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First Ever National Parks Tour by Row Adventures

Jul 24, 2016
Row Adventures presents its very first National Parks tour: Southwest Unbound!

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)




Eileen’s Blog

“You can’t live your life being afraid to go anywhere”


Carnival Vista
The new Carnival Vista has more than 4,000 passengers and I haven’t run into anyone yet who considered changing their plans not to come due to concerns about terrorism more
Cruises & All-Inclusive, Eileen's Blog, Families & Groups | , | comments


Do Millennial Families Travel Differently Than Everyone Else?


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
Eileen's Blog | , , , , | comments


New Fathom Cruises combine love of travel with desire to make a difference


Fathom cruisers making water filters in the Dominican Republic
Sure cruises are meant to be fun in the sun. But you want something that will offer more than that to your family. Welcome aboard Fathom, a different kind of cruise that combines one’s love of travel with the desire to make a difference in the world more
Cruises & All-Inclusive, Destinations, Eileen's Blog, Families & Groups, Parks & Outdoors, Volunteer & Service | , , , , , , , | comments


The Zika virus and family travel: what you should know


mosquito-travelers-CDC
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. more
Eileen's Blog | , , , , , , | comments


Remembering Stein Eriksen; Rooting for Jake Burton Carpenter


Stein Ericksen in the early 1950s
Stein Eriksen, a founder of modern skiing, has died in Park City, UT at 88. Meanwhile, Jake Burton Carpenter, 62, is making an amazing recovery from a life-threatening illness. more
Eileen's Blog, Lodging, Snow Vacations | , , , | comments


Taking a family-style river cruise to explore the German Christmas Markets


Candied almonds at the Christmas Market in Frankfurt
Frankfurt has one of Germany’s 2500 Christmas Markets and one of the country’s oldest, locals claim, dating back to 1393, though those in Nuremberg dispute that. more
Cruises & All-Inclusive, Destinations, Eileen's Blog, Families & Groups, Getting There, Lodging | , , , , , , , , , | comments


When is paying premium economy worth it?


Lufthansa Lounge JFK
Is paying extra for premium economy worth the extra price? Sometimes, you get a lot for your buck; other times you wonder what you paid for. more
Eileen's Blog, Families & Groups, Getting There | , , , , , , , | comments


Delivery of Travel Content Dramatically Changes, Influencing Brands and Vacation Planners’ Decisions


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.
News release: Family Travel Influencers at 5th TMS Family Travel Conference prove to be case study in travel industry content paradigm shift to social media more
Eileen's Blog | , , , , , , , | comments


Mexico in the fall – special insights into culture and heritage


A view of Puerto Vallarta's Central area
Visit Mexico during an annual festival and you will have special insight into the country’s cultural traditions and heritage. Mexico, of course, is a lot more than the sum of its beaches, as wonderful as they are. more
Beach Vacations, Destinations, Eileen's Blog, Families & Groups | , , , , | 1 Comment


The new One World Observatory in New York – breathtaking


View from One World Observatory
“It’s like you are on top of the world you’re so high,” said Aman Gaudani, from Oakbridge, NJ who was taking in the view from the newly opened One World Observatory, atop the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere. more
Backyard Vacations, Destinations, Eileen's Blog, Families & Groups, Volunteer & Service | , , , , , , | comments





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