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Mom hugging boy
Article
10 Tips For Vacationing With A Child Who Has Autism

For the parent of a child or close relative on the autism spectrum, many questions come up each day, even more so when trying to plan a family vacation. That's why we thought one mother's words of wisdom could help those traveling with companions who have autism and other special psychological needs. I interviewed Ilene, the mother of two boys (a 14-year-old and a 12-year-old with autism), who shared...

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Article
11 Driving Tips for Easier Road Trips

Family roadtrips, whether over busy holidays like spring break, the height of summer or for end-of-year festivities, can be made easier with preparation and these handy road trip tips. When it comes to travel, if things can go wrong, they usually do. Do we agree that few things spoil a pleasant journey like car trouble, major congestion, unexpected toll roads or needless fines? What about...

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Selfie station for moon walkers at the Armstrong Air & Space Museum.
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50 Cosmic Ways To Celebrate Space

July 20, 2019 marks the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing when Commander Neil Armstrong took his “first step for man, giant leap for mankind.” It was a huge achievement for 1969 – meeting President Kennedy’s deadline to reach the moon and besting the Russians – and an upnote in a country roiled by political assassinations, anti-war protests, the Hippie movement and changing values. The...

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Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run, a Disney attraction.
Article
This Summer Will Save The Universe For Star Wars Fans

Start the countdown to May 31 if you’re headed to California, or August 29 if Florida is a stopover on the way to a galaxy far, far away. In a surprise announcement at The Walt Disney Company shareholders meeting March 7, 2019, Disney Parks, Experiences and Products revealed the Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge opening dates. Rey, Finn, BB-8 & Friends Land at Disney Both...

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High school students in class
Article
Sponsor Allianz Global Assistance Helps Student Travelers Every Day

We want to thank Allianz Global Assistance for their sponsorship of the annual FTF Teen Travel Writing Scholarship for 2019. Did you know they assist student travels every day, in many other ways? Operating in 34 countries, Allianz Global Assistance is a leading insurance and assistance company that provides...

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woman at laptop computer
Article
Our Favorite Vacation Deals and Booking Sites

We are often asked how to save money planning a vacation, so we are sharing our favorite sites for discount travel booking. We really do use them all. You can click on any of these site ads, search for your needs and pay for your bookings through them, knowing they are trustworthy.  Through our affiliate relationship with them, we will get a small commission payment. Our commission doesn't...

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Article
Traveling With Grandparents And Kids

If you're planning a multigenerational vacations, follow my tips on pleasing everyone -- of all ages -- participating in your family vacation, with tips on keeping them safe and healthy, too. Look around popular resorts these days and you're likely to spot...

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The thatch-roofed bar at the Sacha Lodge, Ecuador
Article
5 Green Hotels that Lure Families

If you're into responsible tourism - and who isn't these days? - check into ecolodges and green hotels in the Caribbean, Central and South America and even in the US, where families can have fun while learning about the environment. While it's easy to maintain environmentally friendly practices at home, eco-conscious citizens usually find this task daunting when they're on a family vacation....

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chlldren's play group
Article
Parent’s Day Out In Orlando

Do you have business in Orlando and want to bring a child along to have their own day out on the town? I would recommend something special so you can work stress-free. Arrange trusted childcare in advance of your Orlando trip and your kids will be treated to a fun outing or other custom-made activity. You can always check online with services such as Care.com. And here are a couple of local...

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Preparatory hike in Moshi region of Tanzania.
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Peak Moments from Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro

“I’m going to climb Mount Kilimanjaro and plant trees with Jane Goodall!” “A bucket list trip?” people would ask. For the record I hate the word bucket list about as much as I despise the phrase 24/7. So pedestrian. No, my husband and I were invited by a guy who use to babysit our kids on Christmas Eve so we could go to church. Jeff Bonaldi grew up and told me he left Citi Bank...

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Vrigin America plane cabin
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Unaccompanied Minors – Our Most Vulnerable Passengers

Smooth out the vacation planning hassles when kids fly solo as unaccompanied minors with these travel tips. Especially in summer, kids are off, on their own, to see the Wizard, to visit grandma, or to spend quality time with a divorced parent who's moved to a Caribbean isle to find himself... While each year there's at least one highly publicized mishap in the transport of minors (one year an...

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The gulet All About You anchored off the coast of Turkey
Article
Swept Away on an Authentic Blue Coast Cruise

Imagine being at sea, skimming along a forested rocky coast, sunning on gleaming golden beaches and snorkeling in aquamarine waters; your dream is a chartered Blue Coast cruise holiday. Families dreaming of exploring the ancient sites and hidden coves of the Turquoise Coast can live their fantasy aboard a traditional wooden yacht known as a gulet (pronounced goolet)....

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Canoes offshore leave for Cozumel.
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Paddling to Cozumel: Sacred Journey of the Maya

The spiritual traditions behind the Sacred Mayan Journey (Travesía Sagrada Maya), a canoe trip paddling to Cozumel in Mexico, have put this journey on many bucket lists. A Bit of Maya Background on the Sacred Journey The Sacred Mayan Journey is a pre-Hispanic (1250 to 1519 A.D.) ritual to honor and worship Ixchel, goddess of the moon, tides, fertility, birth and medicine....

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Adventure by Disney guides lead families
Article
Adventures By Disney AmaWaterways River Cruises

The Adventures by Disney tour company and AmaWaterways are bringing pixie dust to European river cruises. Family-oriented, luxury river cruises have Disney-trained Adventure Guides, engaging activities for a variety of ages, behind-the-scenes tours and after-hours cultural experiences at Europe's most popular ports. The trips are all-inclusive, too, so there are no surprises when it comes to...

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Rock formation in Danzante Bay, Baja California
Article
Your Family’s Villa Getaway in Baja California

A resort with an all-inclusive option and rooms sleeping up to 12, Villa del Palmar Beach Resort & Spa at the Islands of Loreto is an ideal family-friendly destination in Baja California. The first sight of Villa del Palmar Beach Resort & Spa includes the Giganta Mountains, Sea of Cortez and Danzante Bay in a staggering panorama of natural beauty. What sets this property apart from...

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Two shoppers compare finds at the Vera Bradley Outlet Sale.
Article
Vera Bradley, Queen of Fort Wayne, Indiana Outlet Sales

It took me awhile to recognize the Vera Bradley label belongs on a dizzying array of quilted fabric accessories but, as soon as I did, I understood the appeal of the annual Vera Bradley Outlet Sale taking place this year April 10-14, 2019. Her Pucci-like bright-colored, floral and paisley-patterned fabric totes, purses, and laptop bags are ubiquitous, and expensive. The Cult of Vera Bradley Now...

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digital rendering of the upcoming Carnival Panorama
Article
Cruise With Kids Vacations And Family-Friendly Ships

Cruises are hot, and we are seeing families cruise with kids in the Caribbean, Europe, Alaska and far-flung destinations like the Galapagos Islands. Given that the industry’s trade organization, CLIA, projects a whopping 30 million cruise passengers worldwide in 2019, you can count on kids being seen and heard everywhere. Why take a Cruise Vacation Now? Parents love cruising because...

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Teen doing homework
Article
Traveling With Children On The Autism Spectrum

Parents with children on the autism spectrum know better than most that family vacations are, by their very nature, a break from routine. But what do you do when routine is what your child requires? This is the dilemma faced by families traveling with children with disorders on the autism spectrum, and is made all the more poignant when families have an older child with whom they...

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Roswell crash site model is on show at the International UFO Museum in Roswell.
Article
In Roswell, Aliens Among Us

When a loud noise forced foreman William Mack Brazel to hop in  his pickup truck and inspect Foster Ranch, he found such strange debris in a corn field that he assumed it was the wreckage of a UFO and the victims, aliens. That was July 2, 1947. About 75 miles away, the closest New Mexico town -- Roswell -- quickly became known as the “flying saucer crash site.” Roswell has long played...

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El Loco at the Circus Circus Hotel's Adventuredome is an indoor roller coaster.
Article
Gambling on a Good Time with the Kids

As summer approaches, one of the hottest destinations in America will be Las Vegas, a place where you don't have to gamble on a good time with the kids. Huh? If the idea of a Vegas ‘family vacation’ seems ludicrous, you’ll be surprised with how much the city caters to young vacationers. Games of Chance Galore Why? Start with the thrill rides and arcades at many casinos...

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Dig This! guests use heavy construction equipment in a huge Vegas sand box.
Article
Las Vegas, Nevada Attractions

We'll roll the dice on this and guarantee fun on your next Nevada vacation -- if you pack our age-appropriate rundown of the best attractions for kids, teens and families in adult-oriented Las Vegas. Great Fun for the Kids (Toddler to Age 8) Circus Circus Adventuredome 2880 Las...

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Woman hiking on the slopes of Mount Teide on Tenerife
Article
These 9 Activities are Better than the Best Beach in Tenerife

The Canary island of Tenerife appeals year-round as one of Europe's best beach destinations, with geographic contrasts that spawn activities and landscapes you don’t find in a typical island vacation. While the Canary Islands belong to Spain, they sit in the Atlantic Ocean off the west coast of Morocco – a cultural plus. Geographically, Tenerife is in Africa; politically, it is in Europe...

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Melody Yang is one of the next generation of bubblicious stars with Gazillion.
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Gazillion Bubble Show is Back in Town!

It's survived and flourished through those painful tween years, and now a great kids show -- Gazillion Bubble Show -- is celebrating its 13th birthday as one of New York's best value live theatre experiences. It’s hard to believe that it was 2007, when performer Fan Yang brought his unique brand of bubble artistry to New York City for a limited run. Since then, big and small and...

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Raft the Gates of Ladore rapids with your kids
Article
The Very Best Spring Break Vacation Ideas

Spring break is our favorite time to get away with the family, an ideal time to travel affordably between the pricey winter holidays and crowded summer months. Why is spring break such a wonderful escape? Maybe because you’ve been working so hard all year. Maybe because you get to feel the sun on your shoulders after being cold for months. Or maybe because you get to spend a week making great...

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A miniature rendition of Parc Guell, in Barcelona seen at Catalunya en Miniatura
Article
Barcelona, Spain With Teens In Tow

If you need a spring break destination that teens will thank you for, Barcelona Spain -- with its own language, cuisine and arts -- is a favorite with this crowd and all ages. Whether your family's travel choices are guided by shopping, dining, history, the arts, Woody Allen's "Vicky Cristina Barcelona" or just a general good time, Barcelona fits the bill.

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Michelle and Barack Obama in Hawaii with their daughters.
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9 Lessons Learned: Michelle Obama on Becoming a Family Traveler

I recently learned some family travel lessons from Michelle Obama, one of the most traveled women in the world. Anyone who’s had the pleasure of reading Becoming, the new...

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Water park at Pointe Hilton Squaw Peak resort.
Article
An Ideal Phoenix Family Resort For Multigenerational Travel

The family amenity specs at the Pointe Hilton Squaw Peak are impressive when seen online:  563 all-suite accommodations including a separate living room, two flat-screen TVs, and a queen-sized sofa bed; two-story casitas with even more sleeping room plus 224 Agave Suites at North Pointe with a concierge and dedicated pool; terrific kids club; and a 4-acre River Ranch water park that features a winding...

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Navajo artisans display their jewerly in Gallup, New Mexico.
Article
Gallup True to Itself

From 200 feet up, the scrubby arid plains of the Navajo Nation surrounding Gallup look soft and inviting, welcoming visitors to pause along Route 66 for a closer inspection. This northwest corner of New Mexico is a melting pot of Navajo, Zuni, Spanish and Anglo cultures -— a very affordable place where the landscape, local traditions and welcoming people guarantee memories your family will not...

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Public garden playspace at night in downtown Tel Aviv at Habima Square.
Article
16 Family Experiences You Can Only Share in Israel

Israel, usually marketed as a destination for religious pilgrims, has many unique sites that non-sectarian families can learn from. During my fully-escorted weeklong tour in December, 2018, I discovered 16 experiences that have had lasting impact. I also corrected several misconceptions, including that the climate was warm and dry; it's not necessarily so in winter. Jerusalem Highlights for...

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Great Britain leaving the European Union is one puzzle everyone is trying to solve. Graphic c. EPP
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UK and EU Citizens Guaranteed Visa-Free Travel Post Brexit

The clock is ticking towards Brexit Day, March 29, 2019, the day that the United Kingdom plans to break its ties with the European Union. Throughout Europe and the UK, there is mounting confusion about what Brexit means for citizens. Why? Because several points of the negotiated deal for an orderly departure...

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Tom's Cove on Chincoteague Bay, Virginia
Article
Great Grandparent Adventures with Road Scholar

Grandparents know the most valuable presents, the ones that never break and don’t need batteries, are lessons learned and memories made together. This year, Road Scholar offers grandparents the opportunity to give their...

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Quebec City ice skating rink
Article
Quebec Carnaval Celebrates Family Fun In Snow And Ice

Carnaval is a wintry, family-friendly wonderland that comes alive when the temperatures drop in the heart of the “world’s snow capital” -- Quebec City in Quebec province, eastern Canada. As North America's only fortified city, the crenellated walls and castle-like structures of the Old Town are a stunning backdrop to the fun. Spanning three weekends, Quebec will host its annual carnival or

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Skill catching zone at Atlanta's College Football Hall of Fame
Article
Atlanta, Georgia Attractions

Georgia's biggest city -- Atlanta -- welcomes Super Bowl 2019 with many world-class attractions for visiting families seeking culture, history and recreation. Save up to 50% on combined prices for admission to must-see attractions with Atlanta CityPASS

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Lake Tahoe from Northstar's Comstock Express lift.
Article
Northstar California Shows You How to Raise a Snowboarder

Anyone who has a passion for snowboarding and wants to excel should line up at the Burton Academy at Northstar California. At Northstar, snowboarding is more than a sport. “It’s a lifestyle we teach here,” says Luke (Shep) Sheppard, the director of the resort’s unique school. Northstar...

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On Celebrity Edge, a three-story atrium surrounded by dining and nightlife
Article
Celebrity Sighting! A Dazzling New Cruise Ship

Since choosing a cruise for family gatherings makes logistical issues easy and fun, Family Travel Forum was eager to experience the new Celebrity Edge, touted as the “World’s Most High-Design Cruise Ship.” When her preview cruise sailed in December 2018, it gave us a chance to flash forward nearly a decade from a prior cruise vacation aboard Celebrity...

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The welcoming gates of Graceland, the late Elvis Presley's Memphis estate.
Article
We Love Memphis For Music, Music Shrines And Elvis

Exploring things to do in Memphis Memphis, Tennessee is a blast for a lot of reasons—Elvis, music, Elvis, Ducks, Elvis, Civil Rights, Elvis.  Sitting on the banks of the Mississippi River, its rich musical history goes way beyond Elvis and is celebrated all over town.  Nashville may own Country Music, but Memphis IS the Blues, and from the blues came Rock ‘n Roll, and then there was Elvis. And...

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Cuyahoga Valley National Park campgrounds.
Article
Hike And Ride The Rails At Cuyahoga Valley National Park

Located in Brecksville, between the cities of Cleveland and Akron, little known Cuyahoga Valley National Park surrounds the 100-mile-long Cuyahoga River, named by American Indians for its “crooked” shape. It famously caught on fire in 1969 for just 24 minutes because of pollution. Long cleaned and restored, the river now provides a cool place to fish, kayak and relax without the crowds that many...

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The Sandpearl resort boasts a lagoon pool right along the beautiful white sand beach of Clearwater, Florida.
Article
Favorite Clearwater Beach Family Resorts

Clearwater Beach, halfway between St. Petersburg and Tampa, has become so popular that you need to plan ahead to choose the best Clearwater Beach resort for your family. Why? Clearwater delivers a great family beach experience because it’s cheaper than Florida’s East Coast beaches; and it’s on the Gulf of Mexico which is calmer, shallower and therefore, safer for swimmers than the Atlantic....

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A black candle is lit
Article
5 Destinations Where Black Lives Matter

With a super-charged topic like race relations coloring the perception of many American cities, I suggest exploring five destinations where black lives not only matter, they fuel fascinating cultural institutions too few travelers know about. Here are some highlights of African American culture in Boston, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Memphis and Washington DC to enrich your next vacation. Boston,...

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Capitol building in Washington DC at night with snow.
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Washington DC Hotels

Washington DC has approximately 132 hotels with 31,673 hotel rooms, (DC Press - 2019) ranging from economical chains to 5-star blowouts frequented by presidents and kings from the world over. The list below represents our favorites for adults traveling with school-age or older children because we know, with so many DC...

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Closeup of manatee and snorkeler.
Article
Swimming With Manatees, Gentle Giants of the Sea

Swim and explore the undersea world of the manatee in Crystal River, home to the largest concentration of Florida manatees in the world. These lovable mammals are native to the bays and fresh-water estuaries around the towns of Crystal River and Homosassa, Florida. Although only 85 miles west of Orlando, it's a vacation experience that's a world away in natural beauty and Southern charm.

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Elvis Tribute Artists
Article
The King of Tupelo, Mississippi

I recently overheard two guys who'd scaled Kilimanjaro, run Class VI rapids on the New River, and rested their heads on the most expensive pillows in Paris agree that, of all their travel journalism adventures, none was as much fun as the Tupelo Elvis Festival in Mississippi. Turns out Tupelo is one of the best places on earth. From my research, Elvis Presley fans who have been...

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Article
National Civil Rights Museum And Martin Luther King Jr.

Even if you've seen the very special Martin Luther King Memorial in Washington DC, your family should not miss an opportunity to visit "his" museum: The National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, Tennessee. Each winter, this fascinating collection runs several special family programs at the National Civil Rights Museum in honor of Dr. King and African American History...

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Infant flight travel vest by Baby B'Air.
Article
The Baby B’Air Infant Vest For Lap Children

Just because the airplane doesn't give your little ones their own chair, doesn't mean they can't buckle up in a Baby B'Air designed Flight Travel Harness. If you've read our 8 Must Know Tips for Infant and Toddler Airplane Travel you know we are serious about in-flight safety. That's why we love this product. The...

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Article
Okemo Mountain Resort Has What You Need

Okemo has everything you and your family need for a winter getaway. Ten years ago, it was the first ski resort I ever visited, tagging along with a friends’ family to take in the sights of Central Vermont and spend a day learning how to ski. This return trip, over a decade later, was a reminder of what a great destination Okemo is, and I was also able to appreciate how it’s improved… almost as...

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Article
Surviving Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month

Tackling a new sport like skiing -- whether you're my age or a toddler -- is a challenge that the snow sports industry helps overcome each January with Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month. Perhaps a child, a new companion, or a childhood yearning have driven you to try skiing or snowboarding. Some may be ready to face...

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Ice slide installed in the Gaylord National lobby for ICE!
Article
Finding Holiday Magic at the Gaylord Hotel in Washington DC

Situated on the National Harbor, the expansive Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center is a sprawling hotel complex ready to greet visitors with a waterfront experience. It's almost startling how big this hotel feels in an area close to Washington D.C. where real estate is densely...

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Guests at the Cityscape Lounge on the 46th floor of the Hilton San Francisco Union Square
Article
San Francisco, California Hotels

With so many lodging options and a plethora of unattended rentals, choosing the right hotel -- with a good staff and a convenient neighborhood -- can make your visit to San Francisco, California less stressful. This great walking city full of hills will tire everyone out, so prioritize your attractions, choose...

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A 400-pound Peeps chick rings in the new year in Bethlehem, PA.
Article
Celebrate First Night On New Years

Archaeologists believe the Babylonians were the first civilization to celebrate the New Year, with an 11-day holiday tied to the vernal (spring) equinox starting with a first-night festivity. Sometime during the Roman era, New Year's was set as January 1st, a custom that was adopted in the Middle Ages by many Western countries. For millions who equate New Year's Eve with a party, however, that date...

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kids watching tent setup
Article
Camping 101: How To Look Like An Experienced Camper To Your Kids

Take some advice from a frequent camper who's learned that overnighting in a local park is just as thrilling, and less cumbersome, than a long hike into the wilderness. I want my kids to have the same enriching experiences I had when I was a youth, but I know why my parents sent me camping under the care of others. Simply put, it's not easy, especially for weekend warriors who haven't polished their...

Read More    5 min read

Article
Top 10 Geek Sights In Silicon Valley

If you're tired of technology taking over your life, take back control in Silicon Valley, where you can see the 10 top tech sights of interest to any geek and nerd. Google is headquartered in Mountain View, Facebook in Menlo Park, Yahoo! and Twitter are in Sunnyvale – all suburbs within a half-hour of San Jose. But Silicon Valley –- silicon...

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Liberty Mountain in Pennsylvania is proud of training every 4th and 5th grader to ski or snowboard free of charge! Photo c. SkiPA
Article
This Year’s Best Ski And Snow Family Vacations

Winter is a great time to get outdoors with the kids, whether it's a family ski and snowboarding vacation at one of North America’s top mountain resorts, snowmobiling or snow shoeing on local trails, fun in the snow on a tubing run or seeing wildlife at a national park. Not only is it healthy to take some vacation days and get the whole family away from their screens; it’s also easy to find...

Read More    22 min read

Article
Gifts that Give Back – Kids Presents That Help Others

This season, why not skip the long lines, reduce click-fatigue, save money, stay warm, help a good cause and get some adorable gifts that give back? You can live your family values out loud by spending your gift allowance to show the kids how to support many wonderful adopt-an-animal programs, educational initiatives, and life-changing organizations that work around the world. Here are some of the...

Read More    6 min read

Luke's Lobster Roll with Petrossian Caviar
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What’s Red and Black and White All Over? A Caviar Lobster Roll!

‘Tis the season for holiday revelry and last-minute shopping, and how great would it be if you could bundle these two activities into an easy breezy family afternoon outing? It would be awesome, right? This holiday season our lobster roll patrol discovered that a favorite, Luke’s Lobster  is garnishing its signature...

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cross-country skiing
Article
Bend, Oregon For High Desert Adventure Vacations

Bend is the focal point in central Oregon for active lifestyles and outdoor adventures, with sun all over, snow fun at Mt. Bachelor and recreation for all ages and athletic abilities. Nestled at the base of the picturesque Cascade Mountains, the resort communities of Bend, Redmond, Sisters and Sunriver, Oregon offer a spectacular year-round setting for outdoor recreation. Each has a lot to offer...

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Hudson174 Stack bike helmet folds down at the ribs reducing its height by 40%
Article
6 Well Designed Holiday Presents to Delight Travelers

As more of us adopt an active lifestyle, brands that once catered only to backpackers and extreme athletes are rolling out high-performance products for everyday use. That they’re designed with portability, weight, style and functionality makes them ideal for travel, too.  Here’s a look at seven items to surprise and delight the travelers in your life. Safety First Means Helmet: 174Hudson...

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Adaptive skiing class
Article
Special Needs Destinations And Programs For Travelers

There are many special needs travel options, both to snow and sand vacation resorts, that offer fun for the whole family, including those with physical or mental disabilities or special dietary needs. In order to assist those interested in disability travel, we have compiled a list of destinations and travel resources that focus on leaving home with companions who...

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Family at airport security
Article
Required Documents For Travel With Minors

Solo Parents, Grandparents and Guardians can satisfy legal requirements before crossing international borders with minor children by using these Permission to Travel Letter and Children's Consent forms. The Family Travel Forum community has learned the hard way that you need this paperwork: in the special FTF report “

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Article
8 Ways Travel Alerts Should Impact Your Vacation

Frightening travel alerts, amplified by the 24-hour news cycle and lots of genuinely bad news, have become a daily occurrence… and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Although terror incidents, strikes, swarms of refugees, Zika and extreme politics have affected travelers the past few years, these crises usually don’t deter young parents from traveling the world with their children. But...

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Vail Resorts on a blue sky day makes it all worthwhile; photo c. Hostelworld.
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Skiing On A Budget

Mountainside hostels, many private inns and Airbnbs invite families to enjoy snow sports in cheap, comfortable, spotless and private facilities at new style ski hostels. Hostelling has come a long way from your youthful backpacking days; in fact, many refer to young travelers sporting rolling suitcases, iPhones and tablets as "flashpackers" because of their aversion to truly spartan accommodations....

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