Posts Tagged ‘Summer Vacation’

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.

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.