Here are some practical nuggets of advice from ''How to Take Great Trips with Your Kids:'' * Do everything you can to encourage a feeling of ease for a full day prior to departure. Don't overwork the children with last-minute preparations; give them time for normal play with their friends.
* Favorite activities for many children on any kind of trip often involve heights, water, unusual modes of transportation, or animals.
* Take a few special books that involve the region where you're traveling, to read aloud to the whole family. D'Aulaire's book of Greek myths, the Laura Ingalls Wilder books, the tales of King Arthur will all take on a special dimension in their particualr settings.
* Dedicate some time each day for quiet rest and relaxation. Dawdle, dally, daydream a little. Don't push yourselves too hard.
* Individual family members need intervals alone in order to be able to cope with the increased ''together time'' on a family vacation. Remember that baby-sitting and other child-care services are available in most locations.
* Keep in mind that it's your vacation too. Don't spend all your time coping with and entertaining the kids.
* Quality counts more than quantity where education is concerned. One Baroque palace is quite enough gilded splendor, and a quick visit to the best part of the museum is often enough.
* Shed your expectations about what everyone should get out of a trip. You may be able to relax enough to let everyone get what they will.