Travel Read: The 10 Best of Everything for Families

With summer coming to a close, don’t despair. Use Labor Day’s respite from work as a time to set your sights on future travel. Pouring over the pages of National Geographic’s 10 Best of Everything for Families by Susan H. Magsamen is an eye-candy path to an ideas bonanza. Having future travel goals can help one feel better about being back to work or school.

When I leafed through this book, it was clear, it could take years to sample even a fraction of the ideas. Close to home or far away, the “10 best of everything” includes 10 several times over. For example, do you want to know where you can find the 10 best sandcastle competitions? The 10 best coastal cliffs? How about the 10 best farm visits? The 10 best African gatherings? It’s all here and more.

Magsamen must have had a time of it keeping track of her notes and figuring out how best to organize this vast body of information. The result is impressive.

The book is divided into thematic topics that first covers the different regions of the United States, including Alaska and Hawaii, and then tackles the U.S. as a whole. No matter what your pleasure, there are destinations a-plenty with appeal for a multiple age crowd. Keep the book’s organization in mind while you browse. I kept having “Aha moments” as in, “so that’s how this book is organized. Clever.”

For example, categories like the “ten best regional specialties” and the “ten best parks and playgrounds” are repeated for each region in chapter one, “The spirit of exploration.” As you move through the pages, you learn about the regions of the U.S. and their simple to access travel options.

To find out things like the best caves in the U.S., however, look in “ten best depths” in chapter three–“traveling to learn.” Both Mammoth Cave in Kentucky and Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico, my two favorite caves destinations, are listed with brief descriptions of each. Plus, there are eight more caves. This chapter is also where you’ll find out about African gatherings, as well as, several other events that are ethnic group related. These are only part of the categories.

If your sights are set past the U.S. borders, turn to chapter five, “see the world.” Here are suggestions of the you can’t go wrong going here type destinations.

The last three chapters of the book, “travel wish list,’ “family memories” and “resources” are a round-up of personal experiences and travel tools.

Throughout the book there are quotes, factoids and travel tips related to each topic that fill out the reading pleasure.

Although this is not a book that will give you all the nuts and bolts of a particular destination, it’s a glorious buffet of ideas to return to again and again. The message of the wealth is that you’d better get cracking because there is A LOT to see–as in 10 x 10 x 10 x 10 . . . Pick up the book and you’ll know what I mean.

Oh, yeah. The most important messages are that family travel is fun, and it doesn’t take as much effort or money as one might think.