megabus hopes the campaign encourages grandparents and those of all ages to reconnect with their loved ones. And with services such as reserved seating, extra legroom seats and a new coach tracker, not to mention free Wi-Fi and on board charging points to stay connected, customers can travel in comfort and confidence.

For those who can’t wait to see their family and loved ones visit https://uk.megabus.com to book tickets.

tagged in