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By AMY TARA KOCH Whatever the mode of transport, traveling with children is often no picnic. The long-haul flight (five hours or more) offers up a special brand of hell, a smorgasbord of meltdowns, impromptu maladies and indiscriminate peevishness. I don’t blame the children. Being caged like the class gerbil for hours on end can be tedious. They can’t seem to help upchucking on you, often multiple times. Whining too. A carefully plotted parental playbook can...

Countdown to Japan, this year's pick for our annual 3 week family getaway. On the docket: Tokyo, Kyoto, Naoshima, Niseko (Alps) and back to Tokyo for a few final days of eating, karaoke and absorption of a culture I have been intrigued with for well over a decade. I would love to bring half my wardrobe, especially since we are staying at swanky hotels. But, experience dictates what a massive pain it is to lug...

It was such fun to talk family travel on Good Day Los Angeles this morning. The topic? Out- of -the- box summer vacation ideas. Of course beach vacations are fun. Mountains too. But I offered a few with a little more wow factor. ALL AGES GLAMPING NEAR A NATIONAL PARK “Glamping," or, glamorous camping,  has spiked in popularity over the last decade. Under Canvas (close to Yellowstone, Zion, Grand Canyon, Moab, Glacier) is about airy wood and...

Beach getaway. Road trip. Alpine holiday. City vacation. All fun, all kind of predictable. To inject wow factor into your summer vacation, why not tack on something unexpected: a train escapade—wait for it—with a sleeper cabin. You may think of a train as simply a mode of transport. And, dismiss it as less expedient than a plane flight. But to kids, getting from A to B by locomotive fires the imagination on all cylinders. Think about...

Lakefront. Culture. Sports. And a food scene that runs the gamut from hot dogs to haute Michelin starred cuisine. Whatever the season, the Windy City has no shortage of activities. On tap for winter? Ice skating at Millenium Park, trolley tours, museum visits and warming up with hot chocolate or high tea at many of the glamorous boites lining Michigan Avenue. When the sun comes out, visitors can take advantage of the legions of...

Piling in the car and heading out for a road trip is the most classic of family vacations.   But, hang on. Why should mom and dad do all of the work? Last summer, we gave our teen and tween aged daughters the responsibility of back-end construction and execution of  the 2.5 week itinerary.  Suddenly, they weren’t tolerant back seat participants but pedal- to -the- metal drivers. The goal? An entertaining road trip that gives kids...

Sleek design has its place. But in Honolulu, land of Polynesian charm and turbo charged Pacific vistas, the best perches are often the ones that have been around for decades, updated but maintaining the midcentury glamour of an Elvis film. For decades, The Halekulani has reigned as Grand Dame of Waikiki (Erroll Flynn, Clark Gable, Rosalind Russell were all guests) her hospitality and “tropical modernist” decor delivering a sense of place that blows contemporary corporate-crafted “island...

Traveling with small kids in no picnic. I spoke to U.S. News & World Report about hacks to make airline flights more tolerable. One of my favorite maxims is that, to parents, "spontaneity is the devil." This is especially translates into packing, snacks, entertainment and tantrum busting. Here are the topics discussed: Log on to the full story above for full explanation of tips.     Pack Smart Prepare for Boredom Use Bribery Get The Kids Involved Pick The Right...

We decided to go to Sweden by default. In late September, I still had not planned anything for winter break. A swift online search revealed that all of the predictable spots-skiing in Colorado, Caribbean, Hawaii, Mexico-had been already booked by parents more conscientious than me. So, I looked at less popular vacation options. Flights to Scandinavia on SAS were reasonable and activities abundant.  Off we went. The first thing that blew me away about Stockholm was the...

A cruise can be an incredible family vacation. The appeal of visiting multiple destinations and unpacking just once is undeniable. But, for many, the mega ship cocktail -endless crowds, bland buffets, forgettable port towns, pools that could double as water parks— is not. That’s why the river boat business is booming, especially in Western Europe. Smaller ships that traverse inland waterways offer access to historic towns, superior cuisine and a setting conducive to bonding with fellow...