Monday, July 13, 2015

Travel With Children (Lonely Planet)

From tots to teens, from Vegas to Vietnam, this practical book is an inspiration for every parent. With vital pre-departure advice from Lonely Planet authors and readers your family will be the best traveling companions you'll ever have. Discover how travel can be the greatest education as your kids explore different cultures, meet local famillies and answer the age-old riddle, 'Are we there yet?'

•Advice on breastfeeding, pregnant travel and on-the-road health
•Useful information on packing, planning and preparing for your trip
•Detailed country profiles with the best in kid-friendly sights
•Vital pre-planning information for weekends away or long hauls
•Travel games to amuse for hours
•Foreward by Lonely Planet's Maureen Wheeler

If you think children and travel are mutually exclusive, Travel with Children is here to prove you wrong. Author Maureen Wheeler had been circumnavigating the globe for years in the company of her husband and saw no reason to stop once their two children came along. Her book was written in response to the many parents who wondered if they should postpone travel until their kids were older. Absolutely not, Wheeler says; for every drawback to travel with kids (and there are many), there are also numerous benefits. Parenting is, after all, a universal experience, and children can open many doors to foreign cultures. This third edition of Travel with Children includes Maureen Wheeler's practical guide to everything from getting ready to getting wherever you're going, as well as travel stories from readers, other Lonely Planet staffers, and even the Wheelers' well-traveled children, Kieran and Tashi.

So, if you have a yen to travel, don't worry about farming the kids out to grandma--arm yourself with Maureen Wheeler's Travel with Children and take them along. Think of the stories you'll have to tell the grandchildren.

…Lonely Planet, the intrepid traveler's bible...' --Los Angeles Times, April 2005

Most helpful customer reviews

65 of 68 people found the following review helpful.
4I'm quite fond of this book...
By A Customer
I'm quite fond of this book; in particular, I have found myself with an "Ah Hah!" level reaction on most pages, as a tip or bit of travel advice finds a home. If you are traveling with kids, this book will help.
The book is divided roughly into two sections:
The first is general travel advice for parents with kids, broken down into chapters like "planning" (sub-headings include "Costs and "What to do about School"), "On the Road" ("Toilets", "Laundry" and "Single-Parent Families") and "Health" ("If Your Child Falls Ill" and "After You Get Back").
The second half of the book is destination-specific advice for traveling with your kids, ranging from the popular (London, Paris, Rome) to the obscure (Bhutan, Bangladesh and Kashmir).
Let's tackle the first half, general advice, first.
The travel advice here is general in the sense it applies to anywhere in the world you'd like to take your children. Most tips are sorted out as applying to babies ("portable and easy to entertain [but] require a lot of equipment"), toddlers, older children and teenagers ("how many 'temple days' in exchange for how many beach days").
The regular, important things are covered, such as passports and visas. You also get some been-there, parented-there, done-that advice, such as a suggestion to bring along baby's pillow case or cotton sheet, for comfort in a strange bed. There is also some very nice cultural advice, such as thoughts on how to react to your children's discovery that not everyone speaks English, or that their fourth grade English is better than the Brazilian (adult) bus driver's.
Advice is offered on strolling the neighborhood near where you stay, locating the post office and the dry cleaners, to make a new place seem more like somewhere you now know. Parents are advised to watch their own interactions ("Damn buses in this dump are always late!"), so as not to leave the wrong impression on the kids. Why spend the time and money to travel if you only end up wishing you were home? Our kids watch us closely for clues on how to think and act, even more so in an unfamiliar place, and we can negate the benefits of travel with a misplaced remark, perhaps unaware that despite the treasures of Rome around your family, the kids still see you as the most influential statue within view.
Of particular value are other parents' comments, short one liners scattered throughout the text. Also enjoyable are longer, page-length essays, by parents called "travelers' tales." These document travel successes and failures by other Moms and Dads, in hope that you'll learn from both.
Finally, you get a section on health that covers the Big Three kids' health issues on the go: earaches on the plane, diarrhea everywhere else and cleanliness and safety to fight off Number 2. Most of the advice here will not surprise parents who have successfully raised one child and are now traveling with two or more, but first-time parents will want to slow down and read carefully. There's a short section on "alternative health", stuff like lavender oil for bug bites that you will either find fascinating or weird depending on your mental latitudes.
Turning to the second half of the book, you'll find one or two page parental postcards for a gazillion cities and countries worldwide (think you don't know some of the cities when CNN does the international weather? Try this book.). For most locations you get a thumbnail description of why you'd want to go there, a section on "wild things" that is mostly about zoos, a couple of suggestions under the header "interesting and educational", crucial info on the prevailing attitudes there toward children in general, and a hint at the local view of nursing in public. Many sections also include a couple of age-specific books or movies to look over before traveling to get the kids ready.
For example, for Brussels, you learn of cool iguanodon skeletons on display at the Science Museum, plus a museum full of surrealist paintings school age kids would find, well, perhaps surreal. You're also directed to the famous statue of the little boy going pee-pee in the same sentence that a noted comic and cartoon museum is mentioned.
For Cairo you learn about a huge water park to visit, while for Tunisia it is a camel safari into the desert to see where some of the movie "Stars Wars" was filmed.
It is not a criticism to state that a page or two in this book about an entire city (or country) is not enough-the purpose here is to flag interesting things to do with your kids that might be mentioned in other, "proper" guidebooks, but which you might not immediately connect to. In other words, the book assumes you'll find your way to the Pyramids while in Egypt, but might miss the excellent water park that will offer the children a chance to break the heat and you perhaps to exchange nervous smiles with local parents as your sons go off the highest diving board together screaming "Watch me Mom!" in various languages. That's the real point of family travel, creating those memories and allowing you all to see a new place in a familiar way.
I recommend this book for anyone traveling abroad with their kids. (...) let this book help and inspire you and your children to wring all that's to be wrung out of a trip abroad. There's magic out there if you know how to grab it.

27 of 27 people found the following review helpful.
By A Customer
Having used travel guides by the publisher in the past, I had high expectations. Unfortunately, the sections regarding travel advice and tips only encompassed pp. 1-63 and most of the tips were most basic common-sense advice. More egregiously, I would caution against the new age health tips on pp. 55-57 for children (without identifying the appropriate ages) and which seem dangerous in any event. It was this section which prompted me to toss down the book. The remainder, pp. 65-262, consists of extremely general "to do"s in various parts of the world, For example, some countries/regions were covered and others not, with little rhyme or reason. The information provided was too general to be useful and too much of a rush to cover different regions to really provide any comprehensive suggestions or guidance. Having bought the book on the strengh of the Lonely Planet reputation, I was very disappointed.

61 of 67 people found the following review helpful.
By A Customer
I had high hopes. But this book does not deliver. First, it's a kind-of guide for parents traveling with VERY young children. Second, it offers only the most basic common-sense advice: "Don't drink the tap water in India" kind of thing. There is a book to be written on this subject but this is not it.

See all 11 customer reviews...

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