Daily Travel Tips
Weekly Column
Eileens Blog
Travel Diary
In the Media

Daily Tips

Experience A Classic Bahamas Getaway At Abaco Beach Resort

Mar 6, 2015
Through April 12, 2015, you can enjoy island hopping and the white sands of the Bahamas with Abaco Beach Resort’s Ultimate Spring Getaway package.

Eileen's Favorites

Calendar of Events

Get out there and have some fun! See family friendly events happening all over the nation in our Calendar of Events.

Passports with Purpose

Repeat after me: “There is no such thing as a perfect vacation”

Enough!   Enough about perfect vacations that are going to build lifelong memories.

Anyone who has ever traveled with kids or grandkids knows there is no such thing as a perfect vacation.  Wonderful—yes—memorable, certainly.  But never perfect.

I wish the travel industry would stop trying to convince us that if we only stay at this hotel, chose that cruise line or use a particular credit card, the kids won’t bicker, rooms will be ready when we arrive without any delays, of course, and all will be wonderful every moment.

I’m encouraged that the travel industry is paying attention to family travelers.  After all, we are a billion+ industry, with well over 100 million trips a year. 

And certainly there is a lot that the travel industry can do to make it easier for family travelers in 2013.  Here’s my wish list for 2013:

Mandate the use of safety seats on planes for young children who, incidentally are the only thing not required on an aircraft to be restrained on take off and landing.  The FAA encourages parents to use safety seats on planes.  So does the American Academy of Pediatrics.  But because it isn’t required and because a child under two can fly free in a parent’s lap, many new parents  don’t realize how their babies can fly out of their arms in turbulent skis.  Here’s more about the issue.    

Overhaul kids’ menus to offer healthier alternatives.  Disney parks have done it.  So have Hyatt and Fairmont Hotels.   Vail Resorts is piloting new menus at Keystone.  No parent wants their child to eat a steady diet of chicken fingers and mac and cheese on vacation or at home.  Kids don’t want that either.  Let’s see more innovative kids’ menus with more local offerings.  Let’s see restaurants and hotels offer kids-eat-free but not limited to the kids’ menus.  (Charge them half price for half orders!)

Go Green!  Instead of offering useless gifts to kids at hotels and resorts, present each child with a reusable water bottle when they check in.  Give them a sticker to slap on the bottle and suggest they collect stickers wherever they go—museums, theme parks, attractions.  And if you are going to post those signs about hanging up  the towels to save water, etc, don’t replace them each day when guests dutifully have hung them up. (That drives my daughters crazy!)

Offer more complimentary kids’ programs.  Why do you think families love cruising so much?  Disney’s Aulani Resort is doing it  in Hawaii. Twenty-first century families don’t want to pay big bucks for kids’ clubs that may not be that great to start with.  They would like a break, though, to go to the spa, have a drink or dinner.  Hotels and resorts should realize how much more parents and grandparents will spend if they entertain the kids gratis for a few hours. 

Be more transparent.  Families—moms in particular—who live on social media–are looking  for more information to help them travel easier.  I’m  a fan of www.snowmamas.com from Park City Mountain Resort because it’s honest.  Traveling moms talk about their bad days as well as those I-can’t believe-I’m -here moments, like what one mom wrote about hitting the snow for the first time with her daughter with special challenges.  Encourage families to tell their stories—warts and all.

Here’s to happy travels in 2013.

Eileen's Blog | , , | 1 Comment

One Response to Repeat after me: “There is no such thing as a perfect vacation”

  1. Carlsbad is working on the total family experience. Being in Southern Cali we have an abundance of low cost and free outdoor fun. Carlsbad is the only city on the west coast that has 3 unique lagoons.(oops excuse the pr slip) My hard hat tour of our new LEGOLAND Hotel gave insight that kids and parents are going to have a blast!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Facebook Twitter YouTube Follow us with RSS

Family Travel Guides for Every Season

eNewsletter Archives

Taking the Kids publishes two e-newsletters per month, filled with information and advice for families traveling with children as well as tips on destinations and special travel offers from sponsors.

Find your hotel at the best price
Compare booking sites with trivago!

Follow us on Twitter

Recent Comments:

  • nicole johnson: need pricing and schedules achedr princess for a day. month of march
  • Amber: I am planning on taking my daughter to Disney on April 1st which is her 5th birthday and want it to be the most special day ever for her and I was...
  • Maud: We went to Costa Rica and stayed with family and did not enjoy it as much and vowed that the next time we visit we book hotel stay. Staying at family is...
  • Maryann Gomez: there is so much to do in California that your teens will not want to go home! You didn’t say what part of Cali you are going to. If...
  • Annie {Stowed Stuff}: This looks amazing for a big family like ours. Must check out West Palm Beach Marriott!
  • properties in spain: Hi everyone, it’s my first goo too see at this website, and post is truly fruitful for me, keep up psting thesse content.
  • Laura Funk: I have never found a Marriot that I didnt love. Thanks for the post