Eileen Ogintz

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Author, Taking the Kids

The meeting of a three-year-old, a cat and a goldfish pond started Taking the Kids.

Eileen Ogintz’ three-year-old son Matt pushed the hapless kitty into the pond at a Wisconsin cottage her family had rented for the weekend. “I thought the kitty wanted to go swimming,” Matt explained.

The kitty was unharmed but the furious owner insisted they pack up and leave immediately. The embarrassed parents drove home three hours to Chicago in a downpour.

Eileen Ogintz was a national correspondent for theChicago Tribune then, 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 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 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; Boston and Chicago. Three more Kid’s City Guides, to San Diego, San Francisco and Denver and Colorado Ski Country are scheduled for release in late 2014.

“Kids more than ever are involved and influential in family vacation planning. My book series and my column help families to plan together,” Ogintz said. “Their time and budgets are tight. I give them the tools to make the most of their trips together and hope they are creating lifelong memories along the way.”

Ogintz also is the co-founder and co-chair of the TMS Family Travel Conferences and Summits which bring together top family travel influencers from around the country, major sponsors and showcase research on the latest family travel trends.

Taking the Kids, the only national family travel column, is syndicated by Tribune Content Agency and has millions of readers, appearing in major newspapers around the country including Newsday, The Chicago Tribune and Denver Post and on websites including FoxNews.com, The TodayShow.com and SmarterTravel.com

Ogintz is sought out as a travel expert for many national publications and has appeared on scores of national and local TV and radio programs. She also serves as a consultant in the travel agency and has worked with major brands including Alamo, Expedia, and Visit Orlando, among others.

She lives in Connecticut with her family.

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