CONTEST: Real Book Reports from Families on the Loose

We’re interested in what readers have taken from our book.  What has worked and what hasn’t?  So we’re hosting a little contest.   Please tell us if you used an idea from the book or if you have something new to add.  To enter, just submit a comment on this post describing your experience, tweet your experience, or post in on your Facebook page and share it with ours (full details below). One winner will be selected at random from all thoughtful book reports.  The winner will be selected on May 15th and will receive a Family on the Loose travel bag full of our favorite fun travel stuff – mini books, a blank journal, wrapped surprise presents, mini art supplies, paper maps, map dots, and more …take the whole bag on your next plane, train, or auto trip!

Ready, set …

The first section of the book is about getting ready to travel.  Reading books, trying crafts, and getting your kids engaged in planning the adventure.  One reader wrote to use about the section on enabling kids to pack themselves.  She said that the packing lists worked great and the kids were excited for the independence. However, she wished she had explained to the kids that they needed to pack clean clothes (as opposed to the dirty ones wadded under the bed).   What worked or didn’t work for your family?


The middle of the book is about what to do on the road.  Have you tried a museum scavenger hunt?  Have you played any of the games while waiting to be served at a restaurant? Any journaling ideas that worked super well or that were an horrid failure?

Traveling Home

The final third of the book is devoted to ways to make travel memories stick and to discover new cultures close to home.  We talk about cultural mini-trips, international birthday parties, and themed country nights.  Please share any successes or failures with cultural exploration back home.

Gorey Details

You can enter in three ways:

  1. Post a comment to this page
  2. Tweet how you used our book @familyonloose
  3. Post how you used the book on your Facebook page and share with us

If you enter all three ways, you will be entered to win three times!  You can only enter once per e-mail address, twitter handle, or Facebook page.

For an entry to be valid, it must be thoughtful.  It does not have to be brilliant but it must indicate that you have actually read at least a part of our book.

For an entry to be valid, we must have a way to contact you if you win as we will need your shipping address.  We will try to contact you via the e-mail you used to submit a comment on this page, your Facebook page, or via a direct message on Twitter (you have to follow us for us to be able to message you).

The contest opens April 2 (when you can get the kindle version of our book free on Amazon) and closes May 15th. 

We will select the winner at random on the weekend of May 18/19.  In real life, I’m a statistician and I know  a lot about “random”.   However, in the interest of trust, I will not use a fancy computer algorithm.  I will use a hat – a real hat!  Entries via this page, twitter, or Facebook will be printed on a little piece of paper and put in a hat.  Again, one entry per format (blog/twitter/FB) per e-mail address/twitter handle/FB page.  Our kids will select one winner at random and we will post a few photos of this scientific process for credibility.

We will ship awesome travel goody bag anywhere in the world within a week of selecting a winner.



2 Responses to CONTEST: Real Book Reports from Families on the Loose

  1. We used your ideas to help get our daughter excited and involved in our spring trip to Thailand. She created a map and calendar about the trip which helped her understand where we were going and how long we would be in each place (Chapter 2). Then I had her search online to find different activities in the locations. She found a couple things that she was really excited about and wrote out the details (where, how much, when). They got added to the calendar and we used her information when in Thailand. Of course, not all the days were pre-filled so we could figure it out along the way, but the calendar did help her prepare and be more involved. We will use it next time too!

  2. I have used so many tips from your book for our travel trip to China with Alice (7) and Estève (6) that I do not know what to start with…

    One thing I would probably have not tried so hard if it had not been for your book is to learn a few words of Chinese.

    As we live in a country where I do not understand anything about how university works, I could not really use your tip of getting in touch with a Chinese student. So I told virtually anyone I knew that we were heading to China for Easter and soon I discovered everyone knows something about China. Some friends/colleagues had been there as tourists, others had work there, a few friends of our children had been learning Chinese after school “just in case” for years, others had friends whose mother spoke only Chinese, the doctor remembered a Chinese translator he had met during a conference… We ended up taking 6 hours of Chinese classes all together. The lady also helped us set our travel bingo by gathering a lot of pictures.

    In order to practice between two classes, I had downloaded a free application on my cell phone with a few words and sentences in English / Chinese, both written and oral. On the day before our departure, I decided to pay a few dollars for the full application (I have been grateful to myself many times for having done so).

    These few words (the basic as indicated in your books) proved very helpful on our arrival, at least to show that we tried. Local people were enthusiastic to hear our kids speak a few words, which fostered good will.