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Travel Tip For Today

Bring one pair of comfortable walking shoes as well as a pair of sandals or Tevas. Before you leave home, break in your new shoes so you're not uncomfortable on the road.

Bicycling with Your Children

Bicycling

You get to know a place better on a bicycle than you do whizzing past it in a car and kids love riding bicycles. Why not take advantage of that affinity when making your vacation plans? Bicycling is something the whole family can participate in. Children that are too young to ride on their own can come along in a child seat or trailer. Older kids relish the independence of covering the countryside under their own power. And everybody gets plenty of fresh air and exercise. Can you see yourself gliding along winding back roads, stopping for chats with a local farmer, or for a picnic with a view? A bicycling trip may be the solution for your next vacation.

You can plan to make a series of day trips from a central base, or an extended tour for the more ambitious families (with careful planning, you can carry camping gear along). And bicycles can be rented just about anywhere, so you might consider a day or two of bicycling at whatever vacation destination you've picked for your next trip.

Tips for Bicycling with Kids

Take it easy! This is a vacation, not the Tour de France. Don't set a rigid itinerary for your trip: nothing is worse than stressing about getting to the next stop along the road when you're supposed to be enjoying the great outdoors. Get an early start, but park the bikes early, too, to give the kids time to play, and yourself some time to relax. Let the kids set the pace on the road-remember, they're working harder than you are, and if you're toting a little one in a child seat or trailer, you'll appreciate the leisurely approach they take. Plan on taking frequent short breaks, and don't be afraid to take time for distractions and mini-adventures along the way: they're the stuff memories are made of.

Safety first! Make sure that you have good bicycles, helmets and child seats for the little ones. Ride with one parent in front and one in back. Always bicycle with the flow of traffic and be sure your kids know about hand signals and traffic laws (like obeying traffic lights and stop signs). Pack a small bag for each child to carry on the handlebars, with favorite toys and a notebook. You might give each child one of those disposable cameras to chronicle their favorite sights along the road.

Pack snacks and plenty of liquids. Everybody should have their own water bottle attached to the bike, to cut down on drink breaks. Juice boxes are a nice treat. Think layers. The early morning chill may find you overheated after a bit of exertion under the midday sun. Make sure everybody is dressed comfortably, and bring along extra sweaters and jackets in case the weather changes. Enjoy the ride!

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