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Update: Giveaway: The Three-Martini Family Vacation

10/12/2007 at 10:20 AM ET

The_three_martini_family_vacationUpdate:The winners (and their advice) are:

  • Jennifer, who said, "My advice for the perfect family-friendly vacation is to rent a vacation house with another family. That way you can swap babysitting or have girls/guys nights out. We’re doing this with friends in Mexico this winter!"
  • Deidre, who said, "Try not to accomplish too much in one day. Always keep food with you and whenever possible rent a house instead of hotel room. More space and allows the kids to have at least a few normal home cooked meals. Interestingly, I have found a number of houses that worked out to less than a small hotel room in terms of cost."
  • Nicole, who had a lot of tips!
  1. If it’s a long trip, stock up on kid-friendly car activities,like coloring books, puzzle books, small toys, etc. Or, my personalfavorite from traveling with my grandparents every summer: road Bingo!(Using road signs as Bingo spots)
  2. I agree with saving the big trips until the kids are older, likeDisneyland. My mom waited until we were all old enough (and tallenough) to go on all the rides and enjoy the full experience, not justthe "It’s a Small World" one.
  3. There are "family" vacation places and there are "adult" vacationplaces. Don’t assume they can be interchangeable. My bosses went on acruise with their 1-year-old and spent the entire time in the cabinwith him since there was no child care available for children under 5,and kids had to be potty trained before they could go in the pool. Theywere all miserable by the end. Do some research ahead of time to seewhat kind of activities are available for kids and what age range isacceptable.
  4. Incorporate as much interactive activity as possible. Kids do notenjoy walking tours, sightseeing, or any other "grown-up" things. Ifyou’re going to Italy, grab some helado before you see the Vatican. Ifyou’re going to Mexico, schedule a swim with the dolphins. Basically,make it fun!

Exclusively for CBB Readers: If you didn’t win but would still like the book, enter promo code SeanPreston at chroniclebooks.com to receive 30% off and free shipping on your entire order.  Offer expires November 30.

The_three_martini_family_vacationChill the glasses! The author of the wildly successful Three-Martini Playdate is back with more irreverent and useful advice about life with children in The Three-Martini Family Vacation. Wickedly funny essays offer helpful advice on harnessing the energy of toddlers-gone-wild: on vacation, out to dinner, even just when grandmother stops by for a visit. Parents will relearn the art of traveling, socializing, and eating out like adults . . . sometimes with well-behaved children in tow. In dozens of short, kicky chapters like The Self-Sufficient Carry-On: Your Child, Cocktail Parties: Actually for Grown-ups! and The Theme Park Vacation: A Last Resort, Christie Mellor gently reminds parents that family vacations can truly be fun. Cheers to more quality time for grown-ups with kids!

Enter to win one of three copies of The Three-Martini Family Vacationby answering this question:  What’s your advice for planning theperfect kid-friendly getaway? (The giveaway closes October 12th at 9 amEST.)

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Showing 0 comments

leslie on

My tip….build in down /free time. If you have one really busy day, say Disney World, the next Parents need to break and so do the kids.

Mia on

What’s your advice for planning the perfect kid-friendly getaway?

Limit yourself to 2 activities/attractions per day. If possible, 1 before nap and 1 after nap. Keeps the little ones from getting overstressed and overexcited. And if you can, have 1 day/part of the day with nothing planned so if you have to rearrange your schedule or you find something fun that wasn’t in the brochures, you have some flexibility.

Jennifer on

My advice for the perfect family-friendly vacation is to rent a vacation house with another family. That way you can swap babysitting or have girls/guys nights out. We’re doing this with friends in Mexico this winter!

Gabriela on

A perfect family vacation cannot be complete without loads of family :) My sister, Mom & I plan an annual trip to Disney World* The kids are thrilled to be with their cousins and Grandmother* The Adults are thrilled at the option of Epcot where one can enjoy an adult beverage :) We also enjoy making dinner reservations-where Children & Adults can relax! Both children and adults have fun on our trips!!

Maya on

My advice is to not try to jam-pack the vacation with structered activities. Bring things that kids can play with on their own, anywhere, like coloring books, some trucks, etc. We tend to have our kids running from one activity to another all the time, so vacations are a perfect time for everyone to relax.

Beth on

Bloodies for the adults, Benadryl for the kiddies.

Totally kidding. I loved her first book and just trying to keep in the spirit of it!

vd888 on

Don’t cram too many activities in one day… be flexible… plan in advance but try to make vacations relaxing for kids and adults…always have food, water, a variety of activities (and music!) to keep children happy and busy… and one thing I’ve found to be extremely useful is a portable foot massager!

Kelsa on

Portable DVD players are a godsend for ending those “are we there yet” voices from the back seat!

Mamakraft on

My advise. Stay flexible. Don’t try to do everything .. let your kids choose some of the activities. They want your time more than the stuff. Going with another family is a great way to go as well, far less overwhelimg that way.
Have a lot of activities to do for the road and always pack a cooler of good snacks and bring the kids’ potty seat — far easier than trying to go on the side of the road.

MissMissy on

My advice? Actually, I have two pieces:

1. Bring along your child’s favorite snacks and small toys. Novelty wears off quickly, and when your little one has a tummy ache they’re going to want their Cheerios, and not a theme-park hot dog.

2. Be flexible. If you planned to spend two hours at an attraction, be prepared to leave early, or–if the kids are having a really good time and you’re feeling relaxed–scrap the proceeding activity. When my schedule is flexible on vacation (yet still lightly structured) I’m the least stressed.

Colleen on

My advice is to wait until they are older for big, once in a lifetime trips. We are waiting till all of our children are at least 6 to take them to Disney World. I would rather wait and have them remember the memories and be able to walk around without carting diapers, diaper bags, strollers, etc. How much fun can it be when your kid is riding in a stroller looking at people’s butts all day?!

Nikki on

My advice is to not forget the kiddies lovies. Also relax and enjoy instead of trying to do everything.

brannon on

Take grandparents :)

Deidre. on

Try not to accomplish too much in one day. Always keep food with you and whenever possible rent a house instead of hotel room. More space and allows the kids to have at least a few normal home cooked meals. Interestingly, I have found a number of houses that worked out to less than a small hotel room in terms of cost.

nicolie on

1. If it’s a long trip, stock up on kid-friendly car activities, like coloring books, puzzle books, small toys, etc. Or, my personal favorite from traveling with my grandparents every summer: road Bingo! (Using road signs as Bingo spots)

2. I agree with saving the big trips until the kids are older, like Disneyland. My mom waited until we were all old enough (and tall enough) to go on all the rides and enjoy the full experience, not just the “It’s a Small World” one.

3. There are “family” vacation places and there are “adult” vacation places. Don’t assume they can be interchangeable. My bosses went on a cruise with their 1-year-old and spent the entire time in the cabin with him since there was no child care available for children under 5, and kids had to be potty trained before they could go in the pool. They were all miserable by the end. Do some research ahead of time to see what kind of activities are available for kids and what age range is acceptable.

4. Incorporate as much interactive activity as possible. Kids do not enjoy walking tours, sightseeing, or any other “grown-up” things. If you’re going to Italy, grab some helado before you see the Vatican. If you’re going to Mexico, schedule a swim with the dolphins. Basically, make it fun!

Allison Croce on

My best advice, for road trips, are tons of snacks, drinks, and car games. Also, bring along some little chocolates to use as bribes when all else fails.

Caryn on

My advice is to allow plenty of extra time to get places and allow down time. I also suggest doing some research ahead of time for kid-friendly restaurants and kid-friendly activities in the area.

Luke Sky Walker's Mommy *Kristen* on

As the mother of a 3 year old and and almost 2 year old, and a 10 year old step-daughter, we found its essential to plan,plan, plan. EVERYTHING. Plan activites for the car ride, try to figure out how far you can drive in between the need for potty-breaks, diaper changes and breast-feedings, and don’t delay the stop because the children aren’t acting like they need the break, they do!!
Plan activites around naptimes and around normal lunch and dinner times.
Keep the routine the same as at home, with just more fun stuff sprinkled in during the day.
It keep the stress down :)

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