TMS Family Travel
TMS Family Travel Conference 2015 - Kansas City, MO
by Barb Webb
November 16, 2015
When I arrived in Kansas City, Missouri, I expected to find good barbecue joints and plenty of jazz. What I didn't expect to find is a lovely metro mecca brimming with opportunities for family travel fun! Though my time in the city was limited, thanks to the Kansas City xx and TMSKC conference, I was able to experience a good range of activities and local favorites. During this time, I quickly became convinced that Kansas City, MO is a very cool destination that I'm looking forward to introducing my family to (hopefully) soon!
November 5, 2015
Given the choice of hotel chains for my business trips, I'll usually choose a Westin. Their Heavenly Bed and Heavenly Bath make for such a relaxing stay. Last month, as part of the TMS Family Travel Conference, I stayed at the Westin Crown Center Kansas City, which is a great hotel for a Kansas City family vacation.
November 2, 2015
They were among the best baseball players in the United States, traveling cross-country to play the game they loved before cheering fans. But they were often forced to sleep on their bus and eat peanut butter crackers. "They could fill up the ballpark but couldn't get a meal or a place to stay from the same fans that had just cheered them," said Bob Kendrick, president of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City, Mo.
October 27, 2015
Admittedly, I don't get to travel to the midwest as much as I'd like to. I've always enjoyed my trips there - there are so many fantastic museums, family attractions, and other things to do. A few weeks ago, as part of the TMS Family Travel Conference, I had the opportunity to travel to Kansas City, MO. Throughout the conference weekend, I also was able to experience some of the best things to do with kids in Kansas City, MO.
June 16, 2015
Not so long ago, when the subject of terrorism and its effects on international travel came up, we weren't usually talking about Europe. Unfortunately, the horrific Charlie Hebdo attack in Paris on Jan. 7 and the subsequent foiled attacks in Belgium, Germany and even the Vatican, have changed the conversation. Not surprisingly, safety is especially concerning to family travelers, according to Adrien Glover, vice president of content for ItaliaRail. Glover presented her findings on travel safety to media and travel trend analysts at the recent TMS Family Travel Summit, held in Riviera Nayarit, Mexico.
June 4, 2015
Recientemente estuve de visita en el Tesoro del Pacífico Mexicano, me refiero a Riviera Nayarit, un destino que se extiende a lo largo de más de 300 kilómetros de playas, cuenta con una amplio ramillete de opciones para todos, ha sido reconocido por su industria hotelera y se ha colocado como el destino de mayor crecimiento en México.
June 1, 2015
Riviera Nayarit's La Tovara National Park might not look like much to a first-timer. The entry sign is a little worse for wear, and the parking lot is perfunctory and mostly empty. But this is probably how the birders prefer it. Set some 100 miles north of Puerto Vallarta near the colonial town of San Blas, La Tovara is a premiere destination for bird-watching.
May 28, 2015
Del 23 al 25 de abril tuvo lugar en Riviera Nayarit el TMS Family Travel Summit 2015, en cual tuve la oportunidad de participar y poder conocer los encantos que ofrece este sitio como destino turístico para las las familias. Este evento fue posible gracias a la facilidades otorgadas por Iberostar Playa Mita, sede de la reunión y el área de Relaciones Públicas de la Oficina de Visitantes y Convenciones de la Riviera Nayarit. Y a los creadores de esta evento internacional,TMS Family Travel Summit.
May 28, 2015
Family travel is one of the most sought-after segments in the industry, but just as children grow and change, so does this key market. At the third annual Travel Media Showcase Family Travel Summit, held last month at the Iberostar Playa Mita Resort on Mexico's Riviera Nayarit, trend analysts and media explored the issues that concern today's family travelers as they contemplate international travel.
May 27, 2015
There are plenty of reasons for travelers to stay put in Puerto Vallarta, from raucous bars to shiny all-inclusive resorts overlooking the Pacific. But those in search of a quieter scene with more locals than tourists might consider driving north about 100 miles to San Blas, a Spanish colonial town in Riviera Nayarit that's rife with history and natural beauty.
May 19, 2015
The third annual TMS Family Travel Summit convened at Iberostar Playa Mita in Mexico’s Riviera Nayarit region in April, and more than 20 news outlets, social media leaders, family travel experts and data analysts were in attendance. Over the course of the two-day conference, participants discussed trends in international family travel, from the power of brand partnerships to trends among Latino travelers.
May 15, 2015
New Yorker Angela Manna's family typically wouldn't choose an all-inclusive resort, but suddenly she's seen the light. "It's great," she acknowledged. "Everything is so effortless." Her family, including a 9-year-old and an 11-year-old, were relaxing at the beachfront Now Amber resort in Puerto Vallarta for a family wedding. The kids could eat whenever and whatever they wanted, join organized activities, or not, and dad wasn't grumbling about the extra charges that are inevitable at other resorts every time the kids want a boogie board, a smoothie or a snack.
May 7, 2015
The town of San Blas in the Riviera Nayarit region of Mexico's Pacific Coast has more than 20 miles of beaches. We started our beach day at El Borrego where Mexican families sit in the shade under thatched talapas while the kids splash in the warm, water. We sip coconut water—right from a fresh coconut just off the tree, and when we're done, they cut it for us and we eat it Mexican style with lime and salt. Delicious!
May 7, 2015
No Mother's Day candy, please! Honestly, do you know a mom who isn't trying to shed a few pounds? (Me included!) This Mother's Day, give the moms in your life something they will really appreciate. My friend, Nancy Schretter, managing editor of Family Travel Network calls it "Me Time for Moms with a Bow."
May 6, 2015
How many birds can you count? Different species of birds... on a good day, 120 species, says our naturalist guide Francisco Nombre, who happens to hold Mexico's title this year for seeing the most different species in a 24 hour period.
May 5, 2015
Thirteen year-old Win Cooper has been busy trying archery, playing ping pong and water polo. "I like that there is so much to do and I don't have to go with my parents," he said. His two younger sisters, meanwhile, are happy to spend all day in and out the pool and getting ice cream any time they like. "Even for breakfast," said nine year old Ruby.
May 4, 2015
Meet the cutest sisters you have ever seen. Quetzalla is two and Barlaam is three and-a-half and their antics certainly will keep you laughing. They are among the seven dolphins at Puerto Vallarta's most popular family attraction: Dolphin Discovery Aquaventuras Park.
May 3, 2015
Puerto Vallarta is known for its galleries and its food but it is probably known more as a cruise ship stop and for those visiting the all-inclusive resorts. We're staying at Now Amber that is designed for families - check out the swim up suites where families can play just outside their rooms!
May 1, 2015
Who knew? Who knew tacos aren't typically served with crispy stand-up tortillas or smothered in cheese or that a freshly made tortilla topped with some specially prepared meat could taste so delicious? Ricardo Lopez - they call him LOBO - is our guide on a Vallarta Food Tour, which is a company started by American Lindsay Prime.
April 28, 2015
Family travel blogs may be ubiquitous today, but the subject of family travel was relatively virgin terrain when the journalist Eileen Ogintz, then on the staff of The Chicago Tribune, took her first assignment on the subject in 1987.
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.
January 12, 2015
Omni La Costa Resort and Spa is a luxury resort in sunny Carlsbad, California. It is one of the best-rated family resorts in the U.S. and is a top golf and spa destination as well. Carlsbad makes a great base for a Southern California family vacation. This year-round beach town is the home of LEGOLAND California and near the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. It's a short drive from all of the family activities in San Diego and a reasonable distance from Disneyland as well.
by Jen Andrade
January 8, 2015
A few years ago I had the opportunity to bring my family along to the Omni La Costa Resort in Carlsbad, California for a resort review. It was a short trip, but I knew it was a place I would love to come back to. Just before the holidays I had that very chance to stay and attend the Travel Media Showcase, and what an amazing stay it was!
by Amy Whitley
January 5, 2015
A wellness resort that works for family travel? Yep, we've found one. Carlsbad California's Omni La Costa is one part golf and tennis resort, one part spa retreat, yet somehow, 90% family-focused. Those familiar with the Omni brand will understand how we arrived at this conclusion, but for everyone else, let's break it down.
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.
December 5, 2014
IlluminOcean is a brand new holiday event featuring festive sea-themed light sculptures, dazzling light tunnels, a 50-foot GlowMotion tree, and even more exciting – it's FREE! Currently running nightly through January 4th, IlluminOcean is located in Dana Point, California, a small beach town widely known for their whale watching excursions.
December 4, 2014
A couple of weeks ago, I went to LEGOLAND and SeaWorld without my kids. It was part of the Travel Media Showcase fall conference for family travel writers in Carlsbad, California. Friends and family have been interested in the details of the trip, so I'm sharing the experience here. About 40 writers - nearly all bloggers - were selected to attend the TMS Family Travel Conference from around the United States, as well as a number of peer presenters. Attendees applied for invitations months in advance. Sponsors, including Visit Carlsbad and Omni La Costa Resort and Spa, covered the cost of the conference.
December 3, 2014
Our trip to SeaWorld San Diego this November was unprecedented. SeaWorld employees and tour guides treated us to several behind-the-scenes looks at their facilities, including SeaWorld Rescue and a baby dolphin tank. We even got to feed 75-year-old sea turtles! I had no idea the amount of rescue work SeaWorld is involved in. From sea lions to penguins to being the first on the scene to oil spills, SeaWorld is focused on preserving our oceans.
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.
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.
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.
October 29, 2013
Let's face it, a Disney Cruise vacation can be a tough sell for Dad. The Disney fleet of dream liners are more known for their pixie dust versus saw dust. However, with the overhaul of its original cruise ship, the Disney Magic, the game for Dads has changed. Yes, Disney has significantly amped up the Dad factor on the Disney Magic with Super Heroes, Pirates, and high speed thrills. If you're looking for a pink and purple princess powered sojourn on the high seas, fuggedaboutit... youse guys need to check out the Disney Magic ReImagined for Dad.
October 22, 2013
The last time I went to Niagara Falls was when I was 12 years old. I remember donning a raincoat to ride the legendary Maid of the Mist, and laughing out of pure joy and awe as we got totally soaked. So I was really excited to be invited to the TMS Family Travel Conference in Niagara Falls last month, and was looking forward to seeing whether the experience would be as powerful to me all these years later - especially after having just visited Victoria Falls this summer. The short answer is yes.
October 12, 2013
As a born and bred New Yorker, you'd think I would've been to Niagara Falls NY more than once in my life. Before my September trip, I'd only seen the Falls once before. But come to find out, my story is a common one. Lots of us city folk have only visited once.
October 10, 2013
"Go to the Canadian side, it's better" - a comment received when I posted a photo of Niagara Falls, USA on Facebook. You've probably heard it before, maybe even said it too. Sure, the Canadian side has an incredible panoramic view of the iconic Horseshoe Falls, but Niagara Falls USA also has great views while embracing and preserving the natural wonder of the falls. Our family visited Niagara Falls many times but usually headed for the Canadian side, and more often than not the Falls itself was a sidebar to the trip. Not anymore!
October 9, 2013
During the TMS Family Travel Conference we had the opportunity to tour the Becker Farms and Vizcarra Vineyards in Gasport, NY. Becker Farms and Vizcarra Vineyards is a 5th Generation family owned 340 acre working fruit and vegetable farm that sells most of their products directly to the public. I was very excited to visit a farm since living in the city for the past couple of decades I don't often get a chance to visit the countryside and experience nature or farm life.
by Lissa Poirot
October 2, 2013
I recently attended the TMS Family Travel's annual Family Travel Summit in Niagara Falls, N.Y. It was my chance to speak with other family travel insiders about the state of family travel today. While we are happy to see more and more hotels, destinations, attractions and companies are catering the family traveler - and family travel is now the number one leisure travel segment - the biggest takeaway came from hearing Keith Bellows, editor in chief of National Geographic Traveler, speak about the importance of travel in a child's education.
October 1, 2013
You will get wet. Over and over again I heard these words leading up to our excursion with Whirlpool Jet Boat Tours based in Niagara Falls, New York. Despite the repeated warnings, I remained skeptical. I mean the kiddie coaster at our local fair warns of sharp drops and sudden stops. Please. Everything these days comes with warnings and so I tend to blow them off. "How bad can it be?" I thought.
September 29, 2013
Last weekend I headed off to the TMS Family Travel Conference, as one of 50 influential family travel sites that gathered in Niagara Falls, NY. After a hectic morning of missed flights and airline drama, I breathed a sigh of relief when I finally arrived in Niagara Falls shortly before dinner. Dinner that first night was held at Top of the Falls, a restaurant with panoramic view of the iconic Falls within Niagara Falls State Park, the oldest state park in the United States. I was giddy anticipating my first view of "The Falls," and they didn't disappoint.
September 27, 2013
It has been years since I visited Niagara Falls and when I was there a child my family and I only visited the Canadian side of the Falls. Last week I had the opportunity to tour Niagara Falls on the US side with the TMS Family Travel Conference. The conference was amazing and a highlight was visiting Niagara Falls itself. One of the attractions we visited during our time in Niagara was the "Cave of the Winds" Tour on Goat Island.
September 25, 2013
I did not mean for it to happen, but last weekend my soul was fed. I attended a conference for travel writers. Before leaving, I was focused on the conference part of the invitation, and unintentionally ignored the "Travel Writer" part. I thought long and hard about going, and decided to reply "no" for this year. "Maybe next year" I thought, "when things are calmer and I am better at what I do."
September 24, 2013
Growing up in Ontario, Canada has given me plenty of opportunities to see Niagara Falls. I have participated in a number of amazing activities on the Canadian side of the falls, and this weekend I had the opportunity to travel across the Rainbow Bridge and see what there is to offer on the American side.
by Lissa Poirot
September 24, 2013
I'm in Niagara Falls for the first time, staying on the New York side. All of my friends told me to go to the Canadian side, because it's best side. So, with my hour of free time before beginning the TMS Family Travel Conference, I decided to walk along the water and take a look at the falls from both the New York and Canadian side. My ruling: Yes. The Canadian side is better when it comes to having manicured gardens and the best views of Horseshoe and Angel Falls. However, Niagara Falls New York understands they have some work to do to catch up to Canada in terms of attractions and a face-lift, and it's nice to hear they are working hard to bring Niagara Falls New York back to its glory days.
September 23, 2013
In all of my travels with the boys, especially our massive road trip this summer, I have always wanted to create videos that told the story of our destination. I didn't though. Why? Mainly because I was scared of being on camera. Then, Rob Burgos from Full Circle Post entered into my life at the TMS Family Travel Conference this weekend in Niagara Falls, NY. Rob was a speaker on how to create engaging videos that tell a story to your readers, and best of all, he said I never had to be on camera!
September 21, 2013
Lockport, NY and North Tonawanda make a great day out when visiting Niagara Falls with kids or family. As you probably guessed, Lockport takes its name from the Erie Canal locks that connected the Niagara River with the Hudson River through a series of 83 stone locks, so a relaxing canal boat cruise along the Erie Canal and seeing the massive locks is a must, but it's not all Lockport has to offer. Having recently visited, these are my picks for what to do in Lockport and North Tonawanda.
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.
June 12, 2013
We have partnered with TakingtheKids.com 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.
June 12, 2013
Kids are everywhere-on cruise ships anyway-whether you are in the Caribbean, Europe, Alaska or far flung destinations like the Galapagos Islands and even the Arctic. Welcome to our Taking the Kids Cruise Guide for 2013, researched and updated by our intrepid intern Becca Tash.
June 10, 2013
When I participated in the inaugural two-day cruise of the Norwegian Breakaway, I was sans kids (yes, an entire 48 hours to myself!). However, I went with the perspective of a parent. As this is the largest ship to homeport in New York City, I had a lot of ground to cover. I explored the entertainment areas, restaurants, and guest rooms with kids in mind, so I could share with you the ship's family-friendly highlights.
May 29, 2013
Last Friday, May 24th, 2013 SeaWorld Orlando opened their largest attraction expansion to date - Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin. The expanded realm features a new cafe, a huge penguin-themed gift shop, an educational wall, a penguin habitat, and a new family-friendly ride. I had the opportunity to check it out in person last week, and think it's a great addition to an already wonderful park.
May 24, 2013
It's almost summertime, so Orlando is bracing itself for its annual hordes of school-free children and their parents. Orlando is the most popular family vacation destination in the United States, and when summer travel season hits, well, fasten your seat belts. Theme parks, after all, are why Orlando is so popular for family travel (you'll need to fasten literal seat belts to go on many rides). And it's not just Walt Disney World. Ever since Universal Studios Orlando opened its amazingly immersive Wizarding World of Harry Potter, a new level of intensity has been brought to the theme park capital of the world.
May 24, 2013
Seeing is believing and after visiting Universal Orlando Resort I officially 'get' the magic of being immersed in story. We had an after-hours tour of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at the TMS Family Travel Conference in Orlando a few weeks ago and I couldn't get over the level of detail put into this theme park. It's absolutely a story come to life, and for Harry Potter fans, a visit is a dream come true.
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.
May 19, 2013
Time to race? Sail racing is the island of Anguilla's national sport dating back to the early days of the 20th century when Anguillan men on their way back from working in sugar cane fields in the Dominican Republic would race their schooners home. In fact, the unique design of the racing boats here evolved from fishing boats that would fish as much as 40 miles off shoe.
May 14, 2013
The second Family Travel Conference just wrapped up at the deluxe Omni Dallas Hotel. Family Travel Forum, along with TakingtheKids.com 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.
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.
May 13, 2013
I love good news. And we heard a lot of it at our first-ever TMS Family Travel Summit in Orlando. Families are more upbeat about traveling as the economy continues to recover, though they are careful with what they spend.
May 11, 2013
Some of the best art is the Midwest is not only free, but it is on the streets in Sioux Falls, SD. Over 50 pieces of art are scattered through downtown Sioux Falls including its renowned Sculpture walk in downtown Sioux Falls.
May 7, 2013
What matters most to you when you travel with your kids? According to new research from MMGY Global, first reported by Peter Yesawich at the TMS Family Travel Summit in Orlando last weekend, the vast majority of family travelers want time to relax and unwind. They want to see new places (80 per cent) and they want to go somewhere that’s easy to get to (75 per cent.) But once they get there, supervised kids clubs aren’t important.
May 5, 2013
2013 is the Year of the Ear at Disney Parks with new limited release Disney Ear Hats available every month as part of Disney Parks' Limited Time Magic—special experiences designed to surprise and excite guests when they visit—including saving up to 30 per cent with the Monstrous Summer promotion available at Walt Disney World Resorts through mid June.
April 28, 2013
Royal Caribbean wants you to know they've not only got your back but they'll guarantee you an experience like none other on board a ship. That's especially the case if you wait 18 months for the new Quantum of the Seas that will sail out of the New York area.
April 23, 2013
After recent stories on Mazatlan, I got a couple of emails asking if it is safe to travel there. In a word, yes, Mazatlan is a safe city but take the same precautions you would take in any American city. Stay with the crowd. Don't walk by yourself late at night in deserted areas. Leave your expensive jewelry, extra cash and passport locked up in your hotel safe.
April 21, 2013
The Ricketts want their little hotel and villa business to show people that Anguilla is not only for those who can afford five-star luxury. The hotel also serves as the island's unofficial cultural center. In fact, the restaurant is crowded the night we visit with locals and visitors alike for the weekly dance performance that tells the story of Anguilla.
April 14, 2013
I was thinking of how she had to juggle the needs of her kids with her work-as we all do. One minute she's cajoling a son-she had four kids-to come to a family get-together; the next she is deciding whether to grant a death row inmate a reprieve, under pressure from the Vatican and Mother Theresa.
by Vicki Arkoff
April 8, 2013
It's almost time for one of America's favorite girlfriend getaways to the annual Vera Bradley Outlet Sale, the annual event that attracts thousands of savvy shoppers from across the US with its deep discounts of 40-60%-off retail prices for handbags, luggage, stationery and accessories from eyeglasses to cell phone cases.
April 7, 2013
Larissa Horn, e sophomore at NYU, wants to go into the hospitality business. She's a student at the University's famous hospitality school. But she's not just studying the industry. She's been tapped to be the special teen concierge at the Omni Berkshire Place in midtown Manhattan. And unlike other internships, she’s getting paid to do it.
March 31, 2013
Some of you are just heading out on spring break. Some of you are there and are wondering why you left home. That's because traveling with kids is never easy. It's aggravating, stressful, expensive and wonderful. Keep reminding yourself that all the travel research shows that family vacations are responsible for the happiest memories we have—memories that last a lifetime.
March 23, 2013
It's easy to see why families are attracted to Bolton Valley-the low-key atmosphere reminiscent of when parents learned to ski in Vermont and the fact that lift tickets are about 20-30 percent less than at neighboring Stowe.
March 23, 2013
Deer Island, just off Mazatlan’s main beach, is a great inexpensive excursion. For about $40, including lunch and unlimited drinks, tour companies offer getaways that afford visitors up close views of dolphins and sea lions along the way. Once you get to the island, you have your choice of kayaking, snorkeling, swimming, or if all that is too slow, you can take a ride on a high speed banana boat.
March 23, 2013
Mazatlan, Mexico is reinventing itself. The seaside city on Mexico's west coast once had the reputation as party central, a magnet for spring breakers who packed the nightclubs in the city's famed Golden Zone until the wee hours. But no more.
by Vicki Arkoff
March 22, 2013
Just in time for Spring, Vera Bradley welcomes a brand new brand, Baby. Arriving March 14, 2013, the new line for newborns is the first for proud mother Vera Bradley, the coveted women's accessories brand founded in 1982 by two friends, Barbara Bradley Baekgaard and Patricia R. Miller.
March 17, 2013
The majority of adults polled for a new U.S. Travel Association Family Vacation Survey said they were motivated to take family vacations by the desire to create positive memories for their children-fond memories like they have from the vacations they took as children as young as five. The majority noted that some of their favorite photos and videos are from family vacations.
March 10, 2013
You can't bring a bottle of water onto an airplane. You might get stopped at security with a container of breast milk. But you can bring a baseball bat? And small knives? Come on TSA, which announced last week that these items will be allowed as carry-on beginning April 25. How about a little common sense?
March 10, 2013
Certainly you could spend all of your time in Washington, DC without paying to enter a museum—there are plenty of free ones to choose from. But two on our list are private and to the high school boys I'd taken to see the sites for the weekend they were worth the cost of admission.
March 3, 2013
It is pitch black and I am riding a bike through the Sonoran desert. Of course my bike has a light and I'm on a paved trail-a golf cart trail, actually at the expansive (some 1300 acres at the Boulders Resort in Scottsdale known for the distinctive giant boulders that look like snowmen made out of granite and have been here for millions of years.
February 24, 2013
These days, not only do we want more room to spread out (think two rooms, two bathrooms, two TVS) but we want the experience to be fun. And we don't want it to cost a bundle either. Did I mention that Disney has just unrolled free Wi-Fi at all of its resorts?
February 15, 2013
Carnival really needs to work hard in the days ahead to restore trust. That should start with a public explanation of how this happened and how it intends to prevent a recurrence. But instead, Carnival has so far offered only to refund passengers the cost of their cruise, is busing them home and initially offered them $500 each. That seems to fall short.
February 3, 2013
I wish I were at the beach. I'm guessing so do a lot of people right about now when it is freezing across the country. At least I can think about the fun times on the beach in recent months.
January 27, 2013
Even in the most terrific locales, nothing goes as planned. Someone gets sick (we've had lots of ear infections). Someone ends up in the ER (me, here three years ago after a bad fall). Someone has a meltdown. And someone just doesn't want to spend that much time with mom and dad.
by Tonya Prater
January 21, 2013
Did you know that the Omni Hotel in Dallas is rated as one of the top workplaces in the city? And if happy workers mean happy guests, may I just say that Omni does travel good? The Omni Hotel in Dallas knows that your comfort is serious business and they don't mess around. This 1,001 room, 4 star hotel and meeting center will go above and beyond to make sure that you are a satisfied guest, even if that means rearranging your room or hunting down a smaller crutch (yep, as in walking crutch, I heard it from the staff myself). Your comfort is of utmost importance.
January 20, 2013
There are also plenty of women's clinics around the country designed for women to hone their skills, whether they are skiers or snowboarders. I wish every resort had a Ladies' Club like the one offered at Park City Mountain Resort. All it takes is 2 hours and $60.
January 13, 2013
There is no better time than the week we celebrate Martin Luther King Day and the 150th Anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation to embrace teachable moments with kids about slavery-no more so than at the Lincoln Memorial and Martin Luther King Memorial in Washington DC.
January 6, 2013
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.
January 5, 2013
A musical trip down Walt Disney World's Main Street USA.
by Tonya Prater
November 16, 2012
I've mentioned before that I am selective when I choose which blogging conferences I attend. The conference has to offer value by providing tips to make my job as a blogger easier and teach me new skills. Location and networking is important, but as fun as it may be, right now I just can't justify the expense only to visit a new area of the country or to make new friends.
November 14, 2012
I've had great experiences with Omni Hotels, so I was really looking forward to checking out the Omni Dallas Hotel during the Family Travel Conference. Thankfully, the brand-new Omni Dallas Hotel (opened 11-11-11) did not disappoint at all.
October 11, 2012
Barcelo Puerto Vallarta is a 316-unit resort is a five-star all-inclusive resort hotel on Mismaloya Beach. If you have seen the 1960's classic movie that first put PV on the map, Night of the Iguana, Mismaloya Beach was the main setting for the film. In fact, you can still see the ruins of the old set from the Barcelo.
August 17, 2012
Famed author Truman Capote came to the Costa Brava region of Southern Spain to write his 1966 masterpiece In Cold Blood. After one visit, you will have no doubts about where the author got his inspiration.
August 9, 2012
The Oklahoma History Center is sometimes compared with the Smithsonian and justifiably so. As an affiliate of the Smithsonian, the center's exhibits are on par with the Smithsonian but with a focus on the State of Oklahoma.
August 4, 2012
Oklahoma City pays tribute to the victims, rescuers, and survivors of the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building with the Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum. The memorial stands on the former site of the building on NW 5th Street between North Robinson Avenue an North Harvey Avenue.
July 23, 2012
I had just broken the law in San Sebastian, Mexico, and the first person I saw was a police officer. I felt a tinge of panic as our eyes met. I envisioned being hauled away to a jail and being forced to sign away my mortgage to make bail money.
December 28, 2011
If you are not a fan of all-inclusive resorts, Barceló's Maya Beach Resort on Mexico's famed Riviera Maya, may change your mind. Everything about the resort is top-notch, from the service to the stunning beaches.
December 28, 2011
Okay, I will admit it now. I was absolutely terrified. I was about to zip-line over the jungle near Cancun, repel down the side of a tower, and swim in an underground river cave. It was part of the "Mayan Xtreme" excursion that allows everyday people to be Indiana Jones for a day.
August 8, 2011
Irvine's Pretend City Children's Museum delights children of all ages, celebrates its second birthday this month. Irvine, California, is home to one of the world's best children's museums. It's called Pretend City. The museum was 12 years in the making. It will officially celebrate its second birthday on August 30, 2011, with a deal you can't refuse: free. More information here. The celebration starts at 12:30 p.m. and admission is free all day.
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