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Letter from the Editor May 2011

Jenna Hammond

If the ability to choose exists, I'm ambivalent whether parents should work full time. Despite research and editorials claiming it's better to raise children as a stay-at-home versus working mother and vice versa, I say do what best suits you and your family. Finance, safety and sanity all play important roles in the decision.

Whatever parents decide, however, I'm resolute that vacations are essential for restoring the work, love and play balance. Let's face it, being a parent is work. Some would argue the same is true for kids today. Regardless, vacations serve to reconnect families often while exposing children to different cultures and new experiences - and keeping parents' sanity in check.

To help you to plan your next family vacation and bring extra sunshine your way this May, I encourage you to read "Just Us Girls" by travel aficionado Kara Mayer Robinson. Inspired by Mother's Day and personal parent-child travels, the article spotlights near and far getaways for getting closer than ever to your kids. Spend a weekend at the Equinox Resort & Spa in Vermont, Mayer Robinson writes, for mom-daughter manis and pedis, nature excursions, gallery visits, meals and shopping jaunts. For those desiring a tropical locale that's an easy plane ride away, Mayer Robinson reveals how the Atlantis Resort & Casino in the Bahamas offers an open-air aquarium, swimming with marine life, 11 pools, 14 lagoons, 140 acres of water slides, cooking classes, spa treatments tailored for the tween and teen set, accommodations on every end of the spectrum (and the list continues) ideal for moms and daughters to enjoy together. Looking to bring dads and sons along? The article also lists activities "for the guys" at each destination, such as fly fishing, off-roading, rock climbing, snorkeling and interacting with sharks and stingrays.

Other issue highlights this month include our popular Birthday Directory filled with party places, entertainers and extras, as well as a bonus Camp Directory comprised of some of the best summer programs in the biz. While we've got tons of other feature articles too, I'll close with our directories to inspire more happy planning. After all, when even a day trip does not seem feasible, you can always cultivate the means to contemplate special occasions and camp options. And if your kids seem like the only ones celebrating at parties or you wish you could spend the summer at camp, glean inspiration from them. Take a personal day, perhaps while kids are at a birthday party or at camp, to get away yourself. With day trips and overnight destinations, our Travel Directory should get you anywhere you want to go.

Happy Mother's Day. Enjoy the issue.

Jenna Hammond