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6 Tips for Traveling With Tweens

Once your kids are past building sand castles and ordering from the children's menu, it's tough to get them excited about spending a week or so away from their friends. Lure them back to the fold with these strategies from Suzanne Rowan Kelleher, editor of Wejustgotback.com:

Create a wish list. Let each family member choose the top three things they want to do on the trip. Then include as many as your budget and time allows.

Let them research. When your kids use the Internet to learn about specific destinations, they'll naturally have a greater interest in the trip.

Assign jobs. You might let your tween be the navigator, requiring her to follow a map. Or name her as the trip photographer. "Not only is it empowering, but assigning responsibility naturally engages them," Kelleher says.

Divide and conquer. A tween may want to sleep in while Mom and Dad hit the beach early. Or let your big kid hang on the boardwalk while you shop.

Meet them halfway. Older kids need their space, so consider roomy accommodations like a house or a condo. And don't expect to cut them off from friends. Consent to some limited texting and Facebook time.

Kick it up a notch. Choose one amazing experience that everybody will enjoy and remember -- like zip-lining or whale watching.

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