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

Featured Savings



Daily Tips

Take Your Kids on a tour of the White House

Nov 1, 2014
The White House Visitor Center reopens after $12.6 million revitalization. The center has been closed for two years and opened back up to the public on September 13.

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>






Connect

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:

  • noemi bermudez: We really want to go out on a Disney cruise for the holidays but they always conflict with Christmas recess helllppp!!!
  • dina: I really liked your article. I have family living in London, I hope it is close to east End so I can visit all the restaurants you mention.
  • Amy Carney: Loved using your guidebooks in Boston, Washington DC and Boston! Thanks for making touring these big cities easier for us!...
  • Luana: On holiday when the kids wander off!! I have read reviews of the Vital ID identity wristbands that help find lost kids and thought it may be helpful to...
  • Alison: I love that you can pick and choose what your family is interested in doing! It would be a wonderful place for them to try out different things that they...
  • Kimberly: OH! I am so jealous!!!! This place looks like a lot of fun. I wish I could afford to take my family some place like this. I think they would have a...
  • Kimberly: WOW! They offer a lot of great activities. The Ramblewild excursion looks like a lot of fun. I’d like to try something like that but I’d...