This month’s travel snap is proof that all Lonely Planet employees love to travel. We’re talking to Clare Mercer, head of our foreign rights operation and a woman with a thirst for intrepid travel (her honeymoon was spent on an extended break trekking across the Spiti valley in Ladakh and – before kids – Clare would think nothing of jetting off to Uganda for a quick travel fix). In the last few years she’s added three companions: husband Colin and children Alec and Annie.
Clare-travel-snap

WHAT’S THE STORY BEHIND THIS PHOTO?

Cape Cod and Provincetown especially had been highly recommended by friends and people we met on our travels so we had high hopes. We weren’t disappointed: it’s a quirky town with great food, lovely galleries and beaches on the doorstep, so everyone’s interests were catered for. Although we avoided whale and dolphin trips, the kids couldn’t resist climbing on the whale statue on Macmillan Pier. What else are statues for?

Once we’d finished piggy-backing this poor whale, we visited the Whydah Pirate Museum at the end of the Pier. It chronicles the history of the famed pirate, Sam Bellamy, and the Whydah pirate ship which was wrecked off Wellfleet in 1717. A museum about real pirates with actual cannons? My three-year-old son (and his dad!) were transfixed.

The great weather and big smiles sum up this holiday. It was a happy, easy trip with breathtaking scenery and the kids were viewed as a positive addition rather than an annoyance by the people we met. I’d go back in a heartbeat.

KIDS’ PERSPECTIVE

Alec and Annie still treasure the gold pirate coins from the pirate museum. They don’t make them like that at home.

CLARE’S TIPS FOR TRAVELLING TO PROVINCETOWN WITH KIDS

Before getting married and having kids I would buy a plane ticket, pack hand luggage only and not open the guidebook til I was on the plane. Now I have three others in tow (husband counts too!) I realise a little organisation can reduce the stress. We took our son on a road trip to California when he was 10 months old and learned the hard way that travelling with kids means planning ahead. So when we travelled to Cape Cod we booked all the accommodation in advance – a first! We would also recommend:

1) Going out of season. We visited Cape Cod in May when the weather was warm enough for us Brits to go in the sea – yet we often had the beaches to ourselves.

2) Not worrying about feeding the kids – everywhere had child menus and people couldn’t have been friendlier towards the children.

3) Avoiding Boston on graduation weekend! We ended up staying outside the city in a soulless business hotel as it was the only room we could find.

WHERE’S NEXT ON YOUR FAMILY TRAVEL BUCKET LIST?

Morocco! For a real travel adventure.

LASTLY, COMPLETE THE SENTENCE

When we shut the front door ready to go and travel as a family, we always….

Carry the kids’ favourite snacks. They can solve any travel disaster!

For inspiration on how to keep your young explorers entertained whilst on the road – or at home – check out our Lonely Planet Kids books and apps.