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We don't know about you but autumn is our favorite season of the year. And now that fall is in full swing you know what that means: the holidays are right around the corner! Now is the ideal time to think about gifts for families and friends while you still have time to put creative thought into them instead of rushing around…

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Make great photos even better with PicMonkey

As an adult, I am in awe that my Mom was able to plan so many great family vacations without the use of the Internet. I know she didn't use a travel agency, but did she use the phone book? Those brochures you see at rest stops? I don't know. But off we went - to Disney World, Williamsburg, state fairs and to caves.

Of course, she did most of the family trip planning, and then just told us where we were going. I guess with the ease of vacation planning nowadays I feel obligated to include my son in the decision. For the past few years, my husband and I have invited him into the room with us when we view potential vacation destinations. While we are still making the final decision, it is interesting to hear his preferences and what he thinks he wants to do.

I asked him once if he wanted to go visit caves...he said no.

It turns out that more and more families are planning trips with input from their children. I like knowing what my son wants to do, and we are able to have more discussions before the trip about shared activities and alone time. In all, I think it makes for a better vacation.

I wonder what type of "useful" input I would have given my Mom all those years ago while she was planning family trips. Like a lot of children, my brother and I really wanted to go on Family Double Dare. Maybe she knew that and maybe that is why she made sure she was in charge of the plans.

Do you include your children in vacation planning? Tell me about it in the comments.

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