2003-08-08 / Columnists

Chatting with Chapey

by Dr. Geraldine M. Chapey, Democratic District Leader
Chatting with Chapey

Dr. Geraldine ChapeyDr. Geraldine Chapey

by Dr. Geraldine M. Chapey, Democratic District Leader

Have More Fun On Family Vacations

Safety should be a primary focus whether our vacation is close to home or some distance away. On Sunday, August 3, Newsday on page E7, ran an article entitled "Be Aware of the Dangers of Lightning" written by Rhoda Amon. In the article it noted that lightning is the second largest weather-related killer. It offered some sound advice that we sometimes forget: 

(1) always seek a safe shelter when ever you see lightning. Don’t stay outside and wait for the rain to start. 

(2)  A safe place could include your house or car.  Remember to stay there for a minimum of one half hour after the storm has died down. 

(3) Never remain in the water. 

(4) In your home keep away from

windows and doors.

(5) Forget about getting on the cell phone or any phone. 

(6) Be sure not to wash your hands, take a shower or do the family laundry during the storm. There is an organization called Lightning Strike and Electric Shock Survivors International which can be reached at 910-346-4708 or on the internet at www. lightning-strike.org.

Newsday (Sunday, August 3,) on page E6 in the Travel Section had some suggestions for a happy family trip which I will share with you. The title of the article is "Making it Easy for All Generations: Taking the Kids" by Eileen Ogintz. She stresses that the key to a happy family vacation is planning ahead and remembering to take into account everyone’s needs and feelings. Over one fourth of family vacations this year will encompass a family reunion according to the Travel Industry Association, which follows these matters. The vacation industry itself has observed these family trends and is working to accommodate these family groups. An interesting point to note is that Loews Hotels have a special program for families called "Generation G". These are geared to grandparents and grandchildren traveling together and offer discounts on adjoining rooms.

Another suggestion by Ms. Ogintz which could be viable for families looking to vacation together is to review the programs offered by Elderhostel which can be reached at www.elderhostel.org. If you have a family group of 12 or more (with at least one member over 55 years of age) you are eligible to take advantage of an Elderhostel family planned vacation. They offer over 2500 programs from a raft trip on the Colorado River to a tour around Colonial Williamsburg. Elderhostel is available to set up your itinerary and will arrange for daily lectures, field trips, intergenerational activities, housing and food.  These programs are interesting and informative and can be planned to fit any budget.

There are several other practical suggestions which Ms. Ogintz offers: 

(a) The success of every vacation is based on careful planning before the trip takes off.  

(b)  When you are making vacation plans be sure to include every

one in the discussion so that

everyone knows what to expect

and what is expected of them.

(c) Vacations are not the time to settle old family arguments. Stay focused on the positive. 

(d)  Determine before hand how much baby sitting the grandparents will do and how many treats for the children will be provided each day.

The best vacations begin with a good plan. You can set the parameters before you go and everyone will get down to the business at hand - having fun with one another.

Be sure to bring along a camera and take lots of pictures. It’s always fun to reminisce at family get-togethers.

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