It is utterly miserable in Seattle today. It’s April and it snowed. It’s grey from horizon to horizon and even my thirsty garden is starting to appear sodden. So I’m glad I have a copy of the National Geographic 10 Best of Everything Families book to distract me – and my kids. It’s full of great information tailored for families with travel plans anywhere in the U.S. (There is a short section on traveling internationally, but frankly, 20 pages is barely enough to do justice to one country, not mind five continents – and Canada??).
For families traveling with younger children, the listings of parks and playgrounds and ice-cream stores for each and every region in the U.S. are invaluable. Since my children are in grade-school, I know I’ll be checking out the information in the sections on “Getting Away Together” and “Traveling to Learn” for ideas on camps and classes which we could take together or just areas of natural beauty which we can visit and experience together.
When we traveled in Italy this past summer, I found that this list format in guidebooks worked really well in getting my children involved in travel planning. If I put this book neatly in a bookshelf, my kids won’t even notice it. So, I’ll be leaving it perched on the end of a sofa betting that just because it’s strewn around it’ll be picked up and perused. I’m really curious to find out what things they pick out from the many lists of places and activities: will they want me to take them to New England or maybe finally agree to hike in the Hoh Rain Forest? I’ll have to wait and see.