Family Travel Association Newsletter

FTA Spotlight Editorial Campaign Eases into Gear

Week of November 2, 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

FTA Spotlight Campaign Kicks Off with a Focus on the Changing Faces of Family Travel

With our 12 FTA Spotlight essays now in place and the FTA Summit now behind us, we're preparing for our next steps. That's what our FTA Spotlight: Re/Defining Family Travel is all about: 12 months of in-depth analysis and review of our chosen core topics.

FTA Spotlight: Re/Defining Family Travel
This month we'll take a close at the Changing Faces of Family Travel. Do you have strong feelings about travel as a multi-generational family group; extended or “blended” clan with foster, adopted, step- and half children, and ex-spouses; single-parent family; family with two dads or two moms; family with parents of different races or hailing from different cultures; “voluntary kin” household; or family where one or more members have special needs? If so please reach out to us? We want to hear what you have to say. Send us an email or share a thought here and we will follow up with you.

Jim Pickell, President of HomeExchange, Joins FTA Advisory Board

Jim Pickell
The FTA is pleased to welcome Jim Pickell to our Board of Advisors. Jim is President of, an advisor, angel investor and frequent guest lecturer. He has co-founded several companies, including, Latin America’s leading online language school. He also served as Senior Vice President of SONY in L.A., where he was responsible for leading digital distribution strategy. Jim’s lifelong wanderlust has taken him to more than 30 countries, where he and his family have valued the authentic local experiences in which they participated.

Family Travel Association Membership

The Family Travel Association membership base continues to expand, drawing in new associations, media outlets, destinations, tour operators, corporate entities, cruise lines, lodgings and travel specialists.

Who Are Our Newest Members?

Intrepid Travel
Intrepid Travel
"At Intrepid Travel we know that your sense of adventure hasn't disappeared just because you've had kids, which is why we have developed a better style of family travel that favors real-life experiences over the virtual ones. We are very excited about joining the FTA and helping to inspire more families to step out of the guidebooks and into the heart of a destination."
– Leigh Barnes, Vice President for North America, Intrepid Travel
"O.A.R.S. is a family company with a commitment to conservation at its core. We support the Family Travel Association's mission to make travel an essential part of every child's education. It's our shared belief that through meaningful experiences in nature, we can inspire our youth to care for and protect our wild places for future generations."
– Steve Markle, Director of Sales & Marketing, O.A.R.S.
Austin Adventures
Austin Adventures
"I see joining the Family Travel Association as an opportunity to associate with the top leaders in family travel. To learn more about why family travel is such a key component of travel and how we can all do more to service this niche. It is clear the FTA is leading the charge to promote and inspire family travel on all fronts."
– Dan Austin, President, Austin Adventures
Todos Santos Eco Adventures
Todos Santos Eco Adventures
"When we're not sharing the glories of Baja California Sur with other people's families, we're traveling with our own families to wonderful destinations around the world. Planning, sharing and remembering these peak life experiences helps keep our family bonds strong, even though we all live in different places. We are very pleased to join the Family Travel Association and to be a part of the effort to help other families learn about the great family travel options that are out there so that they can reap the rewards of family travel for themselves."
– Sergio and Bryan Jauregui, Owners, Todos Santos Eco Adventures
Pure! Travel Group
Pure! Travel Group
"At Pure! we really believe that traveling with your family strengthens the bond between parents and children, and broadens the horizon of the children enabling them to understand much better the environment, culture and world we live in. The best gift you could ever give to your children is not a smart TV or smartphone, but a journey packed with culture, adventure, fun and eye-opening, life-enriching experiences. Pure! joined FTA as we trust that joining forces will have much more impact than individual efforts to get the message to the families."
– Bram Evers, General Manager, Pure! Travel Group
Lost World Adventures
Lost World Adventures
"Lost World Adventures crafts customized, guided trips to South and Central America and Antarctica. Utilizing our first-hand knowledge and experience, we create innovative tours that balance each family's individual needs. We are excited to be a part of FTA and look forward to partnering on the education and promotion of family travel."
– Andrew Gilchrist, Managing Director, Lost World Adventures

Family Travel Association Member News

Daunted Courage: A Family’s Bicycle Adventure on the Lewis & Clark Trail

Charles R. Scott Launches Daunted Courage, a New Family Travel Book

National Geographic-featured adventurer and FTA Board Member Charles R. Scott has released a new book, Daunted Courage: A Family’s Bicycle Adventure on the Lewis & Clark Trail. Describing how he cycled 1,700 miles of the Lewis and Clark Trail with his 12-year-old son and 6-year-old daughter – including traversing the Rocky Mountains – the book mixes danger, history, child-rearing and the travails of exploring the unknown into a grand tale that will leave you wanting to go out and create your own adventure.

CruiseCompete Publishes a Planner for Families Preparing for Cruise Travel

Recently released for download, the 133-page 2016 Family-Friendly Cruise Travel Planner, written by Heidi Allison, the co-founder of CruiseCompete, is packed with reviews and practical tips to help families choose the right cruise line. It provides details – minimum ages, what types of activities by age groups, family-friendly specifics etc. – so families planning a cruise don't have to look at each cruise line's website to get answers.

2016 Family-Friendly Cruise Travel Planner

TMS Family Travel Conference Examines Best Practices in Branded Content

Family travel influencers who gathered in Kansas City for the fifth TMS Family Travel Conference proved to be a case study for what industry thought leaders were emphasizing: Engaging travel content distributed via social media is key to successful travel marketing, and helpful to consumers. FTA members take note: TMS conference producing group is offering FTA members a discount on conference attendance. Stay tuned for word that.

TMS Family Travel Voted Number One "Best Website for Booking Your Stay" by USA TODAY Readers Voted Number One "Best Website for Booking Your Stay" by USA TODAY Readers
USA TODAY 10Best announced that was chosen as the number one "Best Website for Booking Your Stay" in its Readers’ Choice Awards. secured its top spot in the final days, beating out every major online travel provider, including the likes of TripAdvisor, Airbnb and Expedia. Nominees were chosen by a panel of experts which included a combination of editors from USA TODAY, and leading travel experts.

Affinia Hotel Collection's Affinia Junior Supports Pajama Program

Through individual guest contributions and Affinia Junior, the unique kids program of Affinia Hotel Collection (five New York City boutique-designed hotels), funds are raised in support of Pajama Program, a non-profit organization dedicated to delivering new, warm pajamas and books to children in need, many of whom are without parents and/or permanent homes. The organization serves children ranging in age from newborn to 18 who live in group homes, shelters and temporary housing.

Family Travel Industry News: Point/Counterpoint

Should Families Be Given The Right to Sit Together on Flights?

ON THE ONE HAND: A Simple Solution: Book Early and Pay the Fee
According to this Travel Industry Today article, in response to a letter written by Canada's transport minister about children sitting separately from their parents on flights, the president and CEO of the Air Transport Association of Canada says that parents who want to be sure they're seated next to their children on planes should either book as early as possible when there are more seats available on a flight or pay a seat-selection fee.

A Simple Solution: Book Early and Pay the Fee

ON THE OTHER HAND: Why Won't U.S. Regulators Help Families Sit Together on Planes?
Travel consumer advocate Christopher Elliott looks at what's happening in the U.S. on the same topic:

"Canada's transport minister has quietly written to the heads of every major airline in the country to try and stamp out the practice of separating children from their parents on flights. (No word yet on what Canada's airlines said in response.) Why can't the U.S. government do the same thing?

Well, it is – and it isn't. Our own Transportation Department is mum on the issue, probably because it doesn't have enough complaints from parents to justify action. But Congress is mulling a proposed law, called the Families Flying Together Act of 2015, that would require each airline carrier to notify passengers traveling with minors if seats are not available together at the initial booking stage and for each carrier to establish a policy to ensure, to the extent practicable, that a family is seated together during flight.

It's a squeaky-wheel issue. If enough parents discover that they will be separated from their offspring on a plane, and if they complain loudly to their elected representatives and the DOT, then you can bet something will be done. (Complaining to the DOT is easy. Here's how.)"


What Are Some of the "Rules" About Flying with Small Children?

ON THE ONE HAND: 10 Rules for Flying With Small Children
The author of this article in TravelPulse begins with this: "Don't Fly with Small Children." He then goes on to share his thoughts about what to do if you do choose to fly.

10 Rules for Flying With Small Children

ON THE OTHER HAND: An Start Early Will Help You Develop Your Little Travel Pro
Jodi Grundig, the Founder of definitely disagrees with the first suggestion of this article:

"Traveling with your kids (including flying) is a great way to introduce the love of travel to children at a young age. Starting early helps get them acclimated with flying, so by the time they are older they will be little pros. However, definitely understand your child, and perhaps start with shorter flights first to get them familiar with all of the nuances of flying."


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.

Explore Europe With Abercrombie & Kent's New Itineraries
Visit Central Europe, Italy, Scotland and Ireland with three new family journeys in 2016.

New Offerings for the Family From Royal Caribbean
Splash into fun with the cruise line’s new family-oriented experiences.

Try This: Snorkeling and Underwater Photography on Maui
Travelers of all ages can learn about the undersea world with The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua.
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