Sunday, May 28, 2006

Happy Kids, Happy Trip

From the Milwaukee JournalSentinal
Experts suggest getting children involved in decisions

Sweaty limbs, back-seat battles, sandwiches smooshed in wax paper - ahh the family car trip! It's this and so much more.

Or less, if you play it right.
For most families, a road trip is a fact of life when the weather warms. And this year's trip is still on, despite high gasoline prices, according to Pam Moen of AAA Wisconsin.
"Their travel is important and a lot of families maybe plan one big trip a year," she says. "Everybody looks forward to that, and it's a big deal, and they're going to continue with those plans despite the higher gas prices."
In fact, a survey in January by the Travel Industry Association of America showed that 81% of Americans who were planning a summer trip had already started thinking about it in January.
And despite the price of gas, a car trip remains a very economical way to travel, according to Jamie Jensen, author of the "Road Trip" series of off-the-beaten-path car travel guides. The latest, "Road Trip USA" (Avalon Travel Publishing, $25), came out at the end of April.
Gas prices have been going up for a while, he notes. "People got used to spending money," he said. "Now, it doesn't seem to be much of a factor. It's still a pretty efficient way to get around."

If the budget gets tight, families change the destination to someplace closer to home, packing more lunches and scoping out better deals in hotels.

"It's about families being together and creating memories," Moen said. "And people find a way to do that."

With help from Jensen, Lynn O'Rourke Hayes, editor of, and mapmakers Rand McNally (, here are practical tips that will make life on the road better for everyone:


Saturday, May 27, 2006

Toddler Travel

This morning I did an interview with ABC 15 in Phoenix about cool things you can do with your toddlers. Traveling with young children can be challenging. But in the end it makes for mostly wonderful memories.

One tip: Yes we need to bring a change of clothes for the wee ones. But it never hurts to carry our own extra ensemble. I was reminded this morning of the trip I took many years ago when my son Ben was a toddler. He got sick just as we were boarding our flight. I had a change of clothing for him. But not for myself. We were not a popular pair on board the cross-country flight!

Friday, May 26, 2006

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Happy Memorial Day!