Families with Style: Have Kids, Will Travel

Inside tips from a seasoned (family) traveler

You've had just about enough of the daily grind. Hectic work hours and a grueling routine are wearing you out '- and leaving you little time to relax and enjoy your family. The prescription for what's ailing you? A family vacation. But '- oh, boy '- that means taking the kids. Don't believe that traveling with the kids could actually be relaxing? I can tell you from experience that it can be '- if you prepare correctly.

Because of my own heavy-duty work schedule, I never travel (for pleasure, that is) without my kids. So I've built up an arsenal of tricks that let us all get what we want out of a vacation '- time together, but with activities and accommodations that cater to both adults and kids. For parents of young children, planning a vacation is all in the details: where to stay, what to bring, when to travel. By planning in advance, you'll be able to avoid (most) temper tantrums, and instead be able to have the leisurely, fun and memorable trip your whole family deserves. Here's how I do it.

Choose family-friendly accommodations
Look for a hotel with a great kids' program. And that doesn't mean you have to choose between a place you'll enjoy and a place they'll enjoy. You'll find that many resorts and hotels now offer fun, cool activities for kids that last all day and continue into the evening. In addition, many hotels offer children's menus and even designated children's pools and play areas '- all of which combine to let you have a family vacation where everyone has more fun and less stress.

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