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How to Have an Active Family Vacation at a Park

Make Lasting Memories

Relationship experts insist that it's better to give the gift of an experience rather than a store-bought present, which will probably just end up lost or broken eventually.

For instance, I don't have many memories of my grandfather. He lived across the country and died when I was about 10 years old, but I do remember that for a high-powered businessman, he sure made a mean fried salami over an open campfire! In fact, nearly every time I saw him, the whole family ended up camping at Sequoia National Park in California or on a house boat at Lake Lanier Islands in Georgia. Maybe it was as simple as his ranch-raised roots peeking through, but he truly seemed to enjoy roughing it (if you can call it that when a camper with plumbing was involved) with his grandkids. Was there bickering? Absolutely. Complaints about the salami? Most definitely, although not from me.

Despite the smelliness factor that invariably accompanies camping with one's family or doing anything together outdoors, it also produces a ton of memories, photos and newly solidified relationships that can't be built while sitting on someone's couch playing Wii. Let's face it -- that's what active family trips are really all about.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to fry up some salami for old time's sake. Hey, don't knock it till you've tried it!