Baby Causes Hardened Traveler to Leave Harley Museum in Disgrace

by Zach Everson. Posted Nov 11th 2013 11:00 AM
Zach Everson, AOL
Fully revved, a 2003 Harley-Davidson Road King Classic can hit 116 decibels, about the same volume as a rock concert.

So thankfully the looks from other visitors at Milwaukee's Harley-Davidson Museum were more sympathetic than judgmental that afternoon when I left in disgrace with a screaming 3-month-old.
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Driving with Kids: How to Avoid a Cataclysm in the Back Seat

by Zach Everson. Posted Nov 11th 2013 11:00 AM
Mother handing toy to children (1-10) travelling in car
There's a time and a place for taking scenic bypasses, eating at out-of-the-way mom and pop restaurants and visiting antique stores in a quest to add to your owl vase collection. And those times and places are not with kids in the back seat.

Road tripping with kids is still possible, of course, and given the costs of traveling via air or space, often necessary as well. Just like flying as a family though, you'll need to retool your approach from your childless days.
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Letters to Our Younger Selves: Dear Pam

by Pam Mandel. Posted Oct 7th 2013 08:50 AM

Pam Mandel
Dear Pam,

Here's the thing: You're going to drive a borrowed car into a ditch in a cornfield outside Altamira, Spain.

You are not going to get hurt, though you are going to feel like an idiot when you realize what you have done. You will have to go get help, which means you'll walk into a tiny country bar where there are two big farmers in blue overalls having an afternoon break. You are going to explain to them, in your halting Spanish, that you can't get your car out of a ditch in a nearby cornfield and ask them if they could come give you a hand. You just need a little . . . push.
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Letters to Our Younger Selves: Dear Jenie

by Jenie Skoy. Posted Oct 7th 2013 08:50 AM

Jenie Skoy
Dear Jenie,

So, you're feeling stuck in your hometown of Last Chance, Idaho, where cows outnumber people, and you're forced to share a tiny room with your sister Amy, who won't let you touch her porcelain doll or her new rock tumbler.

People from all over the world pass through your town to get to Yellowstone National Park to hang out with bears and buffalos and see Old Faithful erupt. You're curious about their peculiar accents and the way they dress.

You want to be a world traveler just like them.
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Letters To Our Younger Selves

by AOL Travel Staff. Posted Oct 7th 2013 08:50 AM
travel planning
Shutterstock / gorillaimages
In honor of International Day of the Girl, we've asked five female travel writers to write a letter to a younger version of herself, telling the girl tales of the experiences she can look forward to, and the lessons she will learn from travel.

Dear Dana
A small-town girl's big dreams eventually lead her beyond the library to Russia, Slovakia and Paris, always Paris. Read letter>>

Dear Pam
A passion for language opens doors around the world -- and comes in handy when the writer drives a borrowed car into a cornfield ditch in Spain. Read letter>>

Dear Jenie
A child's early attempt to dig a backyard hole to Africa is later answered with a real life lessons in a Tanzanian village. Read letter>>

Dear Terry
A girl concerned with following the expected course discovers freedom when she later chooses a life on the road. Read letter>>

Dear Nina
A family connection to travel affords the writer a childhood of unique experiences -- a tradition she later continues with her own children. Read letter>>
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Letters to Our Younger Selves: Dear Dana

by Dana McMahan. Posted Oct 7th 2013 08:50 AM

Dana McMahan
Dear Dana,

You're just a tiny girl, sitting on a tree branch, reading about someone's adventures far away. Your world is your family and house and school, and you can't imagine it will ever be any bigger than that.

Right now you get to go to town -- to the library -- and that's where the world opens up, ever since the first book you checked out with your brand new library card. You devoured "My Side of the Mountain," and you've thought ever since about that boy who made his own way. You make your way in the old apple orchard and creek and field across the road, but you know there's more to the world out there.

If only you knew how much of it you will discover.
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Letters to Our Younger Selves: Dear Nina

by Nina Kokotas Hahn. Posted Oct 7th 2013 08:50 AM

Nina Kokotas Hahn
Dear Nina,

I came across this photo of you, and that little face of yours made me smile. It wasn't just the chubby expression or the pink swim cap, but the tongue darting in delight and determination, the in-it-to-win-it glee of a fearless 4-year old. That our travel agent mom is at your side is perfect because she's the reason you were on yet another vacation (this one at Wet-n-Wild, Orlando, circa 1978) and the reason travel will inspire your life as it ultimately does.
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Letters to Our Younger Selves: Dear Terry

by Terry Ward. Posted Oct 7th 2013 08:50 AM

Terry Ward
Dear Terry,

I see you cruising down I-95 in the family station wagon. You're wrestling with Janet and James and crying out, "Are we there yet?" Your parents are in the front seat singing along to Bob Dylan and blocking out the mayhem.

You don't know it now, but this is the start of a life full of adventures. Relax, settle in and enjoy the ride.

Those summer trips to the Outer Banks were your first step into the greater world. For a young girl raised in the privileged suburbs of Washington D.C., North Carolina was a wonderland of beaches that breathed danger and adventure with frothy riptides and tow-headed surfer boys from faraway places like Florida.
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Beach House Diaries: The Kids are Alright

by Susan MacCallum-Whitcomb. Posted Aug 22nd 2013 11:00 AM
girls mud facials
Susan MacCallum-Whitcomb

By this point in the summer I am so relaxed that I'm virtually comatose, yet the impending arrival of grade-school guests is enough to push my reset button. Part of the reason I slip back into an A-type frame of mind is that I'm concerned for the young ones' wellbeing. I fear underactive Xbox addicts and TV junkies may be pushed over sanity's edge on this off-the-grid island. On the other hand, I fear that overactive kids (like overactive adults) might unwittingly put themselves in harm's way, considering that my beach house has poison ivy to tumble into, highs bluffs to trip off of, boats to tip over... you get the picture.
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Beach House Diaries: 7 Tips for Board Games at a Vacation Home

by Susan MacCallum-Whitcomb. Posted Aug 1st 2013 01:02 PM
Monopoly Money

Board games provide old-school entertainment -- and I do mean old. Backgammon dates back 5,000-odd years; and Senet, an Egyptian invention, is even more ancient (elaborate sets were left in King Tut's tomb, presumably so that he could keep trouncing his minions in the afterlife). Following these hints will help you carry on the tradition at your own vacation home.
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