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Article
CityPASS Helps Families Take A Staycation

A weak economy drives families (and all travelers) to seek value-driven vacations, which often means a Staycation, or travel in one’s own back yard. On the positive side, this kind of travel fosters a sense of community, lets people "vacation" more often and discover their own city, while saving money. We think the best way to enjoy a Staycation is with...

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Discovering the Hidden Cozumel, Mexico

This author relishes the other side of Cozumel, Mexico: an island off the Riviera Maya coast of eastern Mexico where a family beach vacation becomes a cultural exploration.It's interesting to watch a destination rediscover itself, to undergo a metamorphosis and present itself anew to the traveler. So it is with Isla Cozumel, the largest island in the Mexican Caribbean, and part of the Yucatan...

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Sint Maarten and Saint Martin Share A Caribbean Island

Saint Martin is the smallest island in the world to have been partitioned between two different nations, the Netherlands and France, but each side offers a surprising variety of quiet attractions.  It's a dangerous game, stereotyping. But can there be two places, two peoples as different as Holland and France, the Dutch and the French? What happens when these erstwhile Colonial powers cohabitate?...

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My Favorite U.S. Virgin Islands Haunts

Long considered the playground of the tan, the fit and the wealthy, and host to too many toga parties and limbo contests, the U.S. Virgin Islands are saying good bye to hedonism -- and they're welcoming families.It's true that cruise ships still ply the astonishingly turquoise waters (too blue to be believed in some cases), and on certain afternoons disgorge their passengers to crowd jewelry...

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Seduced By The Cayman Island Sisters

Most any novel or movie about corporate bad guys somehow always has shady types furtively wiring funds off shore to the Cayman Islands.Truth is, the three islands that make up the Cayman archipelago are so much more than temples of high finance, regardless of John Grisham's novels.Little Cayman and Cayman Brac are specks of places about a 45...

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The Foul Mouth of You Tube Travel

I’m absolutely convinced that comments on video sharing sites, especially You Tube, are more mean, potentially racists and more chaotic than comments posted to text-based blogs and sites.And I’m sure there are many more comments posted to video sharing sites.While I’m mostly talking about travel videos on You Tube, ( a...

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Flight Attendants Get No Respect. Can They Do Their Jobs?

Wanted: Someone to push heavy carts along a narrow aisle dispensing Coke (the drink), cookies and conversation, with a smile.Applicant must be able to evacuate a plane, determine, behind closed curtains, what passengers are most likely to help in an emergency and wonder about the little girl flying alone, sitting next to that suspicious man.The smiling applicant must be able change...

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Ottawa Audio PostCard – Visit Ottawa By Sound

Here's an Ottawa Audio PostCard-Visit Ottawa By Sound.Travel to Ottawa, Canada by sound. Listen to the changing of the guard, the stirring sunset ceremony, visit the multicultural markets with ths Ottawa Audio PostCard 

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BedBugs Bite, Hotel Reputations Fall: Terminix Rates Your City

The bedbugs keep biting, and the reputations and pocketbooks of hotels and inns are getting infected.A couple of months ago we did a “trending spotting” piece on bedbugs, and the fact they were driving travelers and hotels management mad.The bedbugs keep biting, and the reputations and pocketbooks of hotels and inns are getting infected.A couple of months ago...

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Men And Women Travel Differently. Here’s How

Men and women are different. Who dares argue the point?  So it’s no surprise that we now know they travel differently, seeking different travel experiences.Men and women are different. Who dares argue the point?  So it’s no surprise that we now know they travel differently, seeking different travel experiences.A USA...

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Salamanca: The Soul of Spain

Pleasee watch the 1 minute, sound rich Travel Video PostCard at the end of this post! Salamanca sits at the edge of a greening plane, dominated by a skyline of domed cathedrals and dun-colored walls, embracing the town in a timeless medieval clinch.The Spaniards call Salamanca “the soul of the Spanish nation," because it's the birthplace of Castilian,the Spanish language.Walk...

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Tips For Taking Your Family To London

(Please watch the 1 minute Travel Video PostCard after the post)Just because you have kids doesn’t mean you have to stop traveling, and London is a favorite destination for families looking to travel to a foreign country for the first... or second or third time.“Family travel, if it’s planned right and...

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Selling the “Polygamy Tour” in Arizona

Twitter FollowAnd why would we be surprised?We have Medical Tours where travelers combine a few days in a luxury hotel and first class beaches in Thailand, while getting a hip replaced or heart by-pass surgery.Then we saw “Fertility Tours” where women travel to Cyprus and beyond to sell their eggs for big bucks, and see...

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Travel Through The Theatre of the Mind

Twitter FollowListen to a poor Elvis Presley talk about his daddy’s arrest and imprisonment for forging an eight dollar check to feed his hungry family.Hear the irrepressible Mark Twain in his always wry observations about New York, the rascals on Wall Street and how sales of Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer kept his family afloat in an ever-exciting...

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Article
In Portugal Port Wine is King

If Vasco do Gama, Magellan and Henry the Navigator fortified themselves with Port, Portugal’s most famous product, it might have made their journeys less horrific.But  Port wasn’t created until the 17th century, and today it’s undergoing a renaissance.This easy-going, southern European country produced navigational giants that dominated the sea routes of the world, and controlled...

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Nantucket on My Mind

Years after Nantucket’s whaling industry virtually decimated the Atlantic whale population and became fabulously wealthy in the process, Ahab and the White Whale are gone, but the wealth and charm of the island remain.This small island (9 x 12 miles) well off the coast of Cape Cod, Massachusetts, has lost none of its magic.Late fall Nantucket...

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Medical Tourism Biz Booming in India

What was  a footnote in the travel business, Medical Tourism, has grown into a full blown industry. And India is taking the lead in attracting a huge number of patients from around the world to its first-cass medical and tourism facilties... at third-word prices.Travel...

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Why Does Airline Food Taste so Awful?

Is it actually the food the airlines serve (when they do) that tastes so bad, or is it the flying experience make the food taste so awful?Wired Magazine reported that a handful of brave volunteers made “the ultimate sacrifice for science” and ate airline food. Voluntarily.Apparently a lab was set up that perfectly simulated the intense dryness,...

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Audio PostCard From Denmark: Travel By Sound

Come, visit Denmark, Europe’s oldest monarchy with this sound-rich Denmark Audio PostCardThe tiny country still has a town crier who sings out the times of the day and night.Listen to him here, and listen to everyone’s favorite story-teller, Hand Christian Andersen through...

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Travel Video Review: Union Street Inn

Please watch the Video Inn Review at the end of this postYou could almost miss the Union St. Inn blending as it does with the  many shingled houses that line the streets of old Nantucket village.But that would be your loss.It’s one one of the most celebrated inns on Nantucket with praises from major travel ...

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The Chaos of Travel: Who Can Help?

While it might have been a bit ambitious for PhosCusWright to call its recent Webinar, Chaos Calls: Philip Wolf Answers, that's exactly what they did. PhoCusWright, a leading travel market and research company, put their president, Philip Wolf, squarely in the lion's den.While it might have been a bit ambitious for PhosCusWright to call its recent Webinar,

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Is Your Baby Safe Flying?

 It’s tortured reasoning.The Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) position on mandatory child restraint systems (CRS) on planes is, that they’re not necessary.Child restraint systems is “gov-speak” for seat belts.Any why does the FAA think they’re not necessary?They contend that air travel is safer than car travel, where, by the...

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Article
Pour A Pint In Belfast

Belfast, Northern Ireland is a restless place.  It struggles, like the rest of the country and the UK, of which it’s a part, with a failing economy and severe unemployment.But we think it’ll be one of the next, best tourist destination when Ireland gets its economic house in order and resumes its growth.Belfast’s...

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Proposed DOT Rules Give Passengers Legal Rights At Last

With the  tarmac meltdown this week of a Virgin Atlantic (a 4-hour delay with fainting passengers) flight still in the news, Travel Law attorney Mark Pestronk could barely contain his enthusiasm for the new proposed Department of Transportation (DOT)  regulations: Enhancing Airline Passenger Protections. He calls them...

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Selling The Acropolis -Travel Bargains in Greece

Shakespeare's play, Timon of Athens, tells the story of Timon, an extravagant Athenian nobleman spending his money wastefully, until his creditors show up and demand payment to cover his debts. Timon sends his servants out for financial help, a bailout, so he can continue his lavish lifestyle.English classes can debate if Timon was a symbol of Greece's extravagance, but we can say that today,...

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Inn Review – Rabbit Hill Inn, Vermont – A Great Non-Family Family Inn!

The Rabbit Hill Inn in Lower Waterford, Vermont, right over the New Hampshire border, may not be kid receptive, kids meaning kids up to 14, but it’s still very family friendly, families being all other kinds of family configurations. Many newlyweds come to share the classically lovely inn with friends and family, long-lost relatives gather here to get reacquainted, and parents with adult...

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Happy Airports Make More Money

Happy airports make more money. It’s basic economics: happy airport customers spend more money in the airport’s retail shops than do unhappy ones.In fact, global marketing and information giant J.D. Power and Associates says happy passengers spend an average of $20.55 on airport retail purchases, or 45...

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Continental and United Say, “I Do,” or At Least, “I’ll Try”

Continental and United Airlines Tie The Knot, Say I Do. Will it Work.It seems the final I do’s or at least I promise to try have been spoken in the long and somewhat rocky courtship between Continental Airlines  and UAL Corp’s United Airlines creating the biggest airline in the world....

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Iceland: One-Minute Audio PostCard. Land of Ice and Fire

Amazingly, Iceland’s language and its gene pool have remained unchanged for hundreds and hundreds of years.The "fire and ice” nature of the country finds great expression in the beauty of its language.

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Innkeepers Meet the Social Web: Will They Ever Be The Same?

Brian and Leslie Mulcahy work very hard for their accolades and consistently outstanding reviews by always being there for their guests."It’s not easy,” say the innkeepers of the quintessential New England inn, Rabbit Hill Inn, in the Currier and Ives town of Lower Waterford, Vermont.Brian and Leslie Mulcahy work very hard for their accolades and consistently outstanding...

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Now More Than Ever: Travel Insurance-Does it Cover Volcanos?

Travel insurance: Can you leave home without it?Today, definitely not! And the recent volcanic eruption has created a huge insurance buzz, as companies try to figure out who is covered and who isn't.Travel insurance: Can you leave home without it?Today, definitely not! And the recent volcanic eruption has created a huge insurance buzz, as companies try to figure out who is...

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Article
Best Way To See Portugal

Portugal's Historic Mansions - One of Portugal's greatest gifts (other than its wine) is its vibrant Solares de Portugal ("houses of family heritage), an unique way to see a country still far from the often homogenized destinations of Central Europe.Rather unknown by North Americans, these are Portugal's historic family homes, the manors,...

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Carbon Offsets – More Hype Than Hope?

Travel honchos in the travel and tourism industry are running a bit scared.With all the hand-wringing about Global Warming, the execs wondered if they are about to become the next Exxon Valdez of travel, villains in the making: major contributors to global pollution.Travel honchos in the travel and tourism industry are running a bit scared.With all the hand-wringing...

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An “All Inclusive” That Works Regardless of Trip Advisor: Wyndham Sugar Bay, St. Thomas

An “All Inclusive” That Works Regardless of Trip Advisor: Wyndham* Sugar Bay, St. ThomasWe were alerted to some recent negative reviews about this property posted in Trip AdvisorWe queried the company responsible for the property’s public relations and asked her to press the management for details. She reassured us that there was an unusual glitch in reservations and service...

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Isle of Skye, Scotland: Hearts and Highlands

Become a TVP Twitter follower at http://www.twitter.com/travelpostcard“Ah, the Scottish Highlands. We always think of Skye as a spiritual place. I really envy you.”We ordered soup and appetizers and talked of other things.Weeks later when I made the trip I recalled what he said.Certainly there was...

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Stand Up Paddle Boarding: Great Family Fun

Yolo Boarding? Stand up Paddle Boarding or Stand up Surf BoardingNever heard of it?Well Stand Up Paddle Boarding is new thing to do in the Beaches of South Walton, Florida or the Beaches of Florida generally. Or probably anywhere with good weather and calm water. We saw it here in Massachusetts. A family...

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Catch the GeoCaching Fever!

So, we crossed the wooden Cornish-Windsor Bridge from Vermont into New Hampshire, just over a narrow section of the Connecticut River. It’s the longest covered bridge in the world.The bright yellow, hand-held Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) said we were here.But “here” was a dusty shoulder off a winding country road pretty much in the middle of nowhere.All we knew...

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See, Hear, The Quiet Places of Virginia

The quiet places of Virginia's Northern Neck in Irvington, Virginia, are a pastiche of dandelion fields, and southern breezesLuxuriate for a weekend at the Tides Inn in Virginia.This part of Virginia, Irvington, Virginia, the northern Neck of Virginia is Seasoned with a strong Chesapeake Bay culture.In Virginias Northern Neck, one can crack open a crab leg and enjoy it on...

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Article
Trip Advisor Warns of Fake Reviews

In this space, not so long ago, we posted a Blog called: Can You Trust Trip Advisor? It's here, on Family Travel Forum. So we were not so surprised to see an MSNBc report, on July 15,2009 via the Associared Press headlined:To quote: "The influential travel Web site TripAdvisor has been quietly posting disclaimers to warn customers of hotels writing fake reviews to improve their popularity...

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Why Travel (and Anything Else) Can Be Free

By Kaleel Sakakeeny with credit to Wired MagazineKing Gillette had the idea first: Give the razor away but charge for the blade.That’s how airplane tickets can cost nothing. Give the airline ticket away for free, but charge for everything else.How else could Dublin-based Ryanair charge 1.3 million passengers just $20.00...

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Heading to Virginia: Tides Inn Crab Net Kids Program

One of our favorite places to go, Tides Inn in Virginia’s Northern Neck reintroduces its kids summer vacation package with unlimited golf, tennis, and daily breakfastTides Inn is actually in Irvington, Virginia, along the Chesapeake Bay, and sits on a rounded hill overlooking the Rappahannock River. The belvedere aka/front lawn is a pocketsize croquet course with thudding balls and a few...

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Article
Give Us a Song, Newfoundland

“Give us song,” the dark-haired beauty called out from the doorway of one of the many Celtic pubs and taverns in St. John’s, Newfoundland’s upbeat capital.The young men sitting around the table smiled, and the patrons hoisted drinks and called for a song.“Give us a tune,” she laughed boldly,...

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Article
Are Teen Travel Spas Self Indulgent?

The “Teen Spa Program” at Pinehurst Resort in Pinehurst Village, North Carolina is designed “to reduce teen stress through aromatherapy, massage, soothing music.” “We tell teens to leave their cares and stresses and backpacks...

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Carbon Offsets: Real Good or Just Feel Good?

Have a good trip…and don‘t worry that your flight is spewing tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.More people are flying than ever  and the C02 emitted by planes at high altitudes does more harm to the atmosphere than emission from cars, so no one can travel guilt free these days?However,...

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Twitter Your Travel Complaints

A woman we knew had to cancel her hotel reservation because she found out she was pregnant…and had pneumonia? As if she didn’t have enough problems, when she tried to cancel, she was told she missed the penalty free cancellation date, which was a stringent sixteen days prior to arrival! Some are actually longer.She made a fuss, going up the chain, but when finally confronted, the hotel...

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Ziplining in Nicaragua: Sweet Terror

I was terrified.Knee knocking, breath holding terrified, standing on the edge of small tree platform high above the Nicaraguan jungle, looking down at all those treetops.With the forest canopy beneath me, the guides expertly snapped all the hooks and cables in place and I could feel myself about to whimper, I don’t want to do this!Thankfully before I could get the words...

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Falconing: Sport of Kings and Families

Falconing: The Sport of KingsFor sheer heart stopping beauty, nothing beats the sensation of watching a hawk descend at lightening speed and land on an outstretched, gloved wrist…softly; a velvet touch on a coarse glove. Sun reflecting from mahogany feathers; restless eyes scanning the horizon for prey, it’s a feathered flash of light; a poem in flight.The British School...

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Do Cheap Hotel Rates Attract Boorish People?

No question, the web is great place for finding hotel and flight deals.But top hotels are complaining that the wrong kinds of guest are filling their rooms because of on line hotel bookings.Call it the snob factor, but one hotel’s general manager urged his colleagues to keep prices high this summer to discourage the internet from filling rooms with the wrong kinds of people.What...

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Gutsy Travelers: The Physically Challenged

The sweet looking German shepherd, cocks his head and looks a bit anxiously up at the mountain. His mistess is scaling the sheer rock cliff, patiently pulling herself up and looking down to reassure her canine friend.The climber is blind. The dog, her seeing eye dog and companion.Strange sight? Not really!Handicapped...

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Single Parent Travel

The “bad” news is that the number of single parents seeking quality vacations with their children is growing.The good news is that the number of single parents seeking quality vacations with their children is growing.Brenda Elwell is a single mom who’s traveled solo with her kids for twenty years, but chafed under the realization that she and single parents as a...

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Choosing The Hotel Baby Sitter

So, you're on the road for a family vacation. You've done lots of family-friendly things and now you and your significant other want a night out. Or at least a dinner in the hotel's much touted dinning room.But who'll watch the kids?Hotels will often provide staff sitters or the names of agencies that they do business with who do sit for kinds while the parents are out.But...

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What Kids Like on Vacation

It’s no surprise that 71% of kids said they need vacations…And half of them said their needs influence their family’s choice of destinations and accommodations.What is surprising, is that the kids say they spend less time in front of the TV while they were away, and were less likely to argue with their parents.They don’t like golf vacations or getting up early, and...

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Article
Cambodia: Far from the Killing Fields

Travel Cambodia- Cambodia Travel Video PostCardCambodia and Angkor Wat could easily be one of the 7 wonders of the world, and Cambodia is a powerful emotional experience for visitors.Once ravaged by the Khmer Rouge, Cambodia today, is a country of beautiful people, among the world’s most gentle, friendly and polite.At its simplest, the Famous Cambodian temple of Angkor Wat...

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Historic Deerfield: Score One For The Native Americans

We think it's great that many of the colonial settlers in historic Deerfield, MA, who were taken captive by "attacking" Native American tribes opted not to return to the ways of the "white man."Perhaps the women and men were more emancipated under tribal rule than colonial law!But we're ahead of ourselves here.So, It wasn’t always this tranquil… this mile long stretch of...

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Finding a Good Doc on the Road!

Finding a Doc On The RoadSo, say you've booked the family trip of a lifetime. You've thought of everything, but do you have the name, address, and phone number of a qualified doctor who speaks English in wherever? It's estimated that 20 percent of all travelers get sick annually, and of these, five percent require emergency care overseas.Finding a Doc On The RoadSo,...

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Women Traveling Alone: Security Issues

Women Road WarriorsWe don’t like the negative image of “woman as victim,” but the reality is that women traveling alone do need to take some security precautions.Female issues include sexual verbal harassment or even physical harassment, being...

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Family Safaris: Pricey, But a Trip of a Lifetime

Most of us are pretty anxious about our investments and jobs and homes in this economy.Of course Travel is taking a hit, down, but bouncing back.And it never goes away.For many families, travel is a necessity not a luxury.Because travel is fungible. If the family can’t take one kind of trip, they’ll take another, swapping a week somewhere for...

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For Kids, Travel is the Internet. Period!

Excerpts from  an article in Travel Weekly (a publication of the travel industry. August 20, by Juliet Dennis)Kids tell it how it is: It's web all the wayTeletext Holidays did the survey and reported that 65% of kids preferred booking because it allowed the family to choose a holiday at the same time, and look at pictures and videos together.Which...

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Reunions Can Be Tricky: How To Plan One

Travel for reunions is big business and getting bigger as families, communities, organizations and affinity groups  strive to stay in touch in an increasingly complex post 9/11 world.Travel for reunions is big business and getting bigger as families, communities, organizations and affinity groups  strive to stay in touch in an increasingly complex post 9/11 world.The...

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Should Parents Drug Their Kids On Flights?

Would you sedate your child on a flight? Are parents who do so wrong?A Wall Street Journal  article reported that many parents "drug" or sedate their kids on planes so they'll be less bothersome for the parents, flight attendants and fellow passengers.The "drug" of choice seems to be Benadryl, and while it does calm the kids, often putting them...

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