Fullness of Life: Traveling With Family
There is hardly a more significant activity a family can do than travel together. The benefits are innumerable. It bonds you in activity and adventure. It creates diversity in the necessarily routine everyday life of raising children. It presents the opportunity of unending educational input in the guise of fun and relaxation. The possibilities of where you can go and what you can do are virtually limitless. Here are some ideas.
On the Road
Don't be put off by all the wacky road movies or vacations by car you may have endured in your youth. Taking a road trip with your family is a great way to stay close to the land, explore out-of-the-way places and have unexpected educational opportunities. You just have to be prepared from the very beginning to compensate for the children's needs. This means that you should take it slow, have frequent breaks and avoid over-scheduling. A frantic imperative to get from one place to the other, even if the places are hundreds of miles apart, has ruined many family road vacations. On the road, often far more time is spent traveling than at your destination, which makes enjoying yourself along the way of utmost importance. Be sure to carry the supplies you need, which include plenty of snacks, drinks that do not easily spill, games, well-charged electronic devices, and toys and books in individual backpacks. Plan for frequent and prolonged pauses, and stop for the day by late afternoon, preferably in a campground with playground facilities or a motel with a pool.
In the Air
Air travel with kids is a little more complicated but no less enjoyable. Before you start, remember that if you are traveling abroad, every child needs an individual passport. Be aware of any special considerations for children while going through security. For example, certain regulations are waived for children when boarding aircraft. Kids under 12 do not have to take off their shoes, and baby formula and other necessary liquids are allowed on board despite the strict rules for liquids on flights. Let your children expend excess energy by hopping around and exploring the airport before boarding, as once they are seated, they are in for a long period of time during which they need to be fairly sedate. The thrill of taking off and being in the air usually suffices to hold young attentions at the start, but after settling in for a long flight, be ready with some entertainment such as toys, books and electronic devices to help the time pass.
To take your family to Europe for a holiday might at first seem a far-fetched idea, but in fact it is surprisingly within the realm of possibility if you plan ahead. There are endless choices for destinations with wondrous new sights and educational opportunities, such as Rome, London, Paris and Madrid. If you plan your trip for shoulder seasons such as spring or fall, online booking agencies can help you find economical airfares. Many international airlines offer discount fares for children. Accommodation is also less expensive during these times, and there are many budget alternatives to luxury hotels, including bed-and-breakfasts, farms, hostels, campgrounds and home swaps. The thrill of European cities is that there is so much history and diversity all around that simply strolling along a street or hanging out at a piazza is like being at a theme park. In addition, there are multitudes of castles, museums and other attractions to explore.
Education Wrapped in Fun
For unforgettable adventures and lasting memories, nothing beats traveling together as a family. If you have a lot of time and an adequate budget, you can globetrot on a loose schedule, but if you remain in the United States there are endless possibilities as well. For example, Alaska is a great place for fly fishing vacations. Imagine the thrill of sharing such exhilarating and fulfilling outdoor activities with your children.
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