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(BPT) – It’s hard to believe it, but the kids who were labeled “millennials” have all grown up and started their own families. As this next generation enters the realm of parenthood, many will be thinking about what they want to do and where they want to go for their family vacation.

Needless to say, for a young family planning a vacation, things will be a little different than when mom and dad traveled. Now it’s all about the kids, and making memories together. For those who are looking to get away with the family this year, here are some essential ingredients for making a memorable vacation.

1. Be on the lookout for “firsts.” Parenting is a series of milestones and firsts: first steps, first words, first day of school. When you and your family step off the plane or out of the car, get ready, because there’s going to be a whole lot of firsts, and it might be a little overwhelming! Travel to a destination like Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, where from the first step into the ocean to watching dolphins jump through the waves, you can expect some unforgettable moments.

2. Come as you are. When deciding where to go, pick someplace you can be yourself, where you can relax, experience something new and let the kids be kids. Leave everything else at home and enjoy the easy, laid-back beach-loving lifestyle. South Carolina’s iconic Myrtle Beach boasts over 60 miles of sandy beach, boardwalks, amusement parks and over 1,800 restaurants. With so much to offer, all you need to do is show up!

3. Playing is learning. Parents know that their kids learn best when they’re at play. Vacations are a fantastic opportunity for learning through play. Minutes away from the ocean at Myrtle Beach is WonderWorks, an amusement park with over 50,000 square feet of entertainment and education, what they call “edu-tainment.” Here kids can learn about natural disasters, space exploration, art, and tire themselves out playing laser tag, tackling an indoor ropes course and much more.

4. Take a day to go explore. Many parents find that one of the truly rewarding parts of traveling with young kids is that their sense of wonder and discovery is contagious. If you found a beautiful beach-side resort, it can be hard to leave. Take even a half day to explore nearby natural wonders, such as those found at Huntington Beach State Park, and you’ll be rewarded with thousands of secluded acres for you and your family to explore.

5. Enjoy the little things. No matter how well you plan, it’s impossible to anticipate all of the small, intimate moments that make a vacation so memorable. Whether it’s a perfect sunset, a newly built sand castle or a bucket full of sand dollars, there are hundreds of little details that await, so be ready!

You can choose whatever ingredients you want to put into your next family vacation — sunshine, blue sky, an ocean, sand beaches, plenty of diversions. It only takes a few of these to make memories that will last a lifetime.

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