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Travel

Planning summer vacations includes doing research

With gas prices staying relatively low this summer,

With gas prices staying relatively low this summer, consider a road trip along Ohio's Amish Country Byway. Photo Credit: Terry Thompson

With the summer travel season on the horizon, families are asking questions, collecting information and making plans. Here are four things to consider.

1. ROAD TRIPS With gas prices remaining relatively low and a slew of travel apps to guide you, this might be the year to check out America’s Scenic Byways. Consider Ohio’s Amish Country Byway, Louisiana’s Creole Nature Trail or the Billy the Kid Trail in New Mexico. Before heading out, check the AAA site for road trip wisdom and the latest safety-seat intel for your little ones.

INFO aaa.com, www.fhwa.dot.gov/byways

2. THE ZIKA VIRUS Zika, spread primarily through the bite of an infected mosquito, typically manifests in mild symptoms that include fever, rash and joint pain. Experts suggest the disease has the most serious implications for pregnant women and those considering adding to their family. Those individuals should consult with their physician, make travel plans carefully and avoid areas where the virus has been identified.

INFO cdc.gov

3. MEET THE LOCALS More families are interested in burrowing into a destination. Home-sharing and ride-sharing services have led the way, allowing travelers to deepen their experiences. Stay with Airbnb and your host is likely to offer his or her tips for family-friendly dining and the best parks for kids in the neighborhood. Sites like ToursbyLocals.com or Vayable.com can help you book an experience led by someone in the know. Travel with Monograms and your local host will meet you at the airport or train station, book or lead tours, and provide tips on how to tap into the heart of the destination.

INFO monograms.com, airbnb.com

4. TRAVEL SAFETY Recent events in Europe have been the subject of concern. Researching your travel options may provide the peace of mind you need to make the best choice for your clan. Check government sites for up-to-date information about destinations. Ask other travelers about their experiences. Then talk with your family about being aware of surroundings, keeping valuables safe and enjoying the journey.

INFO travel.state.gov

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