Archive for the ‘Family Travel’ Category

The Great American Road Trip Travel Tips

July 9, 2016

Emily-Kaufman-Ft Lauderdale-2014

The Travel Mom, Emily Kaufman, frequently appears on The Steve Harvey Show and The Today Show to share her insider travel trips. If you’re planning a great family road trip this summer, she has some ideas to pack your vacation full of fun and great memories.

The Road Trip is a Big Part of the Vacation. First, remember that the road trip is part of the vacation and not just a way to get there. In fact, some of my favorite memories are from the cool places we stopped along the way to our vacation destination. So make sure you build in time to stop at unique roadside attractions, beautiful spots in nature and take some time to enjoy your favorite summer treats like ice cream.

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The First Sustainable Ice Cream Trail. In fact, July is National Ice Cream Month and you have to check out the first Sustainable Ice Cream Trail created by natural oral care leader Tom’s of Maine. It features ice cream shops in 14 states that not only give back to the community, but they make their delicious ice cream (or gelato) using local ingredients with no artificial ingredients.

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Now, if you have sensitive teeth like 40 million of us do, you usually have to skip eating ice cream but Tom’s of Maine new Rapid Relief Sensitive Toothpaste uses a patented combination of arginine and calcium carbonate — both derived from natural sources — to seal the pathways to sensitive tooth nerves to help block the pain.  It is the only toothpaste currently available in the U.S. to use this technology.

You’ll get rapid relief when you apply it directly to a sensitive tooth with your fingertip and gently massage it for one minute. Continuous use provides long-lasting protection so make sure you pack a tube in your suitcase and enjoy the great ice cream and gelatos around the country. Go to TomsOfMaine.com\icecream for more information.

Ways to Keep The Kids Entertained in the Car. Next, let’s talk about how to keep the kids entertained while you’re in the car for the long drive so they’re not constantly asking, “Are we there yet.”

I’ve always been a fan of loading up a boredom buster bag packed with lots of toys, coloring books, games, and snacks.

Also, bring several cookie sheets to use as a lunch tray, magnet board, or even a hard surface for coloring. Although electronic gadgets and video games will keep the kids occupied, I like to encourage moms and dads to get the kids to enjoy the scenery and play old fashioned road trip games to create family memories.

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How to Find Hidden Nature Spots Just Beyond the Highway. Finally, make sure you stop at beautiful places along the way to enjoy nature. ExitTheHighway.com has a map of some hidden gems in nature located throughout the country that lie just beyond the highway. You might even find a great spot for a picnic and that’s so much nicer than grabbing a quick lunch through a drive-thru.

So before you hit the road, take note of these travel tips from The Travel Mom and have the best road trip ever.

Fall Fun in the Sun: Emily Kaufman has Ways to Save on a Florida Vacation in Ft. Lauderdale

September 18, 2015

Fall is here, but in case you’re missing the summer weather, ’tis the season for fall fun in the sun and some great off season travel deals. The Travel Mom, Emily Kaufman has the latest on some fall vacation and getaway ideas.

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Fall is a great time to travel since the weather is terrific, the summer crowds are gone, and you can get incredible travel deals. Also, airfares tend to be lower and now, gasoline prices are low making a fall road trip a good value. Greater Ft. Lauderdale is a great fall travel destination because it’s a short flight or a short drive from many mid-west and east coast locations.   With over 27 miles of beaches, 300 miles of waterways, and lots of fun things to do when you get there, it’s a great fall getaway.

 

Travel Promotions for Sunny Florida. The fall season is typically the shoulder season in travel so you’ll find lots of great vacation deals.   Here are two that really give you a lot bang for your buck.

See You in September Promotion. Free hotels are always a great savings, right? With Greater Ft. Lauderdale’s “See You in September” promotion you can book two nights at exclusive hotels in Greater Ft. Lauderdale and get the third night for free. Rates start at $95/night at the Crowne Plaza Hollywood Beach and you can stay at other beautiful hotels like the B Ocean Resort, Courtyard by Marriott, and more. Here are some of the deals you get right now:

  • B Ocean Resort Fort Lauderdale – rates start at $139/night
  • Courtyard By Marriott Fort Lauderdale Beach – rates start at $169/night
  • Crowne Plaza Hollywood Beach Resort – rates begin at $95/night
  • Hollywood Beach Marriott – rates start at $159/night
  • Neptune Hollywood Beach Hotel – rates start at $99/night
  • Riverside Hotel – rates start at $129/night
  • Sonesta Fort Lauderdale beach – rates start at $159/night
  • W Fort Lauderdale – rates start at $229/night

It’s available through October 12th and go to sunny.org/september for all the details.

Vacation Like a VIP Program. Everyone prefers to Vacation Like a V.I.P. and this program has affordable pricing at some of Greater Ft. Lauderdale’s top hotels and resorts like the Ritz Calrton, W, Marriott, and Hyatt Regency plus a lot of extras when you stay.   You can get the V.I.P. package through October 12th and it includes complimentary room upgrades; $100 resort credits for spas, golf, food & beverage services; a $25 American Express gift card; and the Summer Savings 2-for-1 Card, valued at $2,000 in savings on over 70 attractions in the area. To find out more, go to sunny.org/VIP.

 

Things to Do When You Get There. Greater Fort Lauderdale’s fall events calendar is filled with festivals, celebrations and shows so there’s always something to do. Some can’t-miss events include:

Duende Festival – To cap off its centennial celebrations, Broward 100, Broward County will host Duende, a three-day public celebration of the arts, culture and community from October 2-4. Duende, which means “a quality of passi​on and inspiration; a spirit; having soul, a heightened state of emotion, expression and authenticity,” will feature street festivals, performance arts, concerts and a Broadway-style show featuring multiple Grammy Award-winning entertainer Jon Secada, recording artist Linda Eber and talent from hit shows including ““So You Think You Can Dance,” “The Voice,” and “X-Factor”

Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show – Greater Fort Lauderdale, with its 300 miles of navigable waterways, is known as the “Yachting Capital of the World” and the “Venice of America.” From November 5-9 the destination will host the largest boat show in the world, the 56th Annual Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show. More than a billion dollars’ worth of boats, yachts and accessories from every major marine manufacturer will be displayed throughout the destination.

Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival – Movie buffs will want to check out the Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival, November 6-22. The highest rated film festival in the state of Florida, FLIFF is a competitive film festival showcasing independent cinema from around the world, in an art house movie setting.

Visit www.sunny.org for more information.

 

ABC’s of Last Minute Summer Travel

July 1, 2013
Emily Kaufman The Travel Mom

Emily Kaufman
The Travel Mom

Think you might have missed the boat on planning a great summer getaway?  Don’t worry.  Summer may be in full swing, but it’s not too late to plan a summer vacation if you think you’ve missed out on the good deals.  From road trips to air travel, Emily Kaufman, the Travel Mom, has the 411 on keeping the kids entertained when you travel, where to get last minute travel deals, great destinations, where to stay when you get there, and how families can pack the most value into their vacation dollars.

Let Technology Keep the Kids Entertained When You Travel.  Emily is a big fan of a boredom buster bag filled with snacks, games, books and technology to keep kids entertained on road trips or long flights.   So what’s her latest must have technology essential to pack?  A touch tablet powered by Windows 8 – like the Acer Iconia W3.  It’s a great in-car or in-flight entertainment center for the kids to watch movies or play games on since it can lie flat on any surface and two people can touch the screen at the same time.  The Acer Iconia W3 eliminates excess devices like eReaders, MP3 players and gaming devices since it’s all-in-one.  The cool thing about Windows 8 is that it’s made for touch, making it easier than ever for kids and parents to watch movies, play games and surf the web. Find out more at MicrosoftStore.com.

Last Minute Deals Can Be Found Online. It’s not too late to book your summer vacation if you haven’t already and if you’re looking to get the most bang for your buck, American Express Travel is a great one-stop-shop to book your last minute summer getaway.  Go online to check out the current deals or you can speak with one of their travel agents, that are like your own personal travel counselor, for a more customized experience.  Although many people associate travel counselors with high costs and lots of hassle, it’s quite actually the opposite since they specialize in specific destinations with an intimate knowledge of each place that turns ordinary vacations into something really special whether it’s a vineyard tour of Sonoma, a Hawaii vacation or a river cruise in the U.S. or Europe, they can create a personalized vacation for your budget.  Go to travelinsiders.americanexpress.com.

Don’t Wait to Book a Hawaii Vacation – No Passport Needed. Hawai‘i, the Big Island, has long been regarded as the island of adventure and inspiration for its unmatched natural beauty, warm aloha spirit found in its island people, and unforgettable experiences and now is a great time to visit.  Whether exploring by earth, sea, or sky,  Hawai‘i Island offers a great value for families this summer and heading into the fall and is packed with inspiring experiences that are perfect for travelers of all ages.  The youngest island in the Hawaiian chain and by far the biggest, it has five national parks including renowned Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, featuring one of the world’s most active volcanoes.  It’s also where you’ll find amazing stargazing atop Maunakea, the tallest sea mountain on the planet. You’ll find a diverse range of landscape from lush rainforests to volcanic deserts to beautiful white and black sand beaches and sometimes even snow-capped mountaintops.  Hawai‘i Island has two international airports – located in Kona on the west, and Hilo on the east – which makes getting to the island easy from major U.S. gateway cities or the neighbor islands.  Go to bigisland.org and plan your tropical vacation.

Get 300% More Out Of Your Vacation.  Embassy Suites is the hotel brand known for giving guests more with every stay, including two-room suites for families to spread out, free cooked-to-order breakfast each morning, and a complimentary evening reception every night.  This summer, as part of their pledge to help families get 300% MORE enjoyment out of their vacations, they have partnered with the Association of Children’s Museums to create opportunities for families to learn and discover, with special perks at nearly 20 children’s museums across the country.  One day a month, families staying at Embassy Suites in select cities will have access to special guest-only VIP offerings at local children’s museums like a discount at the gift shop, and some lucky families will even be surprised and delighted with free tickets!

HERE ARE MUSEUMS WHERE PERKS WILL BE AVAILABLE:

  • Atlanta: Imagine It! The Children’s Museum of Atlanta
  • Austin: Austin Children’s Museum
  • Chicago: Chicago Children’s Museum
  • Dallas/Fort Worth: Fort Worth Museum of Science and History
  • Denver: Children’s Museum of Denver
  • Houston: Children’s Museum of Houston
  • Indianapolis: The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis
  • Miami: Miami Children’s Museum
  • New Orleans: Louisiana Children’s Museum
  • Omaha: Omaha Children’s Museum
  • Philadelphia: Please Touch Museum
  • Phoenix: Children’s Museum of Phoenix
  • San Antonio: San Antonio Children’s Museum
  • San Diego: The New Children’s Museum
  • Seattle: The Children’s Museum, Seattle
  • St. Louis: Magic House, St. Louis Children’s Museum
  • Tampa: Glazer Children’s Museum
  • Washington, DC: National Children’s Museum
  • Wilmington, DE: Delaware Children’s Museum

Visit www.EmbassySuites.com/300more for a full list of participating hotels, destination tips, and to book your next stay.

Emily Kaufman’s Insider Fall Travel Tips

October 16, 2012

Emily Kaufman, The Travel Mom

Here are the latest insider secrets about the best ways and places to get the best travel deals and values for getaways for the entire family or anyone eager to take advantage of empty travel destinations.

October is a Great Time to Find Deals on Cruises.  Fall is a great time to travel since it’s shoulder season, you can get great deals and the summer crowds are gone.  It’s also the perfect time to plan a cruise vacation because you can get lots of incredible deals and special incentives this time of year, for the holidays and next year, too.  CLIA, the Cruise Lines International Association, is celebrating National Cruise Vacation Week from October 21st through the 27th with “The World’s Largest Cruise Sale” where 25 of CLIA’s cruise line members and over 7,000 travel agencies throughout the U.S. and Canada team up to offer spectacular savings and value on a wide variety of cruises – including “Virtual National Cruise Week Events” where you can go online to get information and even book your cruise. You’ll find amazing deals around the world across all cruise categories – on major cruise ships, smaller and adventure cruise lines, luxury cruises, and even river cruises in Europe and Asia. Just go to cruising.org for a full list of special offers and to find a CLIA-certified travel agent.

Here are two great deals:

Carnival Cruise Lines: Gives you up to $200 Cash Back per stateroom and accept 50 percent reduced deposits on select sailings through December 2013. With prices starting at $259, this is a great value for cruises to The Bahamas, the Caribbean– great choices for short or seven-day vacations. In fact, for Carnival’s 2013 European cruises, travelers can save up to 20 percent, and only have to put $99 per person down as a deposit.

Celebrity Cruises: Take a seven-night or longer cruise to Alaska, the Caribbean, Bermuda or Europe between January first and April 30th and get up to $250 in Onboard Credits to be used in restaurants, the spa or for other shipboard activities.

Use Technology to Organize Your Travel Details. Whether you’re planning a family cruise, ski trip or international vacation this fall or winter, you can use your smart phone and apps to organize so many things for your trip.  Just program the numbers of airlines and hotel contacts into your phone so if you need to rebook a flight or hotel because of travel delays, the numbers are right there.

Don’t Forget Travel Insurance When You Travel. And you don’t want to get caught with extra fees for flight delays or lost luggage, so you need to think about travel insurance.  TravelGuard.com offers many comprehensive travel insurance plans that typically include coverage for things like trip cancellation, interruption or delays, lost or stolen luggage, and emergency medical expenses.  They also provide 24-hour travel assistance and emergency services and even have a popular Gold Plan that includes free coverage for kids under 17. You can find out all the details at TravelGuard.com.

Tourism Websites are a Great Resource for Savings and Freebies at Your Destination. Do your research and subscribe to email alert lists from travel, airline, hotel and tourism websites so that you’re alerted to travel deals when they’re published.  Here’s a great deal for Los Angeles Tourism.  They have a fall program called “Museums LA” from October 1st to November 11th and you get FREE admission to LA’s leading museums like the Huntington, Getty Center and Getty Villa, even the Grammy Museum.  And when you book two nights or more at any participating Los Angeles area hotel on DiscoverLosAngeles.com/cultureLA , you get FREE admission for two people and museum store discounts at 30 of LA’s top museums—a savings  of nearly $500.  Also, check out 100 Free things to do in Los Angeles.

Bundle Your Trip to Save More. Also, look for ways to bundle your trip to save.  If you purchase your vacation as a package with your airfare, hotel and car rental together, you can usually save a couple of hundred dollars on your trip.  Cruises are a built in bundle of value since they include accommodations, meals, and entertainment.

New Ways to Save on Family Travel Trends this Summer

June 17, 2012
Emily Kaufman, The Travel Mom

Emily Kaufman, The Travel Mom

American household budgets are stretched and families are looking for new ways to save on the classic American tradition – a summer vacation.  From airfares to hotel stays to baggage fees, vacation costs can add up and rising fuel prices make road trips and air travel more expensive this year, but a fun summer vacation is not impossible if you know a few tricks to stretch your travel dollars and pack extra value into your trip. 

The Travel Mom, Emily Kaufman, has ways to get more for your summer vacation dollar and how to have fun with kids on the road.

Find Family Friendly Hotels that Include More Extras. In the summer, families are always trying to squeeze in more family fun and one more weekend getaway into just three short months.   In fact, a survey from Embassy Suites Hotels and Parents magazine revealed that more than one-half of families only “dabble” with vacation and take short one- to two-night getaways here and there.  Embassy Suites Hotels is known for giving families MORE with every stay including two-room suites and a free cooked-to-order breakfast each morning.  Along with helping families get more out of their vacation days, you can enter the “Get More Vacation” Facebook contest to win one of five week-long trips and $10,000 to spend on your vacation.  Just upload a photo of your family’s “vacation face” and explain how you’ll get the most out of summer travel. You know what we’re talking about – that excited, happy look you get when you’ve finally booked your vacation. Enter now for a chance to win at Facebook.com/EmbassySuitesHotels before the contest ends on July 20th.  You can also book your family getaway at EmbassySuites.com.

Keep the Kids Entertained and Conquer the “Are We There Yet” Syndrome.  The key to conquering the “Are We There Yet” syndrome is to keep the kids entertained when you’re traveling which is why Emily always recommends a boredom buster bag.  Here’s something new that combines two favorite toys for boys: dinosaurs and cars.  VTech® Switch & Go Dinos™ are dinosaurs that uniquely morph into vehicles to provide an interactive 2-in-1 play experience.  Kids can personalize them with cool electronic features on the LCD screen and choose animated dinosaur eyes for the dinosaurs, driver faces for the cars and then add sound effects that really bring them to life.  They start at just $15.99.   The four Starter Switch & Go Dinos are available now at Amazon.com and VTechKids.com and all seven unique dinosaur-vehicle toys will be at major retailers this Fall.

Little Ones Get Stylish When They Go Hawaiian  If you’re traveling with little ones this summer, you’ll want to pack Huggies Hawaiian Diapers and Wipes. Their new tropical-inspired design has a tiki-twist on regular diapers plus an improved Leak Lock® protection.  For every pack of Huggies Hawaiian Diapers and Wipes purchased, the Huggies Every Little Bottom program will diaper a baby in need for one day.  You can also help the fight against diaper need and upload a photo of your summer-ready little one to Huggies Facebook page to create an animated dancing Hula Baby video. For each animation created, liked or shared Huggies Every Little Bottom will diaper a baby in need for one day.  Like all Huggies Little Movers diapers, Huggies Hawaiian Diapers are shaped to fit with proven leakage protection that moms have come to know and trust from the Huggies® Brand.   You can find out more at Huggies.com.

Ways to Organize and Save When You Travel . Nowadays, there’s an app for almost everything when it comes to travel and mobile devices. You should always make sure your phone has all the important numbers you’re going to need for your trip including the number for the airlines, car rental, and hotels where you’re staying.  For pre-planning your trip, there’s nothing like a good old-fashioned check list and paper itinerary for when batteries go down and you can’t access your PDA.

Best Way to Get Discounts at Your Destination.   Check out the local tourism office website where you’re visiting since they usually have lots of local deals and great tips on what to do when you’re there, but check it out before you go so you can make plans.  During the crowded summer months, you don’t want to miss out on fun things to do because they’re sold out.   Also, if you’re on Twitter or Facebook, ask for tips from followers and friends at your destination.  It’s a great resource for insider tips.