Hauling the kids along on a trip can be fun, and it doesn't have to mean

spending your entire vacation with Minnie Mouse at Disneyland or feed-

ing lambs in a children's zoo. My own children look back fondly on the

travel adventures they've had over the years, from wandering through

Roman ruins to emergency surgery in an Icelandic fishing port.

The basic rules for traveling with children are:


• Strike a balance between your wants and theirs. You want

to see the cathedral; they want to visit the playground. Make it

clear that (b) is contingent on (a), but also remember that

young children don't have unlimited attention spans. (Trans-

lation: Skip the 45-minute guided tour and explore at your

own pace.)

Have a touring base. If your children know there's a familiar

hotel, condo, or cottage waiting at the end of the day, they'll feel

less uprooted and edgy while sightseeing.

• Don't cram too much into your schedule. Your kids know

instinctively that an exhausting pace is no guarantee of a happy

vacation. Learn from them.

• Know when to outsource. At some point, you'll want to park

your kids with a babysitter or entrust them to a resort activity

program. Don't feel guilty—just do it, even if it costs you $10 an



Don't take my word for any of this—instead, get advice from an

expert at:

Travel with Kids

Teresa Plowright has hauled her children along on Tunisian rug-

buying expeditions and traveled in Nepal while pregnant. Her Web

site offers tips on everything from family ecotours in Costa Rica to

haunted houses and witches' haunts.