Top 10 Things Your Kids Can and Can’t Do on Vacation


We’re pleased to welcome guest blogger Jennifer Miner of to Fodor’s.

Children. We love ’em, but man, they can sure complicate a vacation. Since they can’t stay home with their grandparents every time we take a well-earned trip (at least not since the famous Grandma’s Expensive Perfume Episode of 2007), we thought that some simple rules might be useful. There is a Passengers’ Bill of Rights for mistreated airplane customers, after all. Consider this the Vacationing Adults’ Bill of Rights.

1. Yes, you can pack your favorite stuffed animal. We know it will help you feel comfortable in the hotel bed.

2. No, you can’t take ALL your stuffed animals. We explained this to you last time. Please give me back my suitcase now.

3. Stay away from all those bright shiny lights and the fun bells and whistles at the casino. As a matter of fact, you might want to tell your parents this too: Your college savings may depend on it.

4. Please try to keep the whining to a minimum at the art museums. The better behaved you are now, the more likely you are to get something at the gift shop later.

5. Stay away from those empty glasses your parents left at the bar. That’s not Listerine, that’s creme de menthe.

6. Please don’t run ahead of me in the line for customs or security. These aren’t our friendly neighborhood cops, and they don’t think you’re as cute as I do.

7. Airplane Rule: Stay in your seat with your seatbelt on!!! Yes, we’ve been circling the airport for 45 minutes: This is as good a time as any to suddenly grasp the concept of “patience.” If you stand up in your seat just as we’re making our final descent, I promise, all of the flight attendants will notice.

8. We’re in a foreign country with unfamiliar food. We know. Still: Please oh please just eat something!! We know 5-star fare at L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon isn’t what you are used to, but you have to have something more than chocolate milk and cookies.

9. That room service button on the phone in our hotel room sure looks tempting, doesn’t it? Leave it alone, please. We don’t want to be surprised with a full platter of chocolate chip pancakes and Belgian waffles right as we’re heading out the door.

10. It’s called the “Adults Only Pool” for a reason.

Someday, when you’re older, you will look back and appreciate all the experiences and memories you have from visiting interesting destinations. We love you, and that’s why we travel as a family when we can. We reserve the right, however, to tease you when you’re older about the times you embarrassed us while on vacation. In the meantime, please (so much of parenting on vacation is reduced to begging) respect this Vacationing Adults’ Bill of Rights. The flight attendants, waiters, hotel concierges, and above all, the other tourists -all thank you for it.

About the Writer

Jennifer Miner is a professional travel writer who writes with her friends and fellow travel writers at She also the Feature Writer of the weekly luxury travel column at

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