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Daily Tips

Bike Share Extends Reach of Public Transportation in 65 US Cities

May 3, 2016
Forty-six bike share systems in the U.S. offer a total of 2,655 bike share stations in 65 US cities, with most in close proximity to transit stops, according to a new report

Eileen's Favorites

Taking The Kids was named one of the top travel websites by Parents Magazine in 2016
New in 2016: Great Smoky Mountains; New York City (updated)


Traveling with kids is messy, frustrating and wonderful, just like raising kids. Taking the Kids is your family travel resource to get the most fun-and memories-out of your family vacations and the most bang for your travel buck. Eileen Ogintz has decades of experience as a journalist, writer and blogger tracking travel trends. She is a mom who has traveled with her three kids and others in the family from Orlando to Yosemite, the Caribbean to Alaska, to Europe and beyond. Taking the Kids is here to help you show your kids and grand kids the world, have a good time in the process and build memories that last a lifetime.

Seasonal Specials

SPRING BREAK IDEAS TO MEET EVERY FAMILY’S WISH LIST

beach-with-captionAgain in 2016 Taking the Kids and our colleagues at Family Travel Forum recommend Spring Break getaways that are guaranteed to please, whether you’re planning a reunion of several generations, a wild time with a bunch of friends, or some "we" time with loved ones.

TAKING THE KIDS ANNUAL FAMILY CRUISE GUIDE - 2016

Cruise300x250-hash-Tagline

 Welcome to our Taking the Kids Cruise Guide for 2016. Parents love cruising because they get a bang for their vacation buck. Grandparents are fans because cruises are an easy way to get the whole gang together. Kids love the freedom onboard and making new friends. compiled with the Family Travel Forum.

   

 

Eileen’s Travels

Weekly Column

Mother’s Day gifts: what she needs in her travel tote

Apr 28, 2016  |  comments
LL Bean’s monogrammed Boat and Tote bag
Mom's tote bag is so important. (Are you listening dads and kids?) You don’t want to end up like I did on my way out of the country with a bag that broke at the airport.... more »


Travel Diary

Into Havana on a "people-to-people" tour from the first American cruise ship in 58 years

May 2, 2016  |  comments
Kids from the Adonia mugging for the camera in Old Havana
Cubans lined the Havana shoreline, cheering loudly as the ship sailed in. Those on board lined the decks cheering, waving Cuban and American flags as Adonia, became the first American ship to enter Havana Harbor in 58 years... more »

Eileen's Blog

Do Millennial Families Travel Differently Than Everyone Else?

Apr 27, 2016  |  comments
By Eileen Ogintz and Kyle McCarthy Sun, sand and happy kids. Just make sure the little ones don’t eat the sand. Maybe your family would rather be hiking in a national park or exploring a foreign country. Wherever you go this summer, all of us want the same thing: The chance to relax and make happy memories, Vacation memories, families say, not only last a lifetime but are among the most important they have, helping them to get through the tough times. Just thinking about the vacation ahead can put the fun back in everyday life, Disney Consumer Insight Team’s Amy Foster told the attendees at the First TMS Family Travel Summit in Orlando. “Fun is not frivolous,” she said. “Fun is precious.” According to new research from MMGY Global reported by Peter Yesawich at the Summit, the vast majority of family travelers want time to relax, unwind and spend time together. Eighty percent want to see new places (forget customer loyalty) and 75 percent want an easy to get to destination. Supervised kids clubs aren’t so vital to these time-starved families said Yesawich, with 78 percent of families opting for free WiFi over kids programs on their last vacation. Digital media in all forms was tasked with making the travel research and booking process easier and less confusing for families, who want to be assured that their needs for connecting rooms and adjacent plane seats will be honored. With demand for family-friendly summer vacation destinations and multigenerational accommodations and organized tours at an all-time high, according to industry sources, those attending our first TMS Family Travel Summit looked at what “family travel” really means today. For the instant summer vacation marketing guidelines that emerged from TMS Family Travel Summit, and you can read more in our report. The 35 Summit attendees from around the country lapped up the data points, generating 54 million-plus #TMSOrlando impressions throughout the weekend by sharing insights with their followers. Marketers take note: • The classic married couple with two kids represents less than half of all American families. • Single parents run 16% of all households in the industrialized world and, social media statisticians would have us believe, moms control everything—including vacation planning. • Grandparents rock—especially when it comes to vacations. More than a third of grandparents who are active travelers have traveled with grandchildren just in the past year, according to the 2013 Portrait of American Travelers • Generation C -- the collectors, creators and curators among us-- are driven to share every experience on and offline. • American families now average a shorter length of stay on vacation --2.73 nights – but are still traveling as the economy recovers, According to research by D.K. Shifflet, The group cited social media’s potential for broadening the family market, from helping less affluent families to find vacation values to sharing advice. At the same time, Dorothy Dowling of Best Western International notes that with women managing their own incomes, their household expenses, and the finances of their own parents, the “sheconomy” controls approximately two-thirds of America’s wealth. How has this affected family travel? It has put women and moms in the driver’s seat when it comes to making vacation planning destinations. One of the most important trends identified at the Summit was the need to satisfy Generation C. Their constant need for stimulation and new experiences means the travel industry must provide activities to satisfy every age group, and make those experiences photogenic as well, so that guests will share them. Social media, researchers and attendees agreed, is the sales tool that can share those memories and turn happy family vacationers into brand evangelists. Here are seven ways Summit attendees—leading travel media and marketers—believe can improve the family travel experience: 1. Offer vacations in all price ranges so that less affluent families can afford to vacation. 2. Empower today’s maker families to book trips themselves by keeping it simple and transparent.
 Make getting to your destination easy and fun. 3. Welcome diversity in staff and guests . 4. Make guests feel like everything they do is new and unique. 5. Give them free WiFi and encourage them to share memories about you. 6. Arrange activities for all ages together. 7. Have your photographer and filmmakers on hand to record the fun. Makes sense to us.
Millennial families are more diverse, likely to travel farther, seek out new destinations and spend more than their peers without children... more »


See Eileen in the News

Special Features


EILEEN’S KIDS GUIDES FEATURED ON ABCNEWS.COM

ABCNewsEileen's series of Kids Guides to great American cities, published by Globe Pequot, was featured by ABCNews on a week-by-week basis.

I LOVE NEW YORK Teen Travel Writing Scholarship
I LOVE NEW YORK Teen Travel Writing Scholarship

THE ZIKA VIRUS AND FAMILY TRAVEL: WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW

A mosquito from the genus Aedes, which can carry Zika virus You don’t want to go anywhere that will endanger your pregnancy.  It’s always wise to be somewhere that has top medical care when you need it. That’s also true when traveling with infants who can get very sick very quickly.
Calling all teens!  New York State's Department of Tourism is looking for great New York State stories and we'd love to hear yours! Apply for this scholarship, blogging about your most fun, interesting, and unforgettable visit to our great state. - See more at: http://myfamilytravels.com/content/60536-i-love-new-york-teen-travel-writing-scholarship#sthash.Lz4mcGyv.dpuf
Calling all teens!  New York State's Department of Tourism is looking for great New York State stories and we'd love to hear yours! Apply for this scholarship, blogging about your most fun, interesting, and unforgettable visit to our great state. - See more at: http://myfamilytravels.com/content/60536-i-love-new-york-teen-travel-writing-scholarship#sthash.Lz4mcGyv.dpuf




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