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Monday, May 23, 2011

Bookshelf Vacation by Jeanna

“Family Vacation” is a not a phrase to be used lightly, as it can dredge up memories either joyful and enduring or horrible and even more enduring.  Being a vacation person myself, and the parent of two children, I have discovered several books and series of books at the library that help turn bad travelers into better travelers and good vacations into great vacations. 

Families with strong interests, like mine, may benefit from specialized travel guides such as “America’s Best Zoos” by Allen Nyhuis and Jon Wassner.  If your family loves unusual things, the “Oddball” guides may interest you.  If you prefer out of the way places to more popular attractions, checkout the “Off the Beaten Path” and the “Rough Guides” series.  For families that enjoy hiking, our library offers “Best Hikes with Children in Colorado” by Maureen Keilty.  This guide includes such critical information as trail length, level of difficulty, wheelchair accessibility and whether or not the trail head has restroom facilities. 

The FamilyFun guides, however, are my personal favorites. Our library owns FamilyFun vacation guides to the Southwest, California and Hawaii.  Other titles may be available for a small charge through Interlibrary Loan.  These guides have everything traveling families might be interested in, along with hints about staving off on-the-road boredom and surviving long airplane flights. 

How did I plan a vacation that included four zoos, a family friendly winery, the most amazing children’s museum ever, a steamboat museum, a nature reserve, a multicultural children’s museum and two caverns?  I used the FamilyFun guide to Missouri.  It led us to many interesting things we would not have found otherwise.  Sometimes, the journey of a thousand miles starts with a trip through the travel guides @ your library.

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