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The Birthday Trip

Turn the family vacation into a birthday celebration.

Take off — the destination is the celebration!

Take off — the destination is the celebration!

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To celebrate my sons' birthdays over the years, we've run the gamut of party themes. We've thrown pirate parties, spy parties, Pokémon parties, Harry Potter parties, pumpkin-painting parties, cookie-making parties, roller hockey and wiffleball parties . . . parties at home, at kids' museums, bowling alleys, sports gyms, roller rinks, county parks. By the time the boys had reached double digits (they're now 14 and 12), it was time to rethink how we'd celebrate their big days.

Because three of our four family birthdays fall at opportune times to travel — around New Jersey's Teacher Week, over spring break and at the beginning of summer vacation — we started to bundle b-day festivities with our annual family vacations. And instead of feeling gypped out of presents or missing their friends, the kids have absolutely loved each and every festive adventure we’ve taken (a Disney cruise and trips to Hawaii and Stowe, VT).

Planning and budgeting for a birthday trip is just like planning and budgeting for a family vacation — with a few extras thrown in. Pack your own party must-haves or check with your travel agent, reservation-taker or hotel concierge to arrange some bonus big-day magic.

Club Med Punta Cana

Space Camp

Nine Quarter Circle Ranch

Morgan's Wonderland

The Disney Cruise

Hawaii

Stowe, VT

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