Kyle McCarthy

Co-founder and editor of Family Travel Forum

Kyle McCarthy is the co-founder and editor of Family Travel Forum, the award-winning media network serving all who Have Kids, Still Travel!® with print and online guides since 1996. In addition to publishing the travel planning community, chosen by the Wall St. Journal as "Best for Grandparents," The Family Vacationist blog and e-newsletter, Ms. McCarthy oversees annual scholarships for young writers in conjunction with the Society of American Travel Writers.

She also partners on the Family Travel Consulting marketing and strategy team. Together with the FTF community, Ms. McCarthy authored "The Complete Idiot's Guide to the Best Family Destinations" (Penguin, 2011) to share more than 200 favorite destinations in North America, and edited "Amazing Places to Take Your Kids" (PPI, 2009). Before becoming mom to Regan (now 21), she co-authored 12 guidebooks for the Frommer series covering Southeast Asia, Thailand, Greece and Turkey and freelanced for several publications. She has spoken at several conferences and industry events and is proud to be a partner of TMS Family Travel.

Top 5 Multigenerational Vacations for Every Budget
November 17, 2015
According to findings from the 2015 MMGY Global Portrait of American Travelers survey, more than 40 percent of Americans reported taking a multigenerational trip in the previous year. And demand continues to rise, with MMGY Global forecasting multigenerational trips to increase by 7 percent in 2016.
Our Very Best Summer Vacation Ideas
August 17, 2015
Our annual summer roundup of favorite family vacations will help you plan that perfect getaway, one with time to relax, reconnect, and refresh yourself and your loved ones with great memories. Will this summer be for mountain hikes and canoeing? Beach and sandcastles? Shopping, shows and food truck tours? Perfecting your Spanish, horseback riding? Whatever your pleasure, we know you want to make the most of your time and travel budget.
TMS Family Travel Summit Riviera Nayarit
May 8, 2015
At you can learn all about the spring time TMS Family Travel Summits for the travel trade, and the fall TMS Family Travel Conferences for media. Until you can join us, here's a quick look at the #TMSRivieraNayarit focused on "Opportunities in International Family Travel" and what went on in this little slice of paradise on the Pacific coast on Mexico.
Sun, Snow And Sea Spring Break Vacation Ideas
April 7, 2015
The perfect spring break getaway is one of the easiest and best value vacations to plan. Tucked between the pricey winter holidays and the crowded summer ones (or vice versa in some parts of the world), vacations between February and April are easier on your budget, too.
Making Lemonade on an Emergency Airport Layover
April 2, 2015
I got a pound of lemons: an air traffic delay in Fort Lauderdale, a flight cancellation, being rerouted to Chicago O’Hare, an accident at LaGuardia, emergency airport closures, and a snow alert that forced me to spend 26 hours at an airport hotel. If not for that, I might never have "made lemonade" in Rosemont, Illinois. Seemingly a suburb of the world's busiest airport (measured by flight operations), Rosemont is home to the DES Convention Center and an aggregate of family activities, despite there being "no there there."
Family Wellness Lives At Omni La Costa Resort
January 16, 2015
The Omni La Costa Resort & Spa is designed for family fitness vacations, and is a fun place to introduce children to a healthy lifestyle. Luxuriously restored, the Mediterranean style resort was founded nearly a half-century ago as the country's first spa (they called it a "fat farm" then.), They've been perfecting the arts of wellness ever since.
Professional Travelers Share Money-Saving Tips For Holiday Travel Shopping
December 15, 2014
Today's savvy traveler may check out blogs, social media feeds, online travel agencies and the Sunday Travel Section for deals, but nothing beats the advice of trusted friends. And since everyone's Holiday Wish List includes a dream vacation, the expert vacation planners at the 4th TMS Family Travel Conference have shared their money-saving secrets for travel with family, friends or solo adventures.
This Year's Best Ski And Snow Family Vacations
December 8, 2014
It's time to warm up to snow sports by planning family ski and snowboard vacations. Introduce the kids to the great outdoors at North America's top mountain resorts where, no matter their fitness or ability level, there are snow activities to do together.
A Week of Perfect Health
December 2, 2014
It takes a visionary like Deepak Chopra to understand that in this day and age, being able to successfully achieve "Perfect Health" in one week is an irresistible offer. Anyone interested in practicing what Chopra preaches in "The Seven Spiritual Laws of Yoga," or his 80 other books, should head straight to the Chopra Center for integrative wellness at the Omni La Costa Resort in Carlsbad.
Major Voices In Family Travel Industry Convene at #TMSCarlsbad
November 12, 2014
The fourth TMS Family Travel Conference, the largest convocation of writers, bloggers and influencers in the fast-growing family travel market, meets November 20-22 to explore ways to expand audiences through content distribution, collaboration and partnerships. The conference, held at the Omni La Costa Resort & Spa, is organized by Travel Media Showcase and co-hosted by Family Travel Forum, Taking The Kids and Visit Carlsbad. Sponsors of the sold-out conference, including Southwest Airlines, Trivago, Walt Disney Parks & Resorts and SeaWorld, represent cruise lines, hospitality, theme parks, discount ticket providers and other verticals of the travel industry which market to families.
Fabulous Fall Getaways
September 15, 2014
Escaping from the everyday during fall is one of travel's greatest secret pleasures: the perfect climate, right ratio of visitors to locals, meals that celebrate the harvest bounty, and off season prices that make it truly affordable. The harvest is also a good reminder that not every family is as fortunate. During September, you can help feed others with the Dine Out for No Kid Hungry campaign, which is collecting donations from more than 7,000 nationwide chain restaurants including Tommy Bahama, Baja Fresh, Arby's, Applebee's as well as local eateries.
Lake Charles Louisiana Knows How To Party
September 15, 2014
Given a limited budget, an unlimited appetite and an interest in local culture, you can't go wrong with a weekend escape to Southwest Louisiana, the South's party capital. I recently spent three days in a Lake Charles casino for the annual Travel Media Showcase –- the best conference to learn about new destinations and what they offer travelers. Joanne Vero, TMS producer, welcomed us saying, "This is the best combination of everything Vegas offers: the food, the shows, the nightlife, with real Southern hospitality... and I love it!" While there, I met many parents and grandparents who enjoyed (or tolerated) the booze, slot machines and vocal revelers to show their kids a great time.
Our Very Best Summer Vacation Ideas
May 30, 2014
The annual summer family vacation is a welcome treat each year, even if you didn't endure the brutal winter that our family experienced. It's a chance to slow down and visit with loved ones as life rushes by, or an excuse to take several mini-getaways in between over-scheduled weeks. As vacation time becomes more precious we want to help you make the most of it, so we teamed up with to share some of the best ideas for grandparents, parents, extended family and children of all ages to enjoy together.
Royal Caribbean and Universal Orlando Surf and Turf Family Vacations
March 25, 2014
In an exciting move to offer family vacation planners an all-in-one kids vacation, the Royal Caribbean cruise line is offering a deluxe Caribbean cruise vacation combined with a three or four-day land stay at the Universal Orlando theme parks. Already the best in class at what they do respectively -- cruises and thrill rides -- a combination vacation gives you the chance to experience both styles of fun.
Vera Bradley, Queen of Fort Wayne, Indiana
March 25, 2014
I admit to being a New York fashion snob who would sooner shop in le Midi than in the Midwest, so not until I attended the Travel Media Showcase conference in Illinois last summer had I even heard of Vera Bradley. The friendly team at the Visit Fort Wayne tourism booth told me they were hometown to the Vera Bradley Company, and that the dizzying array of quilted fabric handbags and kids' packs at Rockford's Crimson Ridge Boutique was the largest collection of Vera Bradley gear outside Indiana. Really?
Ferran Adrià Invites You to Dine at el Bulli
March 25, 2014
Whether you're a passing foodie or a lover of fine gastronomy, you've probably heard of elBulli, the small eatery in central Spain that became the world's most famous restaurant when it closed its doors – at the height of its success – in 2011. Its former head chef of 25 years, Ferran Adrià, is the featured subject of the Museum of Science, Boston's new show, Innovation in the Art of Food: Chef Ferran Adrià.
Best for the Budget: Do Orlando Vacations in May
March 25, 2014
Lucky you, taking the kids to Orlando in May. Maybe your kids aren't in school yet or you’re homeschooling. Maybe you live in a part of the country where the school year ends early. Maybe your kids are young enough to miss a few days of school when the grandparents announce they want to gather the gang for a family reunion vacation. Whatever your situation, you couldn't plan smarter than a trip to Orlando in May, which is considered low season.
Awed By The Water World Of Niagara Falls USA
March 4, 2014
Having spent five days exploring Niagara Falls, New York, we are fascinated to see how water defines the entire region. Of course it's the home of Niagara Falls, one of the largest cataracts in the world and a site we all agree is worth the journey. But there's so much more to experience we are almost overwhelmed.
Sun, Snow And Sea Spring Break Vacation Ideas
February 19, 2014
The perfect spring break getaway is one of the easiest and best value vacations to plan, so we invite you to sit down with this roundup of the top adventure, beach, resort, cruise, festival, city, historical and international short breaks and explore the possibilities. The following places recommended by us and Taking the Kids guarantee a better-than-college spring break experience whether you're planning a reunion of several generations, fun with a bunch of friends, or some "we" time with loved ones.
The Unthinkable
February 12, 2014
On February 3, 2014 the unthinkable happened, unthinkable to me because a child lost his life on a cruise vacation. That he was just four; that he drowned in a pool aboard a ship with great family facilities - doesn't make it more unthinkable. Just incredibly sad.
Top Holiday Lights Celebrations Across America
December 19, 2013
We love the winter season, when holiday lights, Christmas decorations, colorfully wrapped presents and the most imaginative retail displays overtake downtowns around the world, regardless of whether there's sun or snow outside. It's the time for a New Year's getaway, or maybe visiting relatives, preparing for church recitals, baking cookies, cutting down your own Christmas tree, dusting off favorite songs and bedtime stories and, of course, taking in local festivities.
Real Original Rockford Illinois
September 2, 2013 takes you on a quick tour of the many fun attractions in Rockford, Illinois - a small town with big city diversions in a friendly community. For other Midwest family vacation destinations, visit Famliy Travel Forum sites and share the latest with other global travelers.
Family Travel Summit: Family Vacations Change, As Families Change
June 14, 2013
With demand for family-friendly summer vacation destinations, multigenerational accommodations and organized tours at an all-time high according to industry sources, the moms behind the first TMS Family Travel Summit decided to look at what "family travel" really means.
Our Very Best Summer Vacation Ideas
June 12, 2013
We have partnered with to come up with the very best family vacation ideas for your summer getaway, the most rewarding time of the year for the 81% of families who vacation with both children and grandparents.
Disney Cruises Extend Mickey's Reach Around The World
May 22, 2013
Aware that families love cruising together -- especially with grandparents -- and that the ease of travel by ship, unlimited food, and exotic ports of call are more popular than ever, Disney Cruise Line is shifting its fleet to maximize guest choices.
Family Travel Trends For The Year Ahead
May 22, 2013
Family Travel is no longer a travel niche; findings from the two Family Travel Conferences held in 2012 prove that this market, overlapping leisure and business travel, is bigger and more influential than ever before.
What Moms And Dads Teach Us About Family Vacations
May 14, 2013
The second Family Travel Conference just wrapped up at the deluxe Omni Dallas Hotel. Family Travel Forum, along with and Traveling Mom hosted more than 70 top media and industry leaders, 30% with kids in tow, for a weekend of sharing, discussion and learning at the state-of-the-art convention center hotel.
A Hotel So Family Friendly You Can Raise Your Kids There
May 14, 2013
Having posted a recap of current trends in family travel from our recent Family Travel Conference, I wanted to mention some insights gained from our lead sponsor, Omni Hotels and Resorts.
Free Travel Fun In Sioux Falls
May 14, 2013
Straddling the junction of major Interstates 1-29 and I-90, Sioux Falls, South Dakota is one of those sprawling American cities that most summer road-trippers zip right through. But if you're on your way to Mt. Rushmore or rushing back from Yellowstone, we suggest you pause for a few days and soak up the many fun, free activities that a family can enjoy. Founded in 1856 among millions of acres of corn fields (grown for biofuel), you just might glimpse America's heartland.
Quebec City, Canada Hotels And Resorts
May 14, 2013
Presenting our comprehensive guide to the top family-friendly hotels and urban resorts in Quebec City, Canada, a culture and cuisine-packed family destination that has something for every age group.
Kyle McCarthy
TMS Mamas and Papas

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Since its inception in 2007, the Family Travel Forum Teen Travel Writing Scholarship has encouraged literacy among 45,000+ teens competing to win cash stipends for school. We hope you will join us in the effort to "Help keep teens moving Write along" and grow the next generation of educated travelers!
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