Butler County Times Gazette
  • Family Time: 5 steps for planning a great vacation

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  • Tip of the Week
    If you want to take an unforgettable family vacation this year, the idea of planning might seem overwhelming. But travel experts agree that planning ahead and researching your options are important steps to ensure your trip is stress-free and full of fun. Follow these five steps to plan a trip your entire family will love and remember for years to come:
    - Step 1: Make a travel wish list: Kick off your travel planning by talking to all family members about what they'd like to see and do on vacation. Keep it light-hearted and have some fun - chat with your 4-year-old over breakfast or text your teen after school. As you have these conversations, notice commonalities, such as location and experiences.
    - Step 2: Research, research, research: After your initial conversations with your family, it's time to do your research. The Internet has made selecting a travel destination that much easier - or harder because there are so many options. Check out tourism organizations. Look up online hotel and travel reviews - these sites can provide invaluable information for travelers. Many sites even have free online travel planners or visitor's guides.
    - Step 3: Choose a destination for everyone: Perhaps the most important consideration when planning a family vacation is to select a destination that has something for every person in your group.
    - Step 4: Select your ideal accommodations: Whether you're vacationing for a long weekend or multiple weeks, it's important to choose the right accommodations for your family. For example, if you know you'll be at the beach daily, stay at a shore-side resort. If you want to save on eating expenses, look into condos with kitchens. For big groups such as family reunions, consider a beach house that allows everyone to stay in their own room within one shared space.
    - Step 5: Create a fun-filled itinerary: This is a vacation, and while you shouldn't plan out every hour of every day, having a basic itinerary gives direction to your trip and will help your group build excitement prior to your departure.
    - Brandpoint
    Family Movie Night
    “The Wind Rises” Rated: PG-13 Length: 126 minutes Synopsis: An animated film that looks at the life of Jiro Horikoshi, the man who designed Japanese fighter planes during World War II.
    Violence/scary rating: 3 Sexual-content rating: 1.5 Profanity rating: 1.5 Drugs/alcohol rating: 2 Family Time rating: 2.5 This is a rare PG-13 movie that actually seems closer to PG. (Ratings are judged on a five-point scale, with 5 being “bad for kids” and 1 being “fine for kids.”)
    Book Report
    “The Night Before St. Patrick's Day,” by Natasha Wing (author) and Amy Wummer (illustrator) Ages: 5-8 Pages: 32
    Synopsis: Natasha Wing puts an Irish twist on a Christmas classic. It's the night before St. Patrick's Day, and Tim and Maureen are wide awake setting traps to catch a leprechaun! When they wake the next morning to the sound of their dad playing the bagpipes and the smell of their mom cooking green eggs, they're shocked to find that they've actually caught a leprechaun. But will they be able to find his pot of gold? - Grosset & Dunlap
    Page 2 of 2 - Did You Know
    According to a study published in Pediatrics, many of the top noise machines for infants are loud enough that they could cause hearing damage.
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