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Eileen OgintzBack to Media Center
Categories: Blogger, Writer
Eileen Ogintz is a leading national travel expert and syndicated columnist of the weekly column Taking the Kids and the creator of Takingthekids.com. Read her biography and how she became an expert on family travel.
Taking the Kids all started with her son, a cat and a goldfish pond.
Eileen’s then 3-year-old son, Matt, pushed a hapless kitty into a pond at a Wisconsin cottage that her family had rented for the weekend. The furious owner insisted they pack up and leave immediately. The embarrassed parents drove home three hours to Chicago in a downpour.
“I thought the kitty wanted to eat the goldfish,” Matt explained.
Ogintz was a national correspondent for the Chicago Tribune then (1987), covering news stories around the country. The travel editor, hearing her tale of woe about the cat and the goldfish pond, encouraged her to write a story about the trials of traveling with young children. That story led to others. “We realized there were a lot of people like me, parents who wanted help planning trips now that they had kids.” The award-winning syndicated column Taking the Kids and this popular website grew out of those stories. The award-winning syndicated column “Taking the Kids” and TakingtheKids.com grew out of those stories.
Ogintz is also the author of the Kid’s City Guide series from Globe Pequot Press. There are Kid’s Guides to New York City; Washington DC; Orlando; Los Angeles, and Chicago. Three more Kid’s City Guides will be published in 2014.
Ogintz is considered a leading national expert on family travel and is often quoted in major publications such as USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, New York Times as well as parenting and women’s magazines on family travel. She has appeared on such television programs as “The Today Show,” “Good Morning America” and “Oprah,” as well as dozens of local radio and television news programs. Ogintz is also often asked to speak to corporate groups about family travel, including Governors Conferences on Tourism.
Ogintz holds a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and is a 30-year veteran of the news business, reporting for The Anniston Star, The Record in Hackensack, N.J., and Des Moines Register as well as the Chicago Tribune, where she created the paper’s family-issues beat. She has also taught journalism and writing at Northwestern University, New York University, Fairfield University and Quinnipiac University.
From their home in Connecticut, Ogintz travels with her husband, their three children (now grown), and others in the extended family who serve as Taking the Kids’ special team of experts.
Tribune Content Agency (syndicated column)
The Kid’s Guides, a book series to major American cities
TMS Family Travel: Conference co-chair with Kyle and Joanne Vero