Tips for making family vacations happy

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Here are some tips to help everyone enjoy their time together on the next family trip.

--A good thing at the wrong time is a bad thing. Check calendars. If possible, avoid prime time vacation weeks and spring break (school schedules differ from state to state).

--Be flexible about finances and talk about expenses before the trip so there are no surprises. Some family members may be on fixed incomes or sending the last of the kids through college.

--Compromise on food and accommodation choices -- everyone doesn't have to stay at the same hotel.

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--Kids aren't the only ones who need naps and timeouts. Suggest midday downtime at the hotel or pool with mom and dad for some rest and one-on-one time.

--Be patient, not petty. Be mindful and respectful of early-risers or late sleepers. Not all activities have to be done together.

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