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Vacation travel helps bring family together

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We read frequently about the decline of family values and how little time family members actually spend with each other. One thing that can reduce that trend is the family vacation. I get to hear people's stories quite often, and know that successful family vacations can provide a lifetime of memories and learning experiences.

Successful does not always mean smooth. Success seems to come through sharing experiences with the right attitudes. One way to encourage that attitude is to involve everyone in the planning. Let everyone express their opinion about how they would like to spend their vacation, and value their opinion.

If you have a wide variety of ages and interests, you'll have to take turns. If your 6-year-old wants to go to an amusement park, and your 13-year-old wants to see a professional baseball game, you can probably work that out in the same trip, giving everyone their special day. But if one person wants to camp in the Rockies and another wants to go to New York City, you will have to do some long-range planning and take turns by year.

Include everyone in other phases of vacation planning, such as budgets and logistics how will we get from here to there, etc. If everyone understands how much goes into a trip, and how much you have to depend on factors you have no control over, they will, it is hoped, be more tolerant if you run into hitches. Some of the best shared laughs have come from solving problems together, redefining your idea of "luxury car," etc.

Once you've determined a destination, request brochures and information from the area. Libraries, tourist boards, and your travel agent are good sources. Make sure you know the hours of museums, zoos, shows and special events that you want to visit, and order tickets in advance if possible.

Consider everyone's own time clock. If your child is at his best in the morning, don't start a hike in the afternoon. Under-plan your day to allow for flexibility build in time for meals, souvenir shopping and unexpected pleasures.

Experience with your family members. Ask open-ended questions. Listen to your child's or parents' interpretation. Keep a journal about the places you visit collect postcards, ticket stubs, etc., and prepare a scrapbook when you return home so that you can relive your trip.

Washington, D.C., is a favorite of all ages. One thing that impresses children is the office of the FBI in the J. Edgar Hoover Building. There is a gallery of famous villains, exhibits on crime and crime detection, and unusual firearms.

The National Air and Space Museum exhibits a rock from the moon[[In-content Ad]]

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