• How to plan a fantastic vacation for kids

    2012-06-12

    Family travel is a time for fun and relaxation, but it can also be educational and even life-changing. While there are plenty of places for such impactful trips, striking a balance between the easy and engaging can be difficult. Here are a few eye-opening places for children as well as some tips and tricks for a smooth ride.

    Impressing children
    The world is a diverse place, and children can greatly benefit from a little exploration, according to CNN Travel. Between the U.S. and the U.K., there are dozens of places to pique a child's interest.

    CNN recommends the East Coast for a more cosmopolitan experience. Visiting the incomprehensibly massive and bustling New York City can be a milestone in a child's life. Broadway shows, city streets and seas of taxis intercutting one of the world's largest cultural melting pots are sure to dazzle, amaze and prod curiosity. The Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., while much quieter, is no less rich in experience. As the biggest library in the world, it can serve as an important emphasis on the value and wonder of knowledge.

    Further west are some dazzling monumental landscapes, including the Grand Canyon and the scenic drive from Big Sur to San Francisco. The great redwood forests in Northern California can impress upon a child that they are just one part of a larger ecosystem.

    International travel is as valuable as domestic trips, and London is a great counterpart to New York City. There, kids can see a world that's much like the U.S., yet also very different. Ireland and Scotland, meanwhile, are the perfect blend of picturesque scenery and engaging history.

    Give them what they want
    While far and foreign travel can be a dream come true, it can also be a nightmare if not handled correctly. Parents should, of course, take into consideration the age and personality of a child before deciding on any of these locations. Furthermore, parents may want to take a bit of travel advice from their kids.

    A recent report from Conde Nast traveler interviewed the children of Conde Nast editors to see what makes for a great child travel experience. In terms of general planning, the report recommended going somewhere new and exotic to broaden their horizons. However, these enlightening trips shouldn't merely be a class field trip. It was also suggested that parents give their kids a break from non-stop touring, and to never lecture from a guidebook. Instead, parents can make sightseeing into a game. When the tours get tedious, parents can always rely on ice cream.

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