Travel

Planning the perfect family vacation

By Mark Winter
Info Guru, Catalogs.com

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Family oriented all inclusive vacation resorts provide vacations with activities tailored for the whole family.
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It's easy to plan the perfect family vacation

A family all inclusive resort hotel features entertainment, activities, and dining, for all members of the family. Many all inclusive family resorts include children's clubs and activities targeted to different age groups from infants to teenagers. These resorts make planning the perfect family vacation a snap. Everything is done for you.

Some all inclusive resorts for the family provide vacation nannies, supervised day-care, and/or babysitting. Others may have a teen disco. Children stay free at some resort hotels. Others offer a deep discount for children. Some can accommodate larger families and allow up to 3 children and 2 adults in a room.

Many all inclusive family resort hotels have adult-only restaurants and areas, children-only and adult-only pools, and water parks. The Internet is your ideal source for information and booking. There are many sites available. And, you'll be pleased at the number of discounted packages available.

An interesting note: There's a new trend online in "get it together" vacations: making it easier to book trips for friends or family members who live in different cities but want to meet up for a holiday. Disney, for example, introduced online booking features about a year ago to help family members and friends converge upon Disney World for some "togethering".

If you decide to take a family trip and not go to one of the all inclusive resorts, keep these things in mind. The leaky diapers, the flat refusals, the tablecloth pulled off at the restaurant... It's true; travel with small kids has its perils.

Yet, years later, family trips are often our best memories of our kids' young years and just may be the most perfect family vacation ever!The years pass quickly, so enjoy your tuime together now.

Seven Essential Tips

1. Prepare. Take lots of snacks, drinks, amusements, (see below) on long plane rides - and, really, everywhere you go. 2. Pace. Don't try to do too much! Schedule one major activity per morning, or afternoon; if all goes well, you can perhaps slip in a second activity. (Don't mention the second activity until you're certain, though - avoid disappointment!) 3. Pacing also means allowing extra time in the day for some down time, and some wild time: kids need rest periods, and they also need to run around and let off some steam. 4. Pre-empt: offer snacks and drinks before kids get too hungry or thirsty. Take a break before they're overtired. 5. Also: watch out for those small but tell-tale signs that your kids need a rest: that change in tone, that particular frown... 6. Patience: and more patience. Patience actually saves time, in the long run: it's far quicker to muster an extra five minutes of patience than to spend fifteen minutes coaxing a three-year-old out of a snit. Remember: even the bad moments of your travels with wee ones will look very precious, once they've grown into large-size kids! 7. And perhaps most important of all: Play. Have fun with your kids!

How to Survive Plane Rides With Kids:

Rich parents, poor parents, young, old, strict, slack: all are united in dreading long plane rides with babies and toddlers. Relax: it probably won't be as bad as you fear. Preparation, however, is key when planning the perfect family vacation requires air travel.

1. Bring plenty of snacks and juice boxes: it may be a long time before the flight attendants can bring food or drinks. 2. For bottle-feeding babies, bring ready-made formula (small size), or powdered formula and bottled water. 3. Bring three more diapers than you think you'll need. And zip-loc bags for any soiled clothes. 4. Bring baby-wipes even with older kids, to clean up dribbles down shirt-fronts, spills, etc. 5. For babies, bring several changes of clothes, and extra clothes for yourself if possible ( - the worst can happen). 6. An extra t-shirt for older kids can come in handy too - seems to be easy to spill drinks on planes. 7. Keep your stroller until the last possible moment (usually right until you board the plane): if your flight is delayed, your child can sleep in the stroller. Umbrella strollers are handiest. 8. With toddlers, expect to spend a lot of time walking your child up and down the aisles on the plane! 9. Bring along some plastic food containers, to keep half-eaten or untouched meals for later - kids are often fast asleep when meals were served. Bring closable drink containers too. 10. Take plenty of amusements: inexpensive novelties - in three layers of wrapping - work wonders. (See list of "stuff to bring on trips" below.) 11. With tiny kids, expect to spend pretty much every minute taking care of them. Forget that in-flight movie; you can watch it when they're nine or older. (Sheer luxury.) 12. If you need water or juice for your small child, don't hesitate to walk to the kitchen area and nicely request it. 13. Don't give out your loot (treats, toys, etc.) too soon! Make sure to hold back enough surprises to last the whole trip. 14. To avoid ear pressure problems, have babies either nurse, or suck their bottles during takeoffs and landings; small kids can suck on a candy or chew gum.

Which ever route you choose—by land, sea or air—planning the perfect family vacation will be far easier for you if you turn to the Internet for ideas, travel packages and the lowest prices available. Whatever you do, it would be wise to plan and book your reservations early.

Have a wonderful time!

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