Day Two at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter
Guests to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter enjoy Butterbeer

Day Two at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter

”The wand learns from the wizard and the wizard from the wand," the Wandkeeper tells us, standing behind the counter in the small room that is lined floor to ceiling with shelves packed with wands in all kinds of boxes.

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To the Caribbean in Summer
Viceroy Angulla resort

To the Caribbean in Summer

Finally, a Caribbean beach that's everything a Caribbean beach should be - quaint, with hammocks strung from palm trees, crystal-clear water perfect for snorkeling, white sand, a first-rate beach bar and enough water toys to keep the kids happy (banana boat ride anybody?)

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Aboard the Biggest Cruise Ship Afloat
The Oasis of the Seas.

Aboard the Biggest Cruise Ship Afloat

hink every kind of food the kids and you could want 24-7 (wine-pairing menus to burgers and fries, chicken noodle soup to gazpacho, healthy smoothies to ice cream sundaes), entertainment ("Hairspray" to synchronized divers performing in an outdoor AquaTheater and children's puppet shows) and activity (mini-golf and water playground, teen disco and giant arcade, carousel and junior spa).

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Scoring a Holiday Deal That Won’t Bust the Budget
Skiing Santas at Canyons Ski Area near Park City Utah

Scoring a Holiday Deal That Won’t Bust the Budget

I'm perched in a wooden treehouse lazing on a cushy double mattress atop a white sand beach along Mexico's Riviera Maya. Overlooking the turquoise Caribbean Sea, I'm about as far away from holiday hoopla and craziness as I can get when the beach butler comes by to see if I need anything.

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To sky country in summer
A family takes a break on a hike at Keystone Resort, Colo. North Peak looms.

To sky country in summer

Yes, ski resorts in summer. They might just be the best vacation value going in this summer of great vacation values. Ski instructors around the country whisper that they came to the mountains for the snow but stayed because of the glorious mountain summers.

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An up-close look at the Azul Sensatori near Cancun
Inside the kids club at the Azul Sensatori

An up-close look at the Azul Sensatori near Cancun

This might be the best kids’ club I’ve seen. Certainly one of the best-thanks to partnerships with My Gym and Fisher Price at the Karisma Azul Sensatori resort just south of Cancun (www.karismahotels.com). There is a big play room complete with trampoline and balls to jump in.

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Finding an affordable last minute holiday getaway
Native American kids at the Hyatt Regency Scottsdale

Finding an affordable last minute holiday getaway

Finally, some good news for traveling families. If you thought the ever-worsening economy meant you should forgo a holiday or post-holiday getaway with the kids, think again. The reality is that this may be the year to travel.

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