• How to Inspire Thankfulness in Kids

    How to Inspire Thankfulness in Kids

Featured Posts

Dinner's Done, Now What? -  Ideas for Post-Thanksgiving Family Fun

Dinner's Done, Now What? - Ideas for Post-Thanksgiving Family Fun

After all the hours of prep work that go into Thanksgiving dinner, it seems as if it's gobbled up in no time flat. Now what? Here are a bunch of ideas for the entire family to enjoy after the big fe . . .

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10 Places to Buy Holiday Pies

10 Places to Buy Holiday Pies

If you don’t have the time (or desire) to make your own pies this holiday season, pick them up at one of these local favorite pie shops. Crafted Baked Goods2820 Historic Decatur Rd (Liberty Publi . . .

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Fun Family Board Games

Fun Family Board Games

Family Board Games! Check out these fun games for kids of all ages. Elmo's World Hide & Seek$19.99; 6 months+Amazon.comYour best friend is hiding somewhere around the house – but Elmo won . . .

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San Diego Family's 2017 Holiday Toy Review

San Diego Family's 2017 Holiday Toy Review

The San Diego Family Holiday Toy Review-2017 is here! Stumped for ideas on the perfect present to tuck under the tree or surprise your kiddos with this holiday season? Look no further than San Die . . .

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How to Have a Charlie Brown Thanksgiving

How to Have a Charlie Brown Thanksgiving

A celebration the kids will never forget!Make the kids’ table the best one in the house by celebrating like the Peanuts Gang in the popular movie, A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving. With Charlie Brown . . .

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Thanksgiving Roundup!

Thanksgiving Roundup!

Celebrate Thanksgiving with family-friendly events and activities, festive crafts, fall recipes and more in our Thanksgiving Round-up! You'll even find Winter Break Camps in San Diego! Quick links: . . .

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Happy family means happy travelers.

Per a recent AAA survey, more than a third of Americans plan to take a family trip this year. As the holidays approach, family travel takes on added significance, with parents taking kids across state lines and national borders to visit family and friends. According to AAA, nearly 70 percent of family trips are road trips—likely as a result of lower fuel costs in recent months—but whether families reach their destinations by plane, train, or auto, traveling with children can present a host of unique challenges. Here’s an age-by-age guide of how to keep family travel a happy experience for all.

Look Ahead (ages 0–5)
Toddlers and preschoolers may seem too young to involve in trip preparations, but leaving tots out of travel planning can be an oversight, says travel agent R. D. Gavel. Children as young as 2 can share in the joy of anticipating a family trip. “Anticipation is a wonderful way to extend the pleasure of your vacation,” she says. “Watch a DVD or video clip about your destination and talk about what you might do and see there.” For children 3 and up, make a calendar and mark off the days until you leave.

Ask your child for ideas about activities to help occupy travel time; preschoolers can pick out picture books, coloring supplies, small activities and snacks, and help pack a small travel bag for the plane or car. Anticipating a family trip helps build excitement while teaching the importance of waiting for something desirable—a skill that pays off down the (literal and figurative) road.

Schedule Savvy (ages 6–12)
School-age children can be fantastic travel companions: No longer in need of car seats, strollers or special accommodations in restaurants, tweens are old enough to travel more easily than their younger counterparts, yet still young enough to appreciate the wonder and discovery of a trip.

But don’t give in to the temptation of over-scheduling a family trip with school-age kids, says Gavel.
“It's no fun traveling with cranky, bored children, or irritable, exhausted parents,” she notes. When planning your trip, leave plenty of time for rest and running around, and make “educational” segments of the trip stimulating and brief.

Once you arrive at your destination, having one to two activities planned for each day helps head off “What are we going to do today?” questions, says travel agent Jane Borman. For multi-generational family trips, a flexible, multi-faceted agenda can work for the whole brood. Scheduling a group activity every other day and allowing some daily downtime for rest or exploration helps ensure a happy trip for all.  

Tech Talk (ages 13­–18)
There’s no way around it: Your wired teen will likely be attached to a device for much of the trip, checking in with social media and staying connected to friends back home. Instead of fighting a teen’s tendency to plug in, take advantage of their tech savvy by appointing your teen the family’s digital historian. Put him in charge of documenting the trip by snapping photos and taking videos; a teen with a flair for digital media can prepare a simple iMovie to commemorate your trip, share a slideshow on Facebook, or upload a video collage to YouTube to share with extended family online.

But you want your teen to make some memories, not just capture them, says Gavel. Reflection, or looking back at the trip, is one of the most valuable aspects of travel, she says; “The actual trip is the briefest part of the whole experience!” So don’t be afraid to designate unplugged time each day to ensure that your teen engages with family members, and not just a screen. Striking a balance between personal time and family time helps foster travel memories to last a lifetime, both on-screen and off.


Malia Jacobson is an award-winning health and parenting journalist and mom of three.

Published December 2016

 

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