Look before you leap.
Whether your dream vacation includes the pyramids of Egypt or the cafés of Paris, any destination can be tailored to include your children, without losing a country’s exotic appeal. There are some incredibly comprehensive websites that offer tips on what to do with kids pretty much anywhere. Check out: travelforkids.com, havekidswilltravel.net and travelwithyourkids.com. If you really want to win over the wee ones to your destination of choice, check out Storybook Travels (Three Rivers Press) by Colleen Dunn Bates, a book that turns kid-lit classics into travel guides (think Harry Potter’s London).
Accommodation is key.
There was a time when finding the cheapest, smallest digs in the coolest part of town was the order of the day. But with kids in tow, do yourselves a favour and spend the extra dough to make it family-friendly. Suites are your best bet, so that when the wee ones have hit the hay, you and your mate can unwind in the living room with a bottle of local vino and some foreign-tongue canoodling. Even better: a kitchenette, especially if your kids have a hard time accepting exotic cuisine.
Make like a boy scout and be prepared.
The holy trinity of Snack, Drink and Toy is essential for any day trip with child, but add the following items to really keep things moving along nicely: baby wipes, children’s pain reliever, sunscreen and a change of clothes for the little one(s).
Do the split.
Don’t be afraid of solo exploring. While your mate entertains the tots back at the hotel, you could be sightseeing and shopping up a storm. In turn, you can do a round of “Old MacDonald” with the kiddies while your loved one catches the latest Broadway smash.
You wouldn’t have dreamed of bringing your folks on your honeymoon in Bali, but now that the kids have arrived, consider a trip avec les parents. Or perhaps a like-minded sibling with kids who’d be happy to share the child care. This can come in handy particularly in the evenings: With your fave babysitters on-board, you and your mate can embark on some local late-night shenanigans, just like the good ol’ days.
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