Family Travel Association Newsletter

Help Us Foster Change in How Consumers Think About Family Travel

Week of July 27, 2015

This is the newsletter of the Family Travel Association, a new coalition of leading family travel experts, media and companies coming together to create an industry voice that will transform the way families travel — charting a path for future generations of travelers.


Family Travel Association News

Three FTA Spotlight Topics Are Now Open for Discussion

Four weeks ago, we announced the launch of FTA Spotlight: Re/Defining Family Travel, a 15-month editorial initiative to develop a rounded understanding of the challenges we all face today with family travel and the efforts we can make as an industry to move forward with it. The first stage of the initiative is a 12 weeks of spotlighting 12 core family travel topics to the public. Each week, we are therefore publishing an introductory essay, which will open a topic for public discussion.

The first three essays are now live:

FTA Spotlight: Re/Defining Family Travel

FTA Spotlight Topic 4: Keeping Kids Safe and Healthy While Traveling

Mainstream travelers are rightly preoccupied with safety and health considerations like how to stay hydrated and fed with reliable food and water. So we wonder how typical family travel health and safety concerns can be handled in a way that doesn't compound the sense of dread that pushes most people to decide on less adventurous vacations. This is especially important because, in Margo Peyton's opinion, today's normal American vacation doesn't help develop the wellbeing and confidence we want in our children. As we all know, it's healthier to face our fears than to allow them to rule our lives.
Read the full essay here and please share your thoughts.

Ever Imagine Taking a Year-Long Vacation? For Some Families, It's Not a Daydream

It's what inspired Rainer Jenss to found the FTA. It took one year to plan and 11 months to pull off for the Totaro family. (Paige Totaro is one of the forces behind All Over the Map, an FTA Member.) Both are quoted extensively in this Deseret News article about year-long (or longer) round-the-world family trips, and why "it is a serious goal that can be accomplished with detailed planning, flexibility and creativity to arrange the basic food and lodging and create a curriculum for a memorable and valuable education when children are involved."

Deseret News: Ever Imagine Taking a Year-Long Vacation? For Some Families, It's Not a Daydream

FTA Is an Official Sponsor of the 2016 New York Times Travel Show

New York Times Travel Show
Early heads up: the Family Travel Association is now officially a sponsor of the 2016 New York Times Travel Show, the largest and longest-running trade and consumer travel show in North America. It takes place from January 8-10, 2016, at the Jacob K. Javitz Center in New York City. As a sponsor, the FTA will have a booth in the exhibit area and be speaking about family travel. Stay tuned for more details!

Family Travel Association Member News

Costa Rica Monkey Tours Identifies the Best Family Destinations in Costa Rica

Costa Rica is a beautiful country with a spectacular amount of biodiversity that makes for great learning experiences. But not every tour of the country is created equal, and not every destination will serve the best interests of vacationing families. This article points to some of the best family destinations in Costa Rica as provided by Costa Rica Monkey Tours, a top family tour company operating in the land of Pura Vida.

Sea turtle in Costa Rica

Busch Gardens®, Water Country USA® Ranked Top U.S. Amusement Parks

Busch Gardens® and Water Country USA® were recently recognized as winners in the 2015 TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice™ awards and in USA TODAY’s 10Best Readers’ Choice awards. TripAdvisor singled out Busch Gardens as one of the Top Amusement Parks in the United States, and Water Country USA was among the nation’s top five water parks, all based on the quantity and quality of reviews and ratings for amusement parks worldwide gathered over a 12-month period. Adding to the excitement, Busch Gardens’ Celtic Fyre® show was ranked No. 1 in the USA TODAY 10Best Readers’ Choice travel award contest for Best Amusement Park Entertainment.

Fireworks at Busch Gardens

First Cable Wake Park in the Northeast to Open at New York State's Roseland Waterpark

Roseland Wake Park
Roseland Waterpark will be adding a new water experience this summer: Roseland Wake Park. Instead of being pulled behind a boat, riders will be pulled by an overhead cable system. Features such as ramps and rails will be installed around the lake so riders can perform tricks. Roseland Wake Park, located on Muar Lake, will be the first wake park in the Northeast. While more common in European countries, cable parks are new to the U.S. with only 14 currently in operation but gaining in popularity.

Family Travel Industry News

How to Help Your Kids Be Better Travelers This Summer

Summertime means travel. Especially with kids, who can give a simple trip to the beach all the complexity of a year-long arctic expedition. But travel is also a great way for families to bond – and for kids to learn about the world, and themselves. So how can parents start good conversations with kids to help them get the most out of travel? It's more than learning a list of local dos and don'ts, says this Time article.

Time: How to Help Your Kids Be Better Travelers This Summer
"The education that travel provides is unquantifiable. After families come home from one of our trips, they can’t stop talking about how the light bulbs go off in their children’s heads when they actually see what they’ve read about in books or seen on the computer. It’s that moment when things finally click for the kids that the vacation has become priceless."
– Jim Kackley, General Manager, Thomson Family Adventures

Why Does the $7.6T Global Travel Industry Ignore Single Parents?

More than a third of children in the U.S. grow up in single-parent homes, not to mention those who have a parent who is deployed or working nonstop, or grandparents traveling alone with grandkids. It boggles the mind, says the writer of this Forbes article, that the $7.6 trillion global tourism industry does not market more to the tens of millions of fellow single parents.

Forbes: Why Does the $7.6T Global Travel Industry Ignore Single Parents?

"There is an increasing number of single parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles choosing to expand the world of their young loved ones. Therefore, it makes sense that more experiences be crafted to appeal to solo adults on the move with kids. As my three sons were growing up, I regularly traveled with them on my own. I would have welcomed a little more adult conversation or the chance to compare notes with a fellow solo mom or dad. As a travel journalist, I have covered the topic on multiple occasions. While searching for meaty options to include in a round up of travel choices, it was slim pickings.

This is a topic the Family Travel Association has begun to explore as part of its FTA Spotlight: Re/Defining Family Travel campaign. We look forward to your input. As an industry member, do you offer trips designed for single adults traveling with kids?"
– Lynn O'Rourke Hayes, Founding Board Member, Family Travel

'Only' Planet: Tips for Traveling with Your Solo Child

Traveling with children can be an enormously rewarding experience – opening up your kids to new experiences is crucial for personal growth, after all – but of course it’s not without its challenges. It can be even more challenging for parents with only one kid. This Lonely Planet article offers tried and tested tips if you’re planning a trip with your own solo child.

Lonely Planet: 'Only' Planet: Tips for Traveling with Your Solo Child

40 Places to See with Your Kids Before They Are All Grown Up

As we all know, kids grow up way too fast. There are so many things to do, see and explore, it always seems challenging to find a starting point. In a great list originally compiled by Today Parents but enlivened by a few photographs on Being a Mom, take a look at 40 places you should try to check out with the kids before they are grown.

How You Can Help Students Get a Better Education and Travel More: Take Flyte

Travel is a powerful agent for change. Unfortunately, not everyone is lucky enough to travel – especially young students. Not everyone has parents to take them on round-the-world adventures or send them to study abroad. In pursuit of his ambition to get people traveling more, Nomadic Matt has established the Foundation for Learning and Youth Travel Education, or FLYTE. Its mission is to provide the resources and funding to help high schools in underserved U.S. communities send kids overseas.


Tripwolf Lists Its Pick of the Best Kid-Friendly Travel Destinations

Stressed parents are looking for relaxation, but the kids are longing for adventure. The former seek a travel destination that's quiet, blessed with excellent food, and able to meet high hygienic safety standards. Thankfully, it’s not as difficult as you might think to balance the needs of both adults and children. Here are a few European destinations that are ideal for traveling families.

European Belle Hotels Offer Family Programs

Summertime is family travel time and all over Europe the hotels are reaching out to American families with special offers, activities and packages. While children may not always be associated with European luxury hotels, here is a trio of opulent European accommodations that are showing families that they also know how to cater to children.

August Is National Family Fun Month in the U.S.

Did you know that August in the U.S. is National Family Fun Month? We sure do like the sound of that and hope it means everyone will get out and travel a bit as family groups. If you need some more family-fun inspiration, see this and this. It also makes a lot of sense for National Roller Coaster Day (August 16) to be part of frolic. Perhaps family-friendly travel services will also get into the mix.

Family Getaways

Other Industry Stories Through Travel Age West

As part of a collaboration with Travel Age West, we are sharing selected items of interest from their family travel news desk.

High-Touch, High-Tech Travel in Demand by Consumers
Unlike strictly digital services, travel agents can provide insider knowledge and genuine customer service.

Your Travel Agent Can Plan College Visits, Too
Parents and travel agents work together to make college visits a family journey.

5 Arts Districts to Suggest in the U.S.
Get a sense of a city’s creative class at one of these artsy neighborhoods, perfect for a visit with children.
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