'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Saturday 6 November 2010

Review: Kids Welcome to Queensland

Travelling with children is such a fun, rewarding experience, but it does require a little planning and preparation. Parents need to consider the ages of their children, the types of things they enjoy doing, and the different activities they can fit into each day. The key to successful family travel is in creating a good balance of things that each member of the family wants to do.

A good guidebook, for planning ahead of time and preparing each day, is invaluable.

But most guidebooks on the market are aimed purely at adults. And it’s up to you to guess how suitable each activity or tourist attraction will be for your children.

This was something that author Sarah Pye found frustrating when travelling with her daughter – so she decided to do something about it.

The Kids Welcome series, beginning with Kids Welcome to Queensland, is the result.

This softcover book – easy to pack and light to carry – begins with some great tips for travelling with kids of all ages, including safety guides, packing tips, a quiz and ideas for parents to make a holiday even more fun and educational.

From there, the book is broken down into different regions of the sunshine state. Each region, then, is broken down further: Activities, Beaches (where applicable), Playgrounds, Attractions, Tours, Dining, Accommodation, Camping and Events. Every section is colour-coded for easy reference on the go.

Apart from being based purely around family travel, the other thing that sets Pye’s book from the rest is her rating system. Each activity or attraction listed here is rated using a traffic light system; one for preschool age, one for primary and one for teens. This simple, visual method makes travel with children of all ages that much simpler. See three big smiles for an activity? This means it’s likely all the kids will enjoy it. One big smile and two blank spaces? Perhaps the bigger kids will love it but a preschooler won’t be able to be involved.

The book doesn’t include any advertising and all reviews are independent. Of course, parental instinct must be used in conjunction with the rating system. You know your children and what they’re capable of, the things they enjoy, and this knowledge may overrule the author’s opinion.

Pye says, "Kids Welcome to Queensland includes over 1000 reviews of activities, attractions, tours, places to stay and places to eat throughout Queensland, which is the most popular state for Australian family holidays."

Pye has worked hard to make this book user-friendly, simple to follow (vital for a travel guide that’s used on the go) and practical for families. And she has succeeded – Kids Welcome to Queensland is a fantastic tool for travelling parents.

And anything that makes travel easier for families is a hit, as far as I’m concerned!

Visit the website, kidswelcome.com.au, for more, including travel tips and the option to buy the guide in e-book form for each particular region.

There is also a chance to be involved in this series of books! Each book is filled with bright, colourful, fun holiday snaps from lots of families – send yours in for consideration in the next book.

Title: Kids Welcome to Queensland
Author: Sarah Pye
Publisher: Estralita Publishing, $24.95 RRP
Publication Date: October 2009
Format: Softcover
ISBN: 9780980687101
For ages: Adult
Type: Parents' reference book

This book is available online