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Archive for Sunday, July 23, 2006

Q & A with Emily Kaufman

July 23, 2006

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Emily Kaufman has dubbed herself "The Travel Mom."

She's the author of "The Ultimate Book of Family Travel" and makes frequent appearances to give suggestions for traveling with families.

Here are some of her suggestions for multigenerational vacations.

Q. Why are more families trying multigenerational vacations?

A. There are a number of reasons for this, such as grandparents are much younger and more adventurous today than they were generations ago. Another reason is that families have physically moved across the country for different reasons and vacations are an opportunity to get together as a family. Also, after 9-11, we saw a real trend of families wanting to spend more quality time together.

Q. What types of vacations lend themselves to having grandma, grandpa, the kids and grandkids all there?

A. It is important to pick a vacation destination that really, truly offers something for every member of the family, and there are so many to pick from. Resort communities like Sandestine, Fla., or Walt Disney World lend themselves to these types of trips. Cruises are a perfect vacation for a multigeneration trip, too. Condos or rentals like Marriott Vacation Club properties are good for extended families because they offer a meeting spot and the opportunity for informal meals.

Q. What doesn't work?

A. Things like sightseeing and other trips that require a lot of planning and transportation are not ideal.

Q. What tips would you give to people who are planning this type of vacation?

A. It is very important to schedule down time for your individual family on a trip like this, to enjoy activities that suit you. 24/7 togetherness with anyone is not a great idea. You can also take advantage of the free, built-in baby-sitters and enjoy some adult time for Mom and Dad. It is also important for everyone to be clear about their time expectations before the trip takes place so no one feels disappointed once they arrive."

Q. How should you handle the money issue?

A. The budget needs to be set ahead of time, and if anyone chooses to participate in extra activities that are not on the itinerary, it is the individual's responsibility.

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