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The Art of Traveling with Kids

Matt Villano

The dynamic duo of Bill Richards and E. Ashley Steel seem a lot like me and my wife. The couple has visited more than 40 countries. They’ve got two daughters. They write about their adventures on the road.

Naturally, then, when I heard Richards and Steel had penned a guidebook about family travel, I had to give it a read.

The book, “Family on the Loose: The art of traveling with kids,” rocks.

In many ways, it’s the guidebook I’ve always itched to write. Over the course of about 190 pages, the book takes a comprehensive look at every aspect of family travel, from planning a trip and “sowing the seeds of enthusiasm” in your kids to getting there, seeing the sights, “learning as you go,” and, eventually, coming home.

It includes first-person anecdotes from the family’s travels over the years, as well as practical advice about important issues such as traveling with other families, what to put in a day-bag and tips for nursing on the road.

Personally, I love the epilogue, a short-but-sweet essay on tenets to travel by. (The tenets, ICYW, are never to have guilt about missing something and always to have fun.) I also like the attention Richards and Steel pay in latter chapters to making memories stick, and continuing the wonder of travel back at home (these are two facets of family travel that excite and interest me tremendously).

Perhaps the book’s only flaw is its density; I found the thing so jam-packed with useful information that I burned through two highlighters in the first 160 pages or so.

Still, if you’re looking to expand your knowledge for family trips in 2013, this is the book to buy.

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