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Here Are Some Tips To Maximize Your Family Travel Experience
Travel is a learning experience. It's a field trip without the rest of the class! Here are some tips to maximize your family travel experience:
This is a great way for them to record the trip. If they are on the young side, encourage them by suggesting things to record like the weather, modes of transportation they traveled on, food they liked, things they enjoyed & the parts of the trip that bugged them. Writing in a journal is a great way to pass travel time in airports, on trains, or in museums sitting on a bench waiting for mom & dad. It is also great for them to have a journal to sketch with in museums.
Looking back through travel journals as a family is great entertainment--
2. Encourage your children to learn the basic language of whatever country they are traveling in.
By this, I mean the type of language needed to get through a meal--please, thank you, excuse me, hello, goodbye, good morning, good day, good night, etc. It impresses on children the importance of good manners and respect for the people whose country they are guests in. Invest in a small pocket "phrase book" in whatever language you will need. Assign this to one of the children to carry & help out with at meals, etc. This is fun (like finding clues!) and helps them learn the importance of being proactive in their travels.
3. Have a family "photographer"
Invest in an inexpensive digital camera before you travel and assign it to one or all of the kids. This is a great way to record the trip, and not have to stress about film development & "stupid" pictures. Every photo is a thrill for your child, and he/she can delete it later once they see that it is sort of "boring" or out of focus. (This is also a way to ensure that you are actually in some pictures!)
4. Pack a deck of cards or small magnetic board travel games.
Traveling has lots of down time, and quiet moments of family time without television. These times highlight our trips and make us appreciate the family the most.
5. Pack books (paperback if possible!)
Read aloud if your children are small, or books that are age appropriate as they get older. If you can find good books that take place where you are traveling, even better!
6. Pack plenty of AA batteries for Walkman & cameras.
These items are very costly abroad, and essential if you have teenagers who like their space via headphones.
7. Rent an apartment instead of a hotel.
Apartment or home rentals are available wherever you can find a hotel. It is our experience that these rentals are for the most part cheaper than hotels and provide the family much more flexibility and privacy. Apartments provide separate bedrooms, a kitchen, and sometimes laundry facilities. They also provide anonymity that hotels cannot provide. With your own apartment you have the ability to eat a meal at home if you choose. If you have finicky eaters (or vegetarians)
Check the internet for apartment rentals in the destination you are traveling in. We like the web site www.kidsonthecape.com (vacation rentals by owner) and have had great success with our rentals.
8. Pack plenty of patience & a good sense of humor
Family travel, like family life, has highs and lows. It takes a few days for the family to adjust to 100% family time without friends, TV & other distractions. Focus on each other with love & appreciation. Once you get into the family "groove" it will be smooth sailing. Bon Voyage!
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Kids on the cape provides info on Cape Cod activities Cape Cod kids. We are offering the best lodgings, Cape Cod hotels, dining Cape Cod, resorts.