Family Travel Association Newsletter

A Major Victory for Families That Fly, Supported by the FTA!

Week of July 28, 2016

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.

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Family Travel Association News

To Keep Families Flying Together, U.S. Congress Passes New Law

The hard work has paid off! Within a year, airlines will be required to keep families flying together. We have been lobbying for and keeping tabs on this process since early February when we threw our weight behind the congressional effort led by U.S. Representatives Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) and Rodney Davis (R-IL). And now there is legislation requiring airlines to seat any children aged 13 and younger “adjacent to the seat of an accompanying family member over the age of 13,” all “to the maximum extent practicable and at no additional cost.” Read all about it!

To Keep Families Flying Together, U.S. Congress Passes New Law

A New Partnership with the Caribbean Tourism Organization

We are pleased to announce a new partnership with the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) to promote a travel agent educational program for the Caribbean. Given the experiences that Caribbean travel offers families, the collaboration will help ensure that agents have the tools to meet the needs of the lucrative family travel market segment.

A New Partnership with the Caribbean Tourism Organization
“Our research indicates that 93% of American parents are either 'very likely' or 'likely' to travel with their children in the next two years, so we are thrilled to be working with the CTO and its members in not only inspiring families to travel but also to help agents better understand and sell the Caribbean to this complex demographic.”
– Rainer Jenss, President, Family Travel Association

Tell Your Non-Industry Friends About Our Consumer Newsletter

We’ve started focusing on family-travel topics and issues of interest to consumers too. In our consumer-facing newsletters, we delve deeply into one topic at a time – like Family Safari in AfricaFamily Travel and Vacation Rentals and, most recently, Ecotourism and Family Travel in Costa Rica. If you know anyone who might want to follow along, please encourage them to sign up for our Travelers Newsletter.

Ecotourism and Family Travel in Costa Rica

The FTA Has Been More and More Present in the Media

Here is just a sampling of some of our latest media hits unrelated to the oft-mentioned FAA victory described above!

FTA Spotlight Shifts Its Focus to Making Family Travel Affordable

At the current stage of our FTA Spotlight: Re/Defining Family campaign (download overview) we are searching for great resources about Making Family Travel Affordable.

FTA Spotlight

Ask average parents why they don’t travel more (or at all) and the word you often hear is: money. Travel is seen as unaffordable for so many American families. Are there ways to make family travel more affordable? We think so! Finding them is a matter of adjusting habits and behavior.

Do you have strong feelings about this? We want to hear from you!

FTA Is Social - Share with Us

We’re busy on social media sharing about family travel. Join the conversation on Facebook (/familytravelassociation) and Twitter (@FamilyTravAssoc) and be sure to use the #familytravel hashtag!

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?

Bar W Guest Ranch
Bar W Guest Ranch
"The Bar W Guest Ranch is a family-owned and -operated dude ranch that provide an authentic, western experience that brings families closer together. We are very excited to join the FTA because we share the same mindset that families should travel more to create unforgettable memories and life-changing experiences."
– Scott Theissen, Marketing Director
Family Travel Advisor Forum/Specialty Travel Forums
Family Travel Advisor Forum/Specialty Travel Forums
"The Family Travel Advisor Forum will bring together 130 hand-selected U.S. and Canadian professional travel sellers and 65 companies from around the world who represent family-friendly destinations, commissionable vacation options and other resources for the family-focused travel seller."
– Jennifer Fernandez, VP Events & Content
Inspire World Travel
Inspire World Travel
"My mission is to inspire world travel, particularly for families. Travel-as-education is a fundamental part of my world outlook - one that my husband and I have put into practice with our own children. The FTA offers a like-minded community with which I hope to exchange ideas, while learning and growing personally and professionally."
– Julia Slatcher, Owner & Principal
Malawian Style
Malawian Style
"The emphasis of the Family Travel Association is on families having a fulfilling trip with the least amount of hassle, allowing more time to enjoy their experience. At Malawian Style, we endorse this ethos and in working with the FTA we hope to welcome more families to the warm heart of Africa."
– Rory Gillett, Marketing Manager
“We created the Vapur Anti-Bottle to be ultra-lightweight and portable, a key for so many people. Travel allows you to see new cultures and people, beautiful places, and get outside of your comfort zone. Teaching youth the value of travel is essential to keeping the travel industry alive for years! We believe in the FTA’s goal and are happy to be a partner in supporting family travel.”
– Ashley Doran, National Sales Director

Family Travel Association Member News

Travel + Leisure World's Best Awards 2016 Winners

Travel + Leisure World's Best Awards 2016
Travel + Leisure recently released its World's Best Awards 2016 – as voted by you. We congratulate the many FTA members who appeared on the lists, including Tauck and Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection (World’s Best River Cruise Lines); Thomson Family Adventures, Cox & Kings and Journeys International (World’s Best Tour Operators); and Rothschild Safaris (World’s Best Safari Outfitters).

Tips for Traveling with Kids from 12 Family Travel Experts

Tips for Traveling with Kids from 12 Family Travel Experts
Traveling with kids can be like a Dickens novel: the best of times and the worst of times. But the extremes can be mitigated with planning and preparation. Here are some tips from family travel bloggers (including a few from our Media Center) about how to make great experience for everyone.

5 (OK, 6) Totally Inspiring Family Travel Blogs

5 (OK, 6) Totally Inspiring Family Travel Blogs
These bloggers are delivering a variety of content and honing in on the special needs of traveling families. From epic adventures spanning the globe to simple tips for once-a-year getaways, there’s some real inspiration here, including from a couple of our very own FTA members.

SeaWorld Actively Supports Underwater Families Too

SeaWorld Cares
SeaWorld’s marine animal rescue and rehabilitation programs actively aids the traveling families of our underwater friends too. With the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission, in the last month SeaWorld has returned a manatee mother and calf, and three loggerhead sea turtles to the sea, and rescued an abandoned infant manatee and a critically ill pygmy killer whale.

FTA Spotlight: Making Family Travel Affordable

This week, several people shared important information in response to our call for contributions to the current FTA Spotlight topic: Making Family Travel Affordable. Three of them follow here.

Five Ways to Save Money on Vacation

Five Ways to Save Money on Vacation
If you grew up in a family that didn’t travel much, you may now think of it as an activity to enjoy with your kids. But if you don’t have a money tree growing in the backyard, here are five good ways to save money on vacation and a free vacation budget worksheet with which to help plan it out.

How to Fund Your Travel Lifestyle

How to Fund Your Travel Lifestyle
The biggest excuse for not traveling more often is a belief that we don’t have enough money. But here’s what one blogger has discovered while traveling the world: Travel isn’t a luxury just for the rich and frivolous. Travel can be a beautiful reality for anyone who wants to make it so. Here’s how.

Term Time Holidays Are an Economic Necessity for Families

Term Time Holidays Are an Economic Necessity for Families
U.S. theme parks are more pleasant in November or January than in August. And besides avoiding summer heat, an off-season trip saves a fortune: holiday prices typically double as soon as term ends. That’s why many British schoolchildren visit the parks when they should be in class.

Room for the Whole Family at Wyndham Grand Rio Mar

Wyndham Grand Rio Mar Beach Resort & Spa
In keeping with changing times, the Wyndham Grand Rio Mar Beach Resort & Spa has new family suites. Rather than separate rooms, there's a multi-bedroom suite boasting bunk beds, a king size bed and a living room equipped with a pullout sofa bed for up to six family members.

Family Twist Adds a New Destination: Florence, Italy

Family Twist in Florence
One vital way of bringing family travel to life is by adding an educational dimension to it. Family Twist, a family travel specialist in Europe that turns cities into educational playgrounds, has just added Florence to its list of family-friendly destinations.

Bound Round Creates a New Targeted Distribution Opportunity

Bound Round
Bound Round, which focuses on telling travel stories through the eyes of kids, has expanded its services to include booking capability directly through its platform. Any suppliers interested in new distribution opportunities – the inventory is only accommodation, tours and activities for families – should look into this.

Going "Behind the Scenes" in Our National Parks

Tracks & Trails Instagram
In late-June, the Tracks & Trails road crew headed into the U.S. national parks, a strong focus of attention during this centennial year of the National Park Service, to capture and share photos, engaging new audiences through social media and raise the profile of family RV travel in the U.S.

Glamping on a Deserted Island Is Great for Families

Glamping on a Deserted Island Is Great for Families
Many families are seeking a family focus and renewal through travel experiences like "glamping." Todos Santos Eco Adventures, for example, offers holidays on Isla Espiritu Santo, a deserted island – no internet, no electricity – where the kids can enjoy outdoor programs and grandparents have all the comforts of a hotel room.

Abercrombie & Kent Expands Small-Group and Family Tours

Buddha statues in Thailand
To keep up with growing demand, luxury tour operator Abercrombie & Kent has announced new family itineraries for 2017 that expand on its family journeys. New family-focused tours now take in destinations like Japan, Peru, Kenya and Tanzania.

MSC Cruises Enriches Kids Entertainment Across Its Fleet

MSC Meraviglia built out of LEGO
MSC Cruises has enhanced its family offerings. Examples of new programs include age-appropriate sports and active games, interactive homemade pasta cooking classes and an exclusive ship toy by LEGO.

White Stallion Ranch Becomes Member of Historic Hotels of America

White Stallion Ranch - Historic Hotel of America
Historic hotels have maintained their authenticity, sense of place and architectural integrity in the USA. White Stallion Ranch, which has been ranked the #1 hotel in Tucson on TripAdvisor for five consecutive years, has been owned and operated as a guest ranch by the True family for 50 years and is a special place for families.
Family Getaways

Family Travel Thoughts from the FTA Media Center

Read some of the latest writing from the experienced and knowledgeable voices in our Media Center.

Why a Fathom Cruise Is the Ideal Journey for Families
Kirsten Maxwell believes that family travel should be about educating children, learning about other cultures and exposing them to life outside the “bubble.” Fathom did that and much more.

Family on the Loose: The Art of Traveling with Kids
Jessie Voigts shares an interview with the authors of Family on the Loose: The Art of Traveling with Kids, the best family travel book she says she’s ever read.

New Orleans Is a Party for Families Too
Amy Tara Koch tells us how the unapologetic sass — the curious brew of culture that happens right in the street — of New Orleans is what makes children fall head over heels in love with it.

Family Travel Industry News

Your Guide to Family Travel with Pokémon Go

Your Guide to Family Travel with Pokémon Go
Pokémon Go allows players to interact with virtual Pokémon as if they are in the real world. It has been a worldwide sensation. Who knows how long the craze will last, but this parent is making the most of it, looking forward to family holidays in Dubrovnik and Montenegro.
Of course, not everyone sees it as a positive thing. Then again, of note, SeaWorld has stepped up as the first Orlando-area theme park to organize a major event specifically dedicated to Pokémon Go players.

5 Ways to Make Travel Easier When Your Child Has Cancer

5 Ways to Make Travel Easier When Your Child Has Cancer
When a child has cancer, going away can be downright daunting. But a family vacation can be just what the doctor ordered for a pediatric cancer patient – a real chance to have fun. Here are some valuable planning and travel tips for parents to ensure a happy and safe family vacation – for everybody.

When Travel Goes Wrong: Awkward Family Vacation Photos

When Travel Goes Wrong: Awkward Family Vacation Photos
Here’s a photo gallery featuring family travel moments straight out of National Lampoon's Vacation… except they happened to you. The photos capture the comical, uncomfortable and downright awful things that can occur on any family vacation.

Frontier Airlines Introduces KID Zone(TM), Designed to Make Family Travel More Easy and Affordable

Frontier Airlines Introduces KID Zone(TM)
Frontier Airlines is making family travel easier and more affordable with its new KID Zone of discounted seat assignments. KID Zone seats are located near the back of the aircraft, convenient to the galley should families need additional assistance.

Safari Planning with Kids 101 

The Families That Can’t Afford Summer
With tickets to Nairobi in the bag, here’s what one mom did to find, book and prepare for a safari with her child, covering everything from safety, cost and planning tips to food and lodging. End result: “There are so many things unique to a family holiday in Africa.”

School of Life: Why Travel Is the Best Teacher

School of Life: Why Travel Is the Best Teacher
Travel broadens our minds, develops cultural empathy and gives us a better understanding of the world. We travel with our children because we believe the experiences improve their social skills and are key to helping them become decent global citizens. Here are eight ways travel really is the best teacher for kids.

The Adventure Doesn’t Have to Stop: Here’s How to Travel with Baby

The Adventure Doesn’t Have to Stop: Here’s How to Travel with Baby
When you get pregnant, friends often tell you to “get your kicks in” before the baby arrives. But here’s one couple who believes outdoor adventures make them better parents. And here’s why they’re convinced it’s better to bring babies on outdoor adventures sooner rather than later.

Vacationing with Kids: Travel Hacks for Babies, Teens and Everybody in Between

Vacationing with Kids: Travel Hacks for Babies, Teens and Everybody in Between
Traveling with kids presents challenges that grow and change along with your children. The wonderful payoff is in triplicate, though: It is exciting to look forward to; engaging and fun to experience; and wonderful to remember. Here’s something to think about for kids at all ages.

How to Plan a Family Weekend Getaway

How to Plan a Family Weekend Getaway
Experts, travel-industry insiders and seasoned parents were asked to weigh in with tips about how to execute the perfect summer weekend getaway. Here’s what they suggested so you can take your show on the road more successfully.
Family Getaways

Other Industry Stories Through TravelAge West

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

5 Surprising Family Travel Spots in Europe
Traveling mother and budding travel advisor Julia Slatcher recommends these top spots in Europe.

What Travel Agents Need to Know About Milestone Travel
Travel agents can help clients celebrate major life milestones.

3 Educational Family Tours for Summer
From learning about animal conservation to exploring literary Edinburgh, these kid-friendly tours will keep kids learning all summer long.
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