Have kids? Go travel the world, new guide says

Fri Jul 10, 2009 1:14am EDT
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By Miral Fahmy

SINGAPORE (Reuters Life!) - They're probably the most high-maintenance companions any traveler will ever have, but a new guide aims to take the pain out of vacationing with children and giving their parents a break, too.

Lonely Planet has completely revised its "Travel with Children" guidebook, which was first published in 1985, reissuing it this month with a list of kid-friendly destinations and activities, as well as tips to ensure parents stay sane.

Coordinating author Brigitte Barta told Reuters that while people may not be traveling as much, or as far, as they used to due to the global economic crisis, families still need holidays, which, with some planning, can be a great bonding experience.

"There's no doubt that traveling with kids is very different from traveling without them. It's a lot more tiring and demanding, and holidays can be harder work than staying at home. But the benefits of family travel are enormous," Barta said.

"We're all more mobile and more prepared to travel to the other side of the world, even for a couple of weeks' vacation. Seasoned travelers, of which there are now so many, see no reason to stop just because they've had children."

The book features guides to what Lonely Planet believes are the world's 35 most child-friendly countries ranging from the obvious -- Australia and the United States for example -- to places many people wouldn't really consider, such as Syria, Israel and the Palestinian territories.

There is a comprehensive section on how to decide where to go, the types of holidays that would suit different families as well as a games you can play with children on the road.

"Putting lots of effort into planning really helps," Barta says. "But it's also important to approach it all with the spirit of adventure and to build in flexibility so that when things do go wrong, as they inevitably will, you can problem-solve."   Continued...