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The tips provided are the sort of useful nuggets I would tell a good friend, suggestions designed to limit aggravation and enhance the enjoyment of a trip for all family members. After all, a successful family vacation requires careful planning and the cooperation of all family members. Here’s some general advice that goes a long way toward making your trips memorable for all the right reasons.
Golden Rules for Family Travel
- Meet the needs of the youngest family member. Your raft trip won’t be fun if you’re worried about your four-year-old being bumped overboard.
- Underplan. Forget about doing it all. It’s not how much of a destination you see, but how much you and your kids enjoy the sites.
- Go for the green spaces. Search out city parks, rails-to-trails paths, and playgrounds. Throw a Frisbee, play catch, or simply people-watch.
- Enlist the cooperation of your kids. Include your children in the decision-making by scheduling outings they want.
- Understand your rhythms of the road. Do you prefer traveling at night wen kids sleep in the car or on a plane, or in the morning so that you arrive before the late afternoon cranky hours?
- Spend time alone with each of your children. It can be as simple as taking your early-rising five-year-old with you to get breakfast or making sure to sit next to one child for a while so that the two of you can talk.
- Pack snacks. Hunger generates grouchiness for kids and adults. Take along what your family likes to eat.
- Have a sense of humor. Attractions get crowded, cars break down, and kids spit-up. Remember why you came on vacation in the first place – to have fun with your kids.