I flipped through the book to see which 100 life-changing destinations were recommended. The Grand Canyon was in there, obviously, so, 99 left to go. The book covers the U.S. and Canada, as well as everywhere else on Earth: Machu Picchu, Venice, Namib Desert, Angkor, Tasmania, Xi’an, Antarctica etc.
Keep in mind that 100 Places is about travel with kids and the transformative effect travel has on them, and you. I imagine parents asking, “And what about the transformative effect of travel on our life savings to schlep my whole family to the Namib Desert?”
That’s what kept me from writing about this book. Travel can be so expensive, who can afford it? Fortunately the book lists many destinations in the U.S. and Canada, so there are places within reach.
The experience of travel is an invaluable tool to make your kids more worldly and smarter. In the foreword, Bellows mentions a National Geographic/Roper poll revealing that most young Americans couldn’t find Iraq — or even New York City — on a map. In a global economy, shouldn’t we know something about the globe?
The book is designed to help parents know what to see, what to eat and sometimes where to stay. It offers Insider Tips and lists books, movies and music will jump start enthusiasm for the destination. Of course websites are provided to help prepare for the trip.
Need more inspiration? Jeremy and Carrie Simmons of Phoenix have a TV show, Travel With Kids that airs on KAET at 2pm on Tuesdays. Yes, the Simmonses get to write off their travel expenses because it’s their business, but they also know how to travel cheap, which they explain on their website: “We do not have a trust fund. We are not bankrolled by a big company. We have an average un-remodeled house and two used cars. We just travel cheap. Airfare is always the main expense, but after that there are ways to travel without major costs, and the best part is you will have incredible amazing authentic travel experiences.”
The great thing about the book is it makes world travel with kids seem so exciting and something every parent can do. Bellows went to the Namib Desert with his kids when they were 7,9 and 11. He writes, “For my family, it was very much a bonding experience. Without other distractions you can spend time communicating and exploring the landscape together.” The book won’t be released until February so you have time to get passports and save up for the airfare.
David Boesch, M.D., an emergency room physician at Banner Gateway Hospital, took his and three kids on a one-year trip around the world that would take them to 17 countries on six continents. He then authored a book, Pins on a Map: A Family’s Yearlong Journey Around the World. In May 2011, he wrote “Ten ways to improve your next family vacation” for RAISING ARIZONA KIDS magazine