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The 10 Best of Everything - Families: An Ultimate Guide for Travelers
(National Geographic) ISBN 978-1426203947 1426203942

Family vacation planning is easy with this 480-page National Geographic book. It provides practical advice about the top ten cooking schools, road trips, factory tours, children's museums, zoos, beaches, tennis resorts, bike trails, family reunions, whale watching cruises, amusement parks and many other fun family trips.

In her family holiday guidebook, Susan Magsamen uses travel experiences in both American and international destinations to teach kids about history, health, geography and culture.

Trip ideas

Organized geographically by state, by type of holiday (e.g., great outdoors, trains), learning vacations (e.g., science camps, factory tours), seasonal and holiday trips and international family vacations, the book is easy to use.

Each chapter includes a brief description of the family vacation, contact information and sidebar trivia. For example, the chapter on adventure holidays (10 Best Moving Water) describes whitewater rafting and guided trips on the Flathead River in Montana, with the address, phone number and website for the Flathead National Forest. A sidebar states that the length of the Missouri River is 2,500 miles long, almost as long as the distance between NY and LA.

All-inclusive resorts

Monotone and color images depict family holidays, from the 10 best all-inclusive resorts to the 10 best things to do on Mother's Day. Photos range from kids eating ice cream cones to the Statue of Liberty on Liberty Island.

Several chapters recommend books on family travel and fun activities for kids. For example, in the Ten Best Fall Foliage chapter, kids can learn how to make collage art with autumn leaves with the Look What I Did with a Leaf! book.

Sidebars include useful tips such as how to avoid motion sickness. Kids suggest activities like National Park Junior Ranger programs that give children badges as rewards.

How to preserve travel memories

In National Geographic's The 10 Best of Everything - Families: An Ultimate Guide for Travelers, Susan Magsamen explains how to preserve family vacation memories, how to make travel videos, how to ask for autographs, how to create photo albums on cell phones and how to make a photo quilt.

The Resources chapter of this family guidebook includes packing tips and mass transit websites for NYC, Boston, Chicago, Atlanta, San Diego and other American cities.

Cooking schools

The chapter on cooking schools describes culinary courses like the Viking Cooking School in Greenwood MS, gourmet cooking classes for children at the Culinary Arts Center at The Greenbriar, in White Sulphur Springs WV, and teen and family culinary programs at the Culinary Institute of America in New York, Texas and California. Magsamen's book provides the address, phone number and website for each of the culinary arts schools.

Always a favorite with kids, the 10 Best Train Trips chapter gives families information about Mount Washington Cog Railway, the Strasburg Railroad in Pennsylvania Dutch Country, the Boone & Scenic Valley Railroad in Iowa, the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad, the Georgetown Loop Railroad, Manitou and Pikes Peak Railway and the Cumbres & Toltec Railway in Colorado, the Grand Canyon Railway in Arizona, the Mount Hood Railroad in Oregon and the White Pass & Yukon Route Railway in Alaska.

In the 10 Best Family Heritage chapter, families learn about Ellis Island, the Library of Congress, the National Archives and Records Administration, the General Society of Mayflower Descendants, the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution, the Newberry Library (a good free public resource for African-American genealogy), the Family History Library - Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (the world's largest collection of genealogical records) and the Los Angeles Public Library (collection of historical photos). Each entry includes a description, address, phone number and website.

National Geographic The 10 Best of Everything Families


Chapter One: The Spirit of Exploration

  • Everyday travel in America
  • Northeast
  • Southeast
  • Gulf Coast
  • South central
  • Midwest
  • Great Lakes
  • Plains
  • Rockies
  • Northwest
  • Far west
  • Southwest
  • Hawaii
  • Alaska

Chapter Two: Getting Away Together

  • Family vacations
  • Family reunions
  • Shorelines & beaches
  • Sports
  • Great outdoors
  • Wheels & rails
  • Arts
  • A day in the park
  • Health

Chapter Three: Traveling to Learn

  • Firsthand knowledge
  • Nature & science
  • History & the arts
  • Culture & Values

Chapter Four: Seasonal Celebrations

  • Once a year

Chapter Five: See the World

  • International travel
  • Latin America
  • Canada
  • Europe
  • Australia & New Zealand
  • Africa
  • Asia
  • Checklist

Chapter Six: Travel Wish Lists

  • Our way

Chapter Seven: Family Memories

  • We remember

Chapter Eight: Resources

  • Tell me more


Susan H. Magsamen

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