Adventures in Family Travel
John and September Higham took their two kids on a 52-week round-the-world trip. John's memoir, "360 Degrees Longitude," tells the story; we've got his hardest-won wisdom.
Ease kids into travel.
Start with an English-speaking country and slowly introduce your kids to different cultures. Our big trip started in Europe, and then we went to Turkey and Africa.
Let the kids help set the agenda.
Katrina, who was 11 when we set off, chose the Serengeti. Jordan, who was 8, picked the Great Wall of China. The are-we-there-yets disappeared because the kids had become part of the team. Now we always take turns deciding where to spend vacations.
Pack with your kids' interests in mind, but don't bring anything you can't tolerate losing.
Jordan loves reading comic books. We brought paper and pencils so he could create his own. Katrina wanted to show the world to her stuffed animal, Tiger. Unfortunately, Tiger got lost somewhere in China.
Plan one big thing per day. Cultivate serendipity.
Kids don't care if they see every museum or church. We found it best to have one set destination and leave the rest of the day free. That's when you make the best discoveries. While hiking in Zermatt, Switzerland, we stumbled upon a playground above the tree line.
Have a policy for souvenirs.
For every continent, our kids could use their normal allowance to buy one thing, which we shipped home. In each country, they also could keep one of every coin.
Don't forget about your spouse.
Staying in tents and in small hotel rooms with your kids does pose a challenge for consenting adults. My wife and I had to be creative.