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  Vacationing With the Kids: Tips to Make the Trip a Wonderful Memory
  by Jeanne Duffey for Parent + Family
In This Review

Travel Wise with Children

Take Your Kids to Europe

Around Atlanta with Children

Around Boston with Kids

Shifra Stein's "A Kid's Guide to Kansas City"

The Single Parent Travel Handbook

Traveling with Children

Kidding Around Chicago

Have Kid, Will Travel

More Reviews

So you’ve made up your mind. You’re going to take the kids on a vacation. Good luck. Actually, you don’t need luck. You need tips, ideas and advice on how to make the trip a great time and a wonderful memory.

But, first, you need a sense of humor. And, for that, I recommend a delightful book called “Travel Tips from Harry: A Guide to Family Vacations in the Sun” by Amy Hest.

Harry, a fourth-grader from New York City, and his family vacation in Florida with his Gram and Grampa. Three generations trying to have fun in a cramped condo is tricky, but Harry survives, as does his family.

“Be prepared,” Harry writes to his cousin, Sam, whose family is scheduled for a visit to the condo this summer. “Your mother’s going to wear a bathing suit a lot around the condo. Apart from that, she’s going to act the way she always does. Boss boss boss. .Even though it’s called vacation, she will go by the same old rules. Rules such as, no sweets before dinners. Rules such as, you have to take a shower every single day, even though you’ve spend the last six or nine hours in the pool. . .Well, Sam, the best thing to do when she puts on that flowered bathing cap is pretend you don’t know her.”

Fourth-graders are easy travelers compared to babies. “Go Anywhere Games for Babies” by Jackie Silberg is billed as “the packable, portable book of infant development and bonding.” The spiral-bound book lists 69 games, songs and exercises that keep babies busy in the car, in the air, waiting in line or sitting in a restaurant. These are “down times” for mom and dad, but for infants, they are experiences that teach them about sound, light, color, touch and movement.

“The Penny Whistle Traveling with Kids Book” by Meredith Brokaw and Annie Gilbar is a virtual encyclopedia, a detailed compendium of extremely helpful ideas for every age of child.

Place a “travel jar” in the kitchen earlier in the year and encourage everyone in the family to drop in loose change or money earned from chores. Read your child books from the Springfield-Greene County Libraries about your destination. Give each child a map marked up with the route of your trip. Pack a miniature toiletry kit of travel-size products for each child.

On a car trip, rotate seats on a regular schedule, so everyone gets a turn in the passenger seat. Dress the kids in layers; it’s easier to peel off than add on. Detachable shades on the car windows make for a more comfortable ride. Let the kids pass the time with binoculars—they can view the sights on the way and spot license plates easier.

At the hotel, make rules up-front about the food and beverages in the mini-refrigerator; better yet, ask management to empty it and stock it with your own treats. And don’t even think about staying at a place without a pool.

When sightseeing, outfit the whole family in matching brightly colored hats. Kids, as adults, can only take so many jaunts to museums and art galleries; when they get cranky, it’s time to stop, relax and find a park for them to run, play and romp. The bottom line: be sure to slow down and enjoy the views along the way. You’re on vacation, after all.

Juan Bobo Goes to WorkTravel Wise with Children: 101 Games and Ideas to Make Family Travel Fun for Everyone by Mary Rodgers Bundren
Juan Bobo Goes to WorkTake Your Kids to Europe: How to Travel Safely (and Sanely) in Europe with Your Children by Cynthia W. Harriman
The Legend of the Lady Slipper Around Atlanta with Children: A Guide for Family Activities by Denise Black and Janet Schwartz

The Legend of the Lady Slipper Around Boston with Kids by Lisa Oppenheimer

The Legend of the Lady Slipper Shifra Stein's "A Kid's Guide to Kansas City" by Diana Lambdin Meyer and Kathryn Lutz Dusenbery
The Legend of the Lady Slipper The Single Parent Travel Handbook by Brenda Elwell
The Legend of the Lady Slipper Traveling with Children: How to Keep Your Vacation from Turning into a Nightmare a video featuring Tina Vlerebome
The Legend of the Lady Slipper Kidding Around Chicago: What to Do, Where to Go and How to Have Fun in Chicago by Carolyn Crimi
The Legend of the Lady Slipper Have Kid, Will Travel: 101 Survival Strategies for Vacationing with Babies and Young Children by Claire Tristram


-Jeanne Duffey is Community Relations Director for the Springfield-Greene County Library District.
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