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The Perfect Vacation

  • Who Else Is Coming Along?

    Everyone's heard horror stories of vacations involving more than one family  -- old friends who've parted bitter enemies because the kids fought the whole time and house rules and routines clashed.

    On the other hand, Catherine Sweeney of Montclair, New Jersey, and her kids, Evan, 6, and Heather, 4, had a wonderful time when they rented a North Carolina cabin with her sister and her two children. "It was the first time I was able to finish a novel since my kids were born," she says. The four children kept one another busy playing, and she and her sister took turns supervising. "The situation worked because we know each other's kids so well," Sweeney says. For an extra hand and a little more free time for the grown-ups, you might consider hiring a babysitter to go along. But keep in mind that you'll be taking care of yet another person.