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Family Travel Tips

You've heard the old saying, "The family that prays together, stays together." The same is true for the family that travels together. Traveling can bring a family together in a way that nothing else can, creating powerful bonds between siblings and between parents and their children.

Whether the family takes a road trip by car or bus, go by train, take a cruise, or fly to their vacation destination, the main theme of the trip should be "spending quality time together." A travel vacation should be planned carefully and everyone should have some input. Children should be made to feel that they are included in the planning process and their opinions should be acknowledged in a way that makes them feel that they are important.

Traveling together, if planned in a way to maximize fun and relaxation while minimizing stress and chaos, can be a very rewarding and memorable experience. The memories that are created will be precious and the whole family will cherish them forever.

A road trip can provide the greatest of all quality times for a family, especially if children are disciplined and get along well with each other. Anger and temper tantrums can spoil a road trip faster than anything so some ground rules should be established and discussed well before the trip begins.

You know your children better than anyone. If they are hyper or unruly, a road trip may not be the best bet. You may want to get to your vacation destination as fast as possible. This means flying or taking a short road trip. Who can forget the Simpson's road trip with Bart saying over and over again, "Are we there, yet."

There have been many movies that satirize and poke fun at family travel by car, most notably National Lampoon's Family Vacation. In this movie, a man decides to take his family on a trip across country by car. In essence, the vacation turns into a comedy of errors and mishaps. By the time the movie ends, the audience is left wondering if a road trip is a sane endeavor. Although mishaps can happen, most road trips are pleasant, relaxing, and enjoyable for the whole family.

When you travel with your family, there are some important things that should be kept in mind.

  • You may have to carry a car seat if you have an infant or small children.
  • If you are going to be doing a lot of walking, you will definitely need a stroller for infants and smaller children.
  • Make sure you pack prescription medicines for those who may need them.
  • Always have some sort of identification on your children in case they get lost.
  • If you are traveling out of the country, make sure that everyone has their passport. If vaccinations are necessary, make sure that everyone has them before the departure date.
  • It is very important to confirm reservations at hotels and for car rentals.
  • Don't forget your airline tickets, cruise itinerary, or any discount coupons that you may have.
  • Leave your travel plans with a family member or a trusted friend or neighbor.

Your family should enjoy an exciting and pleasurable travel experience together and have wonderful memories to fondly talk about for years to come.  

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