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Travel with Children (Lonely Planet Travel Guides) Paperback – 1 Feb 2002

3.0 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Lonely Planet Publications; 4th Revised edition edition (1 Feb. 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0864427298
  • ISBN-13: 978-0864427298
  • Product Dimensions: 1.9 x 14 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,346,953 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


...Lonely Planet, the intrepid traveler's bible...' --Los Angeles Times, April 2005

Customer Reviews

3.0 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm a fan of the Lonely Planet guides (although generally prefer the 'Rough Guides' format and writing style) and now that we travel independently as a young family thought there might be some useful tips that would help us. Instead, about a third of the book offers advice that is either so obvious its valueless (remember to pack a couple of your children's favourite books and toys - really, I'd never have thought of that!), are too impractical to work (only take two changes of clothes for each child - one to wash, one to wear... her kids must be a lot better behaved than mine, when there's dirt about!), or downright dangerous - a section on travelling when pregnant completely omits to mention the fact that there are no malaria pills that can be taken when pregnant, meaning you have to avoid malarial areas or take the risk.
The second two-thirds of the book is a country-by-country guide to travelling with kids. There are three problems here, one inevitable, two not. The first is space - by tackling pretty much every country, few get more than a page which means advice is pretty sketchy and generally limited to a few words about the capital city. There is no advice on specific hotels or accommodations that are well set up for travellers with kids. It was also dispiriting how few local attactions had been sought ought, generally it was a list of the usual zoos, musueums and commercial playparks, amusement parks or water parks. The final gripe was that the tone was unrelentingly positive, almost as if it was propaganda to make people nervous about travel with kids do it. This is fine up to a point, but there was not one story (the country accounts are interspersed with individual traveller stories about their experiences in different places), that was not totally successful.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Bought this before we travelled around the world for 4 months with our 4 and 2yr old - we went from the UK, USA, Oz, NZ to Malaysisa and Borneo
It really didn't give us anything new we hadn't gained from the general Lonely Planet books.
Of course you have to plan, of course you need to make certain some standard facilities are near by and of course you need to think about safety - but a standard trip to London would prepare you for that.
We found all the countries we visited geared up to travelling with kids, hotels/restaurants would go out of their way on portion size / healthy eating and most countries have officially sanctioned tourist offices - these were especially useful in NZ and Malaysia.
I would recommend this if you've never taken your kids on holiday or you suffer from nerves at the thought of getting on public transport with them. Also, it is another book to carry - and that weight needs to be signicantly valuable!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Is OK. Offers a few thoughts on things an otherwise seasoned traveler might not have thought about but was disappointed it is fairly vague, and the country sections are more anecdotal than concretely useful (with things like paediatric facilities etc being of more interest to me than knowing how another person's trip went). It is also skewed towards the 2 parent family taking short trips which is probably not the target group needing such a support guide (as 2 parents presumably can consult and support one another...) with the only advice for my 'group' being 'consider taking a friend'...
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Format: Paperback
Neat little book which covers a lot of useful information and tips if you haven't travelled independently with children before. The country by country section is useful as it helps you to choose where you want to go if you haven't already decided. Also has some good ideas on days out once you get there and we've discovered some fabulous off the beaten track gems as a result! Also has some great ideas for keeping children amused during long journeys. Totally recommend!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x8fee3480) out of 5 stars 11 reviews
65 of 68 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8ff9bcfc) out of 5 stars I'm quite fond of this book... 9 Dec. 2001
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback
I'm quite fond of this book; in particular, I have found myself with an "Ah Hah!" level reaction on most pages, as a tip or bit of travel advice finds a home. If you are traveling with kids, this book will help.
The book is divided roughly into two sections:
The first is general travel advice for parents with kids, broken down into chapters like "planning" (sub-headings include "Costs and "What to do about School"), "On the Road" ("Toilets", "Laundry" and "Single-Parent Families") and "Health" ("If Your Child Falls Ill" and "After You Get Back").
The second half of the book is destination-specific advice for traveling with your kids, ranging from the popular (London, Paris, Rome) to the obscure (Bhutan, Bangladesh and Kashmir).
Let's tackle the first half, general advice, first.
The travel advice here is general in the sense it applies to anywhere in the world you'd like to take your children. Most tips are sorted out as applying to babies ("portable and easy to entertain [but] require a lot of equipment"), toddlers, older children and teenagers ("how many 'temple days' in exchange for how many beach days").
The regular, important things are covered, such as passports and visas. You also get some been-there, parented-there, done-that advice, such as a suggestion to bring along baby's pillow case or cotton sheet, for comfort in a strange bed. There is also some very nice cultural advice, such as thoughts on how to react to your children's discovery that not everyone speaks English, or that their fourth grade English is better than the Brazilian (adult) bus driver's.
Advice is offered on strolling the neighborhood near where you stay, locating the post office and the dry cleaners, to make a new place seem more like somewhere you now know. Parents are advised to watch their own interactions ("Damn buses in this dump are always late!"), so as not to leave the wrong impression on the kids. Why spend the time and money to travel if you only end up wishing you were home? Our kids watch us closely for clues on how to think and act, even more so in an unfamiliar place, and we can negate the benefits of travel with a misplaced remark, perhaps unaware that despite the treasures of Rome around your family, the kids still see you as the most influential statue within view.
Of particular value are other parents' comments, short one liners scattered throughout the text. Also enjoyable are longer, page-length essays, by parents called "travelers' tales." These document travel successes and failures by other Moms and Dads, in hope that you'll learn from both.
Finally, you get a section on health that covers the Big Three kids' health issues on the go: earaches on the plane, diarrhea everywhere else and cleanliness and safety to fight off Number 2. Most of the advice here will not surprise parents who have successfully raised one child and are now traveling with two or more, but first-time parents will want to slow down and read carefully. There's a short section on "alternative health", stuff like lavender oil for bug bites that you will either find fascinating or weird depending on your mental latitudes.
Turning to the second half of the book, you'll find one or two page parental postcards for a gazillion cities and countries worldwide (think you don't know some of the cities when CNN does the international weather? Try this book.). For most locations you get a thumbnail description of why you'd want to go there, a section on "wild things" that is mostly about zoos, a couple of suggestions under the header "interesting and educational", crucial info on the prevailing attitudes there toward children in general, and a hint at the local view of nursing in public. Many sections also include a couple of age-specific books or movies to look over before traveling to get the kids ready.
For example, for Brussels, you learn of cool iguanodon skeletons on display at the Science Museum, plus a museum full of surrealist paintings school age kids would find, well, perhaps surreal. You're also directed to the famous statue of the little boy going pee-pee in the same sentence that a noted comic and cartoon museum is mentioned.
For Cairo you learn about a huge water park to visit, while for Tunisia it is a camel safari into the desert to see where some of the movie "Stars Wars" was filmed.
It is not a criticism to state that a page or two in this book about an entire city (or country) is not enough-the purpose here is to flag interesting things to do with your kids that might be mentioned in other, "proper" guidebooks, but which you might not immediately connect to. In other words, the book assumes you'll find your way to the Pyramids while in Egypt, but might miss the excellent water park that will offer the children a chance to break the heat and you perhaps to exchange nervous smiles with local parents as your sons go off the highest diving board together screaming "Watch me Mom!" in various languages. That's the real point of family travel, creating those memories and allowing you all to see a new place in a familiar way.
I recommend this book for anyone traveling abroad with their kids. (...) let this book help and inspire you and your children to wring all that's to be wrung out of a trip abroad. There's magic out there if you know how to grab it.
27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x909a1b40) out of 5 stars Disappointing 27 April 2003
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback
Having used travel guides by the publisher in the past, I had high expectations. Unfortunately, the sections regarding travel advice and tips only encompassed pp. 1-63 and most of the tips were most basic common-sense advice. More egregiously, I would caution against the new age health tips on pp. 55-57 for children (without identifying the appropriate ages) and which seem dangerous in any event. It was this section which prompted me to toss down the book. The remainder, pp. 65-262, consists of extremely general "to do"s in various parts of the world, For example, some countries/regions were covered and others not, with little rhyme or reason. The information provided was too general to be useful and too much of a rush to cover different regions to really provide any comprehensive suggestions or guidance. Having bought the book on the strengh of the Lonely Planet reputation, I was very disappointed.
61 of 67 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x909a1d20) out of 5 stars DISAPPOINTING CHAFF 1 Feb. 2000
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback
I had high hopes. But this book does not deliver. First, it's a kind-of guide for parents traveling with VERY young children. Second, it offers only the most basic common-sense advice: "Don't drink the tap water in India" kind of thing. There is a book to be written on this subject but this is not it.
22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x909a1c54) out of 5 stars One of the Best 29 Jan. 2002
By Lora Shinn - Published on
Format: Paperback
I really appreciated this title, as one of the best on travelling with younger children. Advice, first-hand narratives, child gear availability(highchairs, carseats) and breastfeeding acceptability info is given on many countries as broken down by region, both typical - European countries - to non-typical, such as Nepal. Much of the advice is provided by experts in that region (i.e. a family who lived in the mideast provides Mideast information).
While it's probably not the best for parents of older children (try Cynthia Harriman's Take your Kids to Europe), it's incredibly inspirational to those with children 4 and under, even those with multiple children 4 and under (one contributor has such a situation!). It's also *much* better than the previous edition by the same title, which you may still find floating around in used bookstores.
I only wish they had done some sort of "best of" list - i.e. best countries for parents of toddlers, best for parents of babies, best for older-younger kids, etc.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8fc769e4) out of 5 stars good supplement 5 Sept. 2005
By K. Petersen - Published on
Format: Paperback
If you have never traveled with your baby or kids before, I would recommend a different book that contains more "advice," like Lutz's On the Go with Baby.

If you are going to travel extensively with your kids, this is a nice book to have in your travel library. It does not get too specific about individual places, but then again it does have some interesting specifics you may not find in other books. The first-hand accounts are great. It is rather short, but it does have some good advice and anecdotes pertaining to travel in out-of-the-way places. I was disappointed it does not refer to the extent English is spoken in various foreign countries. However, if you are a little adventurous and are thinking about planning a trip with kids-in-tow, but don't know exactly where you want to go, this is a good book to use in the decision making process.
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