26 September 2023

Lonely Planet: The Family Travel Handbook

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Reviewed by Rama Gaind.

Price: $29.99.

Travelling around Australia, and the world, in now at your fingertips with this expansive publication. The landscape is changing for family travel. Yes, it can be a challenge travelling with kids, but your willingness to explore and go on adventures with them opens up a rich world of possibilities.

Travel has never been so child-friendly. Sure, travel broadens our minds, develops cultural empathy and gives us a better understanding of the world.

The writers agree, “we travel with our children because we believe these experiences not only improve their social skills but are key to helping them become engaged global citizens”. Besides, we travel with our kids because it’s lots of fun (usually)!

It’s amazing to see the world together as a family, sharing experiences that create strong bonds and shared recollections.

The founders of Lonely Planet Tony and Maureen Wheeler travelled with their own children as they set up the company in the 1970s.

You can refer to this handbook as much for ideas about exploring the great outdoors close to home, as for advice on packing up everything and taking the kids on a round-the-world trip. Your family may be experienced jetsetters or you may be unsure where to start when taking your kids on the road, but amazing opportunities for travelling together exist at every turn.

The book’s Australian highlights include South Western Australia (‘Adventure Destination’); Brisbane (‘Top 10 Family Cultural Destination’); Sunshine Coast (‘Top 5 Destination for Infants & Toddlers’); Tasmania (‘Top 5 Destination for Multigenerational Travel’); Questacon in Canberra (‘Top 10 Science Destination’); Royal Botanic Gardens’ Ian Potter Foundation Children’s Garden in Melbourne (‘Top 10 Fun Ideas’); The Ghan (‘Ride the Rails’); Cylinder Beach; Stradbroke Island (‘Top 5 Beach Destination’); Great Barrier Reef (‘Top 5 Wildlife Holiday’); and a chapter devoted to ‘Camping in Tasmania’.

Beautifully illustrated, you can instill sanguinity and make some precious memories to savour. What’s more, travel encourages a philosophy that supports curiosity, exploration and independence.

Who are the founders of the Lonely Planet? If your answer is correct, then you could win one of two books of Lonely Planet: The Family Travel Handbook. Entries should be sent to [email protected] by Monday, 24 February 2020. Names of the winners will be announced in Frank Cassidy’s PS-sssst…! column on 25 February 2020.

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