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Monday, June 11, 2012

Happy Trails

Are you a go-to-the-same-place-every-year vacationer or try-something-new-every-year vacationer?

My family is try-something-new-almost-every-year vacationers. We aren't heavy adventurers, but we do like to explore and immerse ourselves into different areas. It seems that the vacations we enjoy the most are the ones where we are a little more physically active and less touristy. Here are some ideas from things we have learned:

* We have outgrown this bike now, but our Tandem Family Traveler bike allowed our youngest to bike along with the rest of the family when we hit riding trails. With this bike we have hit local areas in Louisville, great riding trails in Ohio, and we even drove to Cape Cod several years ago, touting bikes and bicycled along the Atlantic coastline. For riding trails that are very family friendly and also not steep -- check out
  • Consider renting a home instead of staying in a hotel. We often rent homes from people who live in the area we are visiting, and it adds to the experience by allowing you to be more immersed in the area versus a tourist location. or 
  • State parks are a great resource, and signing up for educational free events at the local parks where you are staying helps you and your children learn about the area and have a great time. From catching creatures in a swampy area of Florida to a boat ride guided by a marine biologist — this has brought great fun to our family travels.
  • If you are driving a long distance, consider having a rest stop at a library. We have gone off the beaten interstate trek for a stop at a local library and a local park. For small children, I think it allows legs to stretch, keeps everyone unstimulated, and is a refreshing break instead of a fast-food local.
  • Stay open to the possibilities. It seems that most of you all plan way in advance for vacations. I think that is great, but in our family, we may get the dates scheduled but have no actual plans made. There has been at least one vacation where we have packed and left our house, stopped at the end of the road and said — North – South – East or West? And we took it from there. It turned out that we had just as much fun discovering our journey as we went.
  • Consider shutting off the videos and game controllers for some recorded books. Your whole family can listen together and can discuss it instead of everyone being in their own little world. If your trip is long, you can combine "alone entertainment" and "together entertainment" to change things up as you go along. The library has free rentals for many family friendly books.
Anita Oldham
Editor of Today's Family magazine

Photo Source: CORBIS

1 comment:

  1. We highly recommend the Harry Potter series on CD's. They're long enough to get you there and back, involving enough to keep your attention, even better on the 2nd go-round (or 15th!), and if you never read them, here's your chance to see what all the fuss was about.

    My family listened to #3 for the first time on a trip, and I clearly remember hurrying through a rest stop so as not to miss anything! Silly me: the CD remembers our place!

    Oh, and reader/narrator Jim Dale should be in charge of the world.


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