Choosing the right kind of family trip

July 24, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
Planning a trip with the family, but worried about the headaches? You can have a stress-free trip with the help of Lonely Planet's latest book, "Travel with Children: Your Complete Resource."

TIP ON CHOSING THE RIGHT KIND OF TRIP FOR YOUR FAMILY

If you're visiting friends and family or are trying to weave a vacation into a work trip, you may have little choice about where you end up. However, if you are starting with a blank slate, there are lots of practical and inspirational things to consider. The following are a few ideas to think about: your children's ages, what the children would like to do, what you would like to do, the kinds of experiences you want your family to have, whether you want educational value in your vacation, whether there are events or festivals that you'd like to plan around, your comfort zone and dealing with culture shock, the different kinds of vacations (i.e. beach, city, outdoors, camping) and what is best for your family.

TIPS FOR TRAVELING WITH CHILDREN

Before You Go:

1. Choose a destination that 'fits' your family. If it's your first time traveling with children, going to a place that is particularly kid-friendly will make the trip more enjoyable for everyone. A few of these places include France, Italy, Canada, Mexico, Costa Rica, and New Zealand.

2. Involving your children in the plans will keep them interested in the trip. Before going, help to stimulate the interests of your children by inviting friends over who can tell stories about the places they've been and the places you are going, buy a map of your future destination and get older children to mark where they would like to go and get a picture dictionary on the language of your destination.

3. Keep your kids in mind when choosing place to stay. Playgrounds, kids clubs and swimming pools are definitely a plus.

4. When traveling to unknown places with unknown food, try to introduce the food to your children before you leave. This will help them adapt more easily to their new surroundings.

5. When packing, be sure to include personal eating utensils to help ensure proper sanitation, and brightly colored clothing so your children can be easily spotted in a crowd.

On the Road:

6. Try to adjust to the time zone change as quickly as possible. Naps for the children are ok, but hold off on bedtime rituals until it is the proper bedtime in your new destination.

7. If your children suddenly become more dependent on you when you arrive, don't force them to adjust right away. Be caring and comforting and be decisive with your travel plans and situations.

8. Traveling with your child can open up possibilities that you could not otherwise experience. In many places, children attract attention from the locals, which allows for more interaction with the locals.

9. A great place for your children to enjoy contact with local children is the beach, where they can play loud and boisterous games without having to speak the language.

10. Get your kids to record the trip. Take a glue stick to paste in journals what children collect along the way, blog the trip together online or start a project book for drawings, maps, and stories of travels.

About the book:
Lonely Planet has assembled a team a parent-authors to offer their best ideas and advice about every aspect of traveling with kids, from planning to packing to getting along on the road (and what to do when things go wrong), in the fifth edition of Travel with Children, published July 2009. Fully revised and redesigned, this new edition of Travel with Children features: tips on choosing the right kind of trip for your family, how to stay healthy and keep safe by a medical expert, how to keep the kids happy during your vacation, special advice for solo parents and parents with teenagers, and real-life traveler's tales of families on the road. The 288 full color pages also include hundreds of ideas for where to stay and what to do in the world's best family-friendly destinations like Sayulita, Mexico or Vancouver, Canada.

The book features:

Tips on choosing the right kind of trip for your family
Details on all kinds of vacations, from Activity & Adventure Holidays to Package Holidays & Resorts along with information on living abroad and long-term travel.

How to stay healthy and keep safe by a medical expert
A run-down of common immunizations, what you should bring with you in a first-aid kit, and travel related health issues.

How to keep them happy
Games to make long trips easier, how to create a child-friendly itinerary, and dealing with your child's 'culture shock'.

Special advice for solo parents and parents with teenagers
Each situation has its own set of challenges and our authors give practical advice on how to stay sane and create boundaries.

Traveler's Tales
Our authors describe their most memorable family trips - and tell you what worked and what didn't.

Buy the book at Lonely Planet

Buy the book on Amazon: Traveling with Children

About Lonely Planet:
Established in 1973, Lonely Planet is one of the world's leading travel media companies. With operations in Melbourne, London and Oakland, CA, the company employs over 400 staff worldwide. Lonely Planet travel information is available across all media platforms, including travel guides, TV programming, wireless products and an award-winning website. In October 2007, BBC Worldwide acquired a 75% share in Lonely Planet. BBC Worldwide is the primary commercial arm and a wholly owned subsidiary of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). For more information about Lonely Planet, visit our website at www.lonelyplanet.com.

About Brice Gosnell:
Brice Gosnell, Regional Publisher Americas: Brice Gosnell has been in publishing for more than fourteen years, with over ten of those years in travel guide publishing. He was an associate publisher at Frommer's in NYC and is currently the Regional Publisher for the Americas at Lonely Planet Publications, responsible for the publishing strategy and operations of Lonely Planet's Americas office (which is based in the SF Bay Area).


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