Guns in carry on luggage
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Summer of Guns

Summer holidays are bringing relief to American parents as well as students, for a shocking reason: gun violence. As of the May 18, 2018 Santa Fe school massacre, more people have been killed...

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Bullfighter Joserra Lozano in Madrid
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Madrid, Spain Attractions

Madrid is full of a certain zest that makes it a worthwhile destination for everyone of every age, with enough museums and galleries to satisfy every art lover, music and dance performances to inspire your inner entertainer and grand palaces and statues to make you want to become an architect. From bull fighting to flamenco, Madrid will awaken your senses and immerse your whole family in an experience...

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Tropical Islands Waterpark Germany
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Three Waterparks Worth a Detour in Europe

If you're taking the clan to Europe and feeling anxious about entertaining everyone, we recommend one of these terrific waterparks to guarantee fun. Need three good reasons to include one as part of a European Grand Tour? You will avoid sunstroke from touring public squares in the heat. You will relax the human brain, which can only absorb so much culture in a day. You...

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Charlevoix And Le Manoir Richelieu, Quebec

Canada's scenic region of Charlevoix and the luxury resort, Fairmont le Manoir Richelieu, provide natural beauty, outdoor recreation and pampering for all family travelers including pets. Charlevoix is that rarity, a region of Canada's Quebec province which offers the Laurentian mountains, a dramatic shoreline on the St. Lawrence Seaway and a warm welcome -- combined -- at an isolated,...

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Travel Insurance For Families

We love travel insurance and won't leave home without it. Since the very first holiday spent battling storms and re-booking missed flights (at great expense), our family has found it essential. It should be for every smart vacation planner, too, particularly when traveling with kids. Hopefully, none of you will ever need it, but I urge you to consider purchasing family travel insurance...

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Paris, France: City Reborn

When sightseeing with teens, you'll notice that Paris is more environmentally conscientious and respectful of other cultures than ever before, while remaining as charmingly French as ever. To visit the City of Light after an absence of 12 years is to find it ever more brilliant, illuminated by an hourly lightshow of electronic sparkles that play across the Eiffel Tower. Brilliant and smarter, too:...

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Carriages tour Vienna's Old Town
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Trending: Diversity and Inclusion in Tourism

The recent ITB Berlin travel trade conference featured several inclusive vacation opportunities for gay and lesbian couples with children, as well as several initiatives to celebrate travelers' increasing diversity. “Thanks to ITB Berlin, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender has developed in recent years from a niche into an internationally recognized product,” said Rika Jean-François, Corporate...

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Favorite Clearwater Beach Family Resorts

Clearwater Beach, halfway between St. Petersburg and Tampa with about 4,000 hotel rooms, has become so popular that it was named #1 Beach in the US and #7 Beach in the World by the 2017 TripAdvisor Readers Choice Awards. 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,...

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Central square in the Old Town of Rostock
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Exploring the Riches of Eastern Germany

Families are just beginning to discover the former East Germany, land of romantic castles, historic towns, beautiful beaches and German infrastructure… all at Croatia prices. We recently visited the state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, 3 hours from Hamburg or Berlin and just 7 hours from Copenhagen, and found a perfect destination to experience rich European culture with kids in a safe, English speaking...

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Anti-tourism sign
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Making Travel Sustainable

Travel close to home, stay longer, and don’t go at all are key takeaways from ITB Berlin on how to make travel sustainable. In a year when being able to sustain the rapid growth of global travel has been called into question, ITB Berlin’s first press conference underscored what was on everyone’s mind: sustainability. “Tourism is both at risk from climate change, and one of its causes,”...

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Downtown Ledbury with Market Building.
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Ledbury and the Malvern Hills

We recently explored the towns around Ledbury and the Malvern Hills in historic Herefordshire and Worcestershire counties. Whether you have a week or a weekend, there’s plenty of local culture and recreation to keep all ages busy. The region is an ideal country alternative to Britain’s big cities, because it’s just 90 minutes by train from Birmingham and 3½ hours from London. Eastnor,...

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Best Winter Fun in the Black Forest

For families with toddlers and school-age children –- or snowsports novices of any age -- Germany's Black Forest is a magical place to fall in love with alpine sports and the outdoors. Having toured the mountains of southern Bavaria in summer, we are dreaming of returning in winter, when the region’s towering evergreens have a dusting of snow. We will re-sample the region's cultural icons: cuckoo...

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Vera Bradley, Queen of Fort Wayne, Indiana Outlet Sales

As an East Coaster, it took me awhile to recognize the Vera Bradley label inside a dizzying array of quilted fabric accessories but, as soon as I did, I understood the appeal of her annual outlet sale. Her Pucci-like bright-colored, floral and paisley-patterned fabric totes, purses, and laptop bags are ubiquitous, and expensive. The Cult of Vera Bradley Given my late introduction...

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Unaccompanied Minors – Our Most Vulnerable Passengers

Vacation and summertime travel should be an excuse to relax, but the logistics on transporting the kids can cause stress. They're 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 airline...

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Permission To Travel and Travel Consent Letters And Why You Need Them

Adults traveling outside the U.S. with children under 18, other than their own, must have a Permission or travel consent letter from both of the minors' guardians. The travel consent letter also covers a child traveling internationally with only one birth parent, one guardian, grandparents or other adults. This written and notarized Permission to Travel Letter from both birth parents,...

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Odense, Denmark, Home of Hans Christian Andersen

Small town charm, celebrity residents, fine dining and good hotels combine to make Odense a wonderful introduction to the people and culture of Denmark. Despite the more contemporary fame of silversmith Georg Jensen or the architect of "Danish Modern" Arne Jacobsen, author Hans Christian Andersen (1805-1875) is arguably the best known of all Danish artists. His timeless stories such as "The...

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Hilton Waikoloa Village and Grand Vacations Resort

When it comes to multigenerational family vacations, size does matter and, at the classic Hilton Waikoloa Village bigger means better. And more choice. Isolated, yet comprising almost every conceivable creature comfort, the 35,000-acre Hilton development is on the northwest coast of Hawaii Island, north of Kona. Like...

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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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12 Reasons to Love Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows

Those who recall Vice President Richard Nixon opening the VIII Olympic Winter Games here on February 18, 1960, know Lake Tahoe’s Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows resort simply as “Squaw Valley.”  And, after 58 years, it just keeps getting better. Here’s why. Beginners love it. Squaw Valley’s learning terrain is at...

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San Diego, California Attractions

From Sea World to surfing to a world-class zoo, here are our favorite ideas on where to go when visiting sunny San Diego. By the way, southern California is a participant in the CityPass Program which includes the 3-Day Disneyland Resort Park Hopper ticket (back-and-forth admission to Disneyland and Disney...

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City At Sea Aboard Norwegian Breakaway

Bold, brash, a ship that never sleeps... that's our instant impression of Norwegian Breakaway, as our 2014 media and travel agent group boards the vessel for her maiden voyage. With only a few nights at sea to evaluate her charms, I am taken by her almost slavish devotion to New York City. There's a Statue of Liberty and skyline painted on her hull by artist Peter Max, and a sports bar...

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Guide To Royal Caribbean International Family Cruises

Royal Caribbean cruise vacations are packed with high-energy activities and entertainment for all passengers, regardless of age, making this cruise line a favorite with active families. The line's spacious cabins and large choice in kids programming work for multigenerational cruise vacations. Parents interested in the shows, gambling, spa and sports aboard these megaships can take advantage of...

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An Orlando Village Gives Kids The World

Give Kids The World Village (GKTW) is an 84-acre, nonprofit resort in Florida that provides a special vacation home for children with life-threatening illnesses and their families. GKTW provides 168 fully-furnished villas at its resort, donated attractions tickets, meals and more for a week-long, cost-free fantasy vacation. With the help of many generous individuals, corporations and...

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Vounteer Vacations Where Going Away Means Giving Back

Interest in volunteer vacations has grown as travelers seeking a local experience realize their presence affects a destination -– for better (creating jobs) or worse (degrading the environment). Because it’s hard to get the balance right, the best volunteer programs encourage responsible travel that emphasizes respect, cross-cultural exchange and sustainable development. The Value of Volunteering The...

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Outside The Gates: Adventures In Jamaica

Jamaica has redefined what it means to have an all-inclusive beach vacation by suggesting that guests explore real island culture outside their resort. It's a great idea to share the wealth that tourism brings to this friendly island, and a fun way to connect with the locals. A Jamaican company -- Island Routes -- is making it easier to do just that, by breaking...

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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 a...

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Fairmont San Francisco Does Family Well

At the Fairmont Hotels & Resort's flagship property, the beautiful Fairmont San Francisco, my family was lucky enough to find out what the "Affordable Luxury for Families" concept was all about. The Fairmont, recipient of several historically accurate facelifts since its 1906 opening, boasts its original grandeur without sacrificing any of the modern conveniences one...

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5 Multigenerational Vacation Ideas For Winter Getaways

According to AAA, 103 million Americans traveled over the 2016 holiday season, a 1.5 percent increase over the previous year. Although 9 out of 10 vacationers took road trips, air travel was also up by 2.5 percent, largely due to lower fuel prices. If your family’s summer plans are as busy as most, consider planning a multigenerational getaway during the shoulder season between Thanksgiving and...

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Say Bibbidi Bobbidi, Be a Princess or Pirate

In what may have been a first at sea, Disney Cruise Line devoted 94 square meters of real estate on the Disney Fantasy to a venture that promised transformation. Yes, there are costume nights on Nile Cruises when passengers can become pharaohs of ancient Egypt and dance "The Mummy." Yes, there are wellness...

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Safari West And Save Yourself A Flight To Africa

Those unexpectedly upside down moments in life, like seeing the Golden Arches among the pagodas of Beijing, can be fun and very reassuring, especially when traveling with kids. But when it's the reverse -- finding the exotic in the familiar -- it can be unsettling. So when we first heard there was an African safari camp outside Santa Rosa, California, we were skeptical... and a bit suspicious. A...

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Mines and Meadows ATV – RV Resort, Wampum, Pennsylvania

Not a conventional umbrellas-in-your-drink resort, Mines and Meadows is a rough-cut, rough-riding gem for ATV enthusiasts in the hills north of Pittsburgh... and a real family vacation find. Mines and Meadows, the vision of entrepreneur and motorsports aficionado Robert Svihra, is a self service “resort” for fans of dirt bikes and UTVs. Family members who are already motorheads will...

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Budget Family Suites Hotels At Universal Orlando Resort

A few years back we reviewed the plans for Universal Orlando Resort's first budget hotel and, during our recent stay at the Cabana Bay Beach Resort, it exceeded all expectations. This fun, 50s or mid-century modern style style hotel grants the same one-hour early park admission to the "Wizarding World of Harry Potter" themepark or the new Volcano Bay waterpark as its pricier on-site...

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Hello Kitty is Catnip at Japan’s Family Friendly Hotels

To wow your family with unforgettable memories, Keio Plaza Hotel Tokyo and Keio Plaza Hotel Tama rent stunning Hello Kitty Rooms, special guest rooms decorated with the favorite character “Hello Kitty,” ideal for devout fans. As you can see from the photos and video, both types of themed rooms have two queen beds and feature the adorable feline fatale on the...

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10 Tips To Avoid Hassles At U.S. Borders

Whether your cellphone contains confidential business documents or you’re packing homemade cranberry sauce, unless you’re exempted by diplomatic status, everyone crossing U.S. borders is subject to examination and search by officials from Department of Customs and Border Protection (CBP). Air passengers have to cope with additional, unspecified...

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Making Lemonade on an Emergency Airport Layover

I got a pound of lemons: an air traffic delay in Fort Lauderdale, a flight cancellation, being rerouted to Chicago O’Hare, an accident at LaGuardia, emergency airport closures, and a snow alert that forced me to spend 26 hours at an airport hotel. If not for that, I might never have “made lemonade” in Rosemont, Illinois home to Chicago's O'Hare Airport. Seemingly a...

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What Makes Best Western Hotels Special

When I recall the Best Western hotels we’ve stayed in, there’s always a pleasant surprise, an offbeat architectural detail, unexpected kid-friendly perk, or a free breakfast buffet worthy of a five-star resort. My husband calls Best Westerns “idiosyncratic.” He says of the lack of uniformity, “It’s so refreshing.” Having recently attended the annual Best Western Convention...

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Saving Euros on a European Adventure

Since summer is the most expensive time to visit Europe, we're sharing the euro-saving tips we learned from our own recent adventure. And, with the strong exchange rate, drop in tourism due to several factors, and bargains we've uncovered in our summer vacation roundup, you can find some good deals, too. Put them...

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Paris, The Lady and The Ring

It is Paris; it is drizzling. We are at Place de la Madeleine in front of a Parthenon-style church built by a Napoleon who couldn’t decide whether to brag about his victories or act humble before God. As I try to squeeze the columns into an Instagram frame, I understand why it took 85 years to finish construction. I lower my phone to see a woman right beside me. She is small, maybe 50....

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Halloween Monster Madness In And Around Kansas City

Every October brings the expectation of a great Halloween, especially in places like Kansas City where the fun crosses over from Missouri to Kansas and places in between. Kansas City, here we come! We know that some of you might not want to be scared and spooked and up with kids suffering from nightmares, and that’s just fine. Kansas City has fun entertainment...

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A Club Med Sandpiper Bay Family Vacation

At Club Med Sandpiper Bay, Americans no longer need a passport to enjoy an exotic, all-inclusive family beach vacation packed with children's activities. Club Med's legendary tropical village ambiance -- minus the beads -- has been remade in central Florida at the very sporty Sandpiper Bay. The resort is thriving after a $27-million investment a few years back that...

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Article
11 Great Fall Festivals to Celebrate in Puerto Vallarta

Planning your Mexico visit during a local holiday or annual festival is a special way to enjoy the country's cultural traditions and heritage, often at no cost. Celebrations focusing on religion, gastronomy, history and nature abound in every region and all year round. As Mexico’s self-proclaimed "Festival Capital," the sophisticated beach town of Puerto Vallarta puts on so many events, especially...

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Something to Look Forward to: Hotel Xcaret Mexico

Edutainment may be a tough concept to sell, yet all parents and grandparents want more from a family beach vacation than a suntan and a bunch of bills. Enter Experiencias Xcaret -- a family owned Mexican company which has successfully run innovative, environmentally-oriented amusement parks for 30 years. Begun with architect Miguel...

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Surviving Halloween Horror Nights

Having survived a night of gleeful terror at Universal Orlando’s annual Halloween Horror Nights, I can report that #HHN is a blast -- a frightful fest of doom, that's worth repeating annually. That's why instead of going with just one horror film franchise, Universal Orlando and Universal Hollywood have reached out to a new crop of master storytellers so every time you...

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Article
Family Ties To Fort Wayne

Whether it always feels that way in America’s heartland, or the fact that a sheriff is handing out chocolate chip cookies at the airport, Fort Wayne is the kind of place you immediately feel at home. I don’t actually have family ties to this friendly town, but I suspect their amazing genealogy research center will soon find ties to all humankind. Fort Wayne is built on Family Fort...

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Santa Cruz, California – From Surfing To Redwoods

From playing on the "SC" Boardwalk in summer to apple picking in the fall, some of the best family vacations south of San Francisco happen in seaside, surfing-crazed Santa Cruz. When most people think of excursions from San Francisco, their compass points north toward the wine valleys of Napa, the rocky coast north from Bolinas, the stark hills and pine forests of Sonoma. But turn around,...

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Switzerland’s Peak Experiences

Switzerland in summer is a sensual overload: cool mountain breezes and deep blue lakes, blisteringly hot cobblestone lanes and chilled ice cream treats. Travelers who want to understand why affluent Europeans have vacationed here for generations must experience Switzerland from above and below. In just four nights, our family time-traveled from the 19th century splendor of a grand castle wrapped...

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Article
10 Places To Focus Your Eclipse Watching Skills

With today's total solar eclipse crossing America, interest in the universe is sky high. Since everyone in the United States can observe a partial to total eclipse of the Sun for the first time since 1918, we suggest you watch our

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Article
Summer Vacations At Disney World

There's magic in the air at the world's favorite themepark: Walt Disney World in Orlando and that magic, plus the aliens who've landed in the gorgeous new land of "Pandora: World of Avatar," have made the park busier than ever. Here's our guide to what's hot and what's classic this summer. TLDR? Hah, we've saved the latest time-saving...

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6 Boutique Hotels That Get What Families Want

For the past decade, millennials have fueled the growth in boutique hotels, forcing the major chains to launch their own “boutique” products such as Hilton’s Curio, Hyatt’s Andaz and Marriott’s Autograph Collection. Yet the definition of a boutique hotel is still in flux – 35 years after pioneer Bill Kimpton opened the Clarion Bedford Hotel in San Francisco with a hosted wine reception;...

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Article
The Heart of the Florida Panhandle

We love to discover kid-friendly resorts that keep up with our ever-changing needs as parents, which is why Florida’s Hilton Sandestin Beach & Spa Resort gets a big thumbs up. While attending the TMS Family Travel Summit South Walton to hear new research about millennial family travelers, we could see how this hotel catered...

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Article
Washington DC Family Attractions

There are hundreds of free family attractions in Washington DC, the American capital where presidents and their legacies are celebrated, and now it's also a very cool city to visit, with fresh dining, art and cultural happenings. The only challenge is making time to do them all. What follows is a review of our favorite Washington DC attractions and activities for families. Try...

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What the Experts Forecast for Summer 2017 Travel

Summer travel is looking up, say the prognosticators at the 9th annual Leisure Travel Summit sponsored by Best Western Hotels. Each May, the Summit of travel industry experts follows the AAA Memorial Day Travel forecast to give those within the travel industry a pretty good idea of how business will be for the next few months. Here is some news from the panelists and other industry...

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Article
Delicious Ticino, Where Switzerland Meets Italy

Pair Swiss efficiency with an Italian lifestyle -- add mountains, countryside restaurants and alpine lakes -- and Ticino provides a stunningly scenic, gourmet vacation for families seeking la dolce vita. Switzerland's canton south of The Alps is more Latin, laid back and affordable than other provinces. Protected by The Alps, it also offers insta-worthy mountain and lake...

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Article
Family Destination News from IPW

For Family Travel Forum, the IPW travel convention which brought together 6,300 buyers, sellers and media covering international travel to the United States, was an opportunity to understand the facts behind the #travelban Internet meme, learn how the Department of State might be changing its document...

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Article
Universal Orlando Resort, Florida

Universal Orlando Resort in Orlando, Florida has been thrilling theme park goers for over 25 years. And for summer 2017, there are three massive theme parks, all with their own distinct personality. Universal Studios is where movie magic comes to life with attractions based on blockbusters from Universal Studios. Mythical beasts, super heroes and villains come together to make up...

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Article
Appreciating Democracy At America’s Birthplace

The “Historic Triangle” of Jamestown, Williamsburg, and Yorktown is an energetic, living classroom, the place where the United States became a democracy. This genteel corner of Virginia is ideal for a mini family road trip because it also boasts theme parks, golf, boating and craft breweries. However, families...

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Article
Make It the Summer of Love Not War

The Bay Area around San Francisco is partying all year to the tune of #SummerofLove50, the 50th anniversary celebration of the counterculture’s meteoric rise to prominence in 1967. Like the Human Be In on January 14, 1967 and the many public pranks and festivals that preceded it, the Summer of Love events were big, public media darlings that broadcast the youth revolution around...

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Article
Top Beach Resorts For Wannabe Surfers

Has the sport of surfing washed over your summer vacation conversation? If your kids follow the films of Floridian Kelly Slater or the Instagram account of Australian pro Ellie-Jean Coffey, your family may have already taken a beach vacation to learn and surf together. And for everyone else who heeds the Beach Boys’ call, “Let’s go surfing now, everybody’s learning how…” we present five...

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Article
Finding The Grand In The Grand Canyon

At 277 miles/446 kms long and up to 6,000 feet/1,829 meters deep, the Grand Canyon, cutting through Arizona, Nevada and Utah, is truly spectacular. It's so enormous that some families mistakenly believe there is enough room for all who come to admire it. Not so! America's second most popular national park (behind Great Smoky Mountains) welcomes...

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Wellness and Relaxation Come Naturally at Amelia Island Plantation

At the TMS Family Travel conference held on Amelia Island, I experienced how one man’s passion for the culinary arts can convey an aura of wellness over an entire resort. That passion belongs to executive chef Daven Wardynski, who has led the culinary team at Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort since October...

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